Weaving in a heat wave

Hello, friends. The afternoon temperatures here in New Hampshire have reached the 90s, which is pretty atypical for northern New England. High humidity doesn’t do the loom any favors: the loom is made mostly of wood and the wood swells, making the business weaving a slow and sometimes very frustrating affair. What is a weaver to do?

I have fought against the slowness that accompanies harnesses that refuse move easily for several seasons. Loom stickiness was particularly frustrating when I was trying to weave what are, for me, “production” fabrics, like kitchen towel cloth, or twills that require three or more harness lifts. Now I’m going to try something new and see if using skeleton tie-up (tying one harness to one treadle) will alleviate some frustration. I use a skeleton tie-up for warp rep/ripsmatta, when I have 3/2 mercerized cotton warp threads densely sett at 30 epi. I’ll be weaving some tabletop pieces using this strategy. My other coping mechanisms for working in the heat include staying properly hydrated, using a fan, and wearing the lightest possible clothing that keeps your legs from sticking to a wooden bench. Also, a gin & tonic with plenty of ice is very refreshing. 😉 (I’ve been making my own gin for a couple of years now and I must say, it is not half bad.)

If you’re coming to the League of NH Craftsmen 89th Annual Summer Fair (and I hope you can come, it is a spectacular event), the raffle tent is not to be missed! Artisans, such as yours truly, donate one of their handcrafted pieces to help raise funds to counter expenses incurred by our organization to put on an event of this scale. Here is my donation for this year:

My raffle donation to the 2022 League of NH Craftsmen’s Fair

This is an overshot piece woven in white and black mercerized cottons. It is centerpiece sized and has been laundered once already.

And for all of the people out there who have followed my work on Instagram, I would like to extend my sincerest thanks! My account received over 7,000 followers this week and for me, this is nothing short of astonishing. I am a sat-by-herself-in-the-high-school-cafeteria/talks to her canary and vegetable plants kind of person, and to think that this many people are interested in what I do with my weaving has taken me quite by surprise. Many, many thanks to you all.

Be well and stay cool,

Kate K.

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