Once upon a time there was a princess, a beautiful well shaped, beech boned, soft skinned princess of a calibre seldom seen anywhere.
She moved from Denmark to Saskatchewan, on to a place in Nova Scotia and then finally she came to the 'Royal Fibre and Weaving Castle' ( in everyday terms , Wonderous Woolerie or the Funny Farm)which I call my home - ok, I am biased, but I love it here =-)
Viktoria the Magnificent is her name!
She is a 55” wide, 750lbs heavy beautiful Askov Lervad loom built in Denmark some 25/30 years ago and now she resides in my living room. The piano got a little uptight and so ended up getting sold and moving out. Those beautiful tones which came out of his keys are sometimes sadly missed, but the rhythm of the treadles and the shafts of Viktoria moving around and singing their tune when I weave make up for any loss on the musical front. (And I do have a small accordion which I can haul out and practice on if I really do want music!)
Only recently have I managed to tie up Viktoria in such a way that she and I can work really smoothly together.
I went down to Vavstuga in Shelburne Falls in Massachusetts in early June and learned a ton of interesting stuff which I have been able to apply in my budding relationship with Viktoria.
She needed beads (for her lams) and a trapeze – yes – a trapeze -, however, I can assure you that neither she nor I am going to wear a pink tight outfit for flying through the air when we use it. I will wear a comfortable warping outfit = my regular clothing and we will both stay close to the floor at all times!
Upon arrival at my house Viktoria wore a fine silk warp, 90 epi (ends per inch), it was 55inches wide (and that is the same as 4950 strings of yarn which it took the previous owner close to a year to get threaded and sorted out) and 16 meters long. This warp had to be safely removed from her back beam and stored in bags before we could really start to communicate. I, you see, was not ready for 90 ends pr inch – my visions were different.
So instead we got her sorted out with a sunshine yellow cotton warp at 30 epi and since I have gotten her the beads for the lams this warp is almost all woven up -
Project #1 was warp painting on a 27 degree celcius day - the paint on the warp needed to be kept at a temperature at above 22 degrees for 4 hours so it was perfect from that perspective and I, well, I just had a cool cloth handy to wipe my brow at frequent intervals.
Project# 2 on this warp was to change the original pattern to one which had circles or something close to circles. I fiddled around with paper and pen for a while and have had that paper ready for the day when I got the beads for Viktoria and was ready to change her tie-up. It is done now and I am mightily pleased with the results – have also tried several different treadlings and it still works and I am delighted that my visions were not completely off.
There are many months and years of adventures ahead of us which she and I will jump into together with much glee.
Some are already underway others haven't been thought of just yet but I feel them stirring – the promise of things to come.
Updates from project #3 will come soon!