Tuesday, August 28, 2007

On Tools

Leese sticks, cross sticks, and the raddle that came with my looms all have very sharp edges. So you'd think by now I'd have sanded them down a little. I always intended to, but hadn't. Last week, the cross sticks rubbed against the delicate warp it broke five warp ends when I wound it too quickly.
Actually it's not as if I completely ignored them; back in 2001 when I used to weave for a production weaver in town, I did make a raddle and a set of cross sticks for myself; the problem is, back then I wove on a 4-ply wool warp at around 8 or 6 DPI at work, so the tools I made are extra sturdy and a little heavier than what I need now. (But check out the nice, smooth edges!)

Ben showed me where he stores his sandpapers, and I bought some delicate pine dowels for short cross sticks for the cashmere, so I'll finally sand down some sticks very soon. It's not my favorite job, sanding, especially with the hayfever season just starting now. My warping board had extra rough surfaces, but this, I begged Ben to take care about a month ago, so new warps don't stick to the board any more.

And this is my newest tool, a fringer made by Nelson spinning wheel maker Mike Keeves. I don't know how many weavers recommended this, but I thought it was a great big fuss for nothing. On the other hand, fringing gives me the greatest trouble, (my right wrist), so I had to change the way I worked.

After only two shawls, I can't say using the fringer is quicker, but I get consistent twists to every fringe, and my wrist doesn't hurt. I do love this tool, though; the two handles feel so great in my hand, and I pace around the house trying to come up with a design while twisting the air.

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