Kessenich Loom First Project, Rag Rug

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Looms , Projects , Rag Rugs , Weaving 
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1 a project

I finished my first project on the reconditioned Kessenich Loom, a rag rug. I created a lot of learning opportunities along the way, LOL, but I’m well pleased with the results.

1 a project 1 warp1 a project 1 in process

Aren’t all creative people messy? …

1 a project 1  mess

1 a project 1 birds1 a project 1

What a lovely close to a Smoky Mountain vaction but saddly, back to the real world Monday, tomorrow, the car trip home.

Tropical Twister


Kessenich Loom First Project

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Looms , Weaving 
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4th of July warping loom

It is a day to celebrate! Yesterday my heddles and reed were delivered. I loaded up the loom with the heddles. The Texsolv heddles are light and I was concerned the heddles might float, not so, everything works easily and smoothly. I’ve started to measure out the warp this morning. My husband the engineer used bungee cords to secure the warping board firmly but temporarily. He’s a genius!

I’m excited to start my first rug. I’m using the Rag Rug Handbook by Janet Meany & Paula Pfaff The book is detailed with abundent photos and clear drawing. I highly recommend! I’ve identified the wood of the loom. Apparently the older Kessenich Looms were fashioned from cherry not red oak. It is beautiful.

Kessenich Loom dressed


Lacy is in a much better mood today…no fireworks and no thunderstorms. We’re having a grand time in the mountains.

Tropical Twister


box loom, Norwegian Cradle Loom, tape loom

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Looms , Tape Looms , Weaving 
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I’ve completed the second tape. As you can see from the photos below, the first tape that was completed with the paddle loom alone, backstgrap fashion, has very inconsistent widths. The second, my first tape on the cradle loom, was much more consistent. With some practice, I should be able to produce fairly consistent tapes.

band 2band 1

The next project I’d like to try on this loom is with finer cotton thread and a floating pattern weft. I’ll keep you posted.

Tropical Twister


Sewing Machine Stand Table

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Lacy's Story , My Looms , Rigid Heddle , Tape Looms , Techniques , Weaving 
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My plans to use a sewing machine stand as the base for a “weaving accessories table” are moving forward. I purchased a “table top” from Lowes, a laminated 3/4″ plank 24″ by 16″. I glued 2 – 2 by 4 pieces to the underside. I then stained the top and started to layer latex spar varnish to make the finished table water resistant.

notchtable undertable top

In between coats of stain and varnish, I worked on my tape. It seems to be progressing nicely. You can see the finished tape winding up on the cloth beam.

cradle loom

Sitting on the deck in the mountains…70 degrees…life is good, least for me. Lacy doesn’t look too thrilled to be wearing her 4th of July outfit.


Tropical Twister


Norwegian Cradle Loom

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Looms , Rigid Heddle , Tape Looms , Weaving 
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The set-up and weaving process for the Norwegian Cradle Loom with a rigid heddle is as follows. First, I used locker hooking twine, pre-cut lengths of soft string, to tie loops of equal length through all the holes on the warp beam and the cloth beam.

loom 2loom 3

I threaded the paddle style tape loom (mine is from Fred & Grace Hatton, Finn Sheep) according to the diagram from Handwoven Magazine, Interweave Press using the warp color order directed for “tape loom or rigid heddle loom”. I tied small bundles of the warp to the twine loops on the warp beam. When all the warp had been tied, I slowly turned the warp beam to wind on all the warp. To keep the warp from getting tangled and to assure an even draw of thread, I wound a length of drawer/shelf paper somewhat narrower than the warp beam with the warp threads. Then I tied the thread coming from the warp beam and through the paddle tape loom to the loops on the cloth beam. With everything in place I was ready to weave. By lifting the paddle up for one pass and pushing it down for the next it created alternating sheds for a nice tabby weave.

The first weft thread, which was later discarded, was thick white cotton. Several passes caused the warp to tighten up. Then I started weaving with my warp. I selected crochet cotton size 10 to use as weft. The weft needs to be finer than the warp. My warp is cotton rug warp, that is, rather heavy cotton. I am using black as my weft color choice as my pick was between black or white at WalMart. I would have prefered brown to match the outside warp threads. (Not a lot of choices here in the mountains. I stopped at a quilt shop but they were closed to prepare for Christmas in July, what are the chances of that happening, so I pressed on to WalMart.) While the weft “does not” show in warp dominate weaving, it does; it shows slightly on the edge of the tape. Actually, the black works just fine against the brown warp threads. After I wove an inch or so, I removed the white cotton yarn and left just the final tape threading. I plan to go back and secure the end before it is removed from the loom.

I love the loom!! My tape is much more regular than when I used the paddle loom alone as a back strap loom, as I am able to maintain the tension. I expect to try some other projects with this cradle loom when this tape is done, perhaps card weaving.

loom 4loom 5

Tropical Twister


Cradle Loom, Box Loom, Tape Loom, Band Loom

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Looms , Rigid Heddle Projects , Tape Looms , Weaving 
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loom 1This “cradle loom” is from the Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum and called a Norwegian Cradle Loom. Generically, it is a box loom (named for the shape of the loom), tape loom (named for the “tapes” or strips of cloth produced on the loom) or as the Sweds term it, a band loom (named for the decorative bands woven on the looms and used to decorate clothing). Box tape looms probably originated among the Germans and traveled to Sweden and Norway. Germans brought tape loom weaving with them to this country as evidenced by the “Pennsylvania Dutch” tape weaving traditions.

I represent Glimakra looms and if you’re interested, you can purchase a Glimakra Swedish Band Loom through me. Other sources I found for Box Tape Looms, Band Looms, Paddle Looms, and Floor Two Treadle tape looms are (click on source name to be linked to source):

J. K. Sidel
Hand Woven Magazine
The Joyner’s Shop
Fred & Grace Hatton, Finn Sheep
Link to photos of Swedish tapes

This photo shows my loom “dressed” for weaving. I am using a “rigid heddle” to separate the threads to create a “shed” for weaving. The hand held “paddle loom” or “tape loom” can be used separately from the box loom. One end of the warp can be tied to something solid and the other end can be held in ones hand. Moving the paddle up and down a “shed” is created through which the yarn/weaving material is passed. While very portable, I have found that it is difficult to maintain a constant tension with this method, and therefore the band or tape is inconsistent in width. Using the box loom, the rollers which are attached to gears maintain a constant tension and the width is more consistent. I have used shelf lining paper to roll up with warp on the “warp beam”/roller. It keeps the layers of warp from tangling and helps maintain tension on the warp.

The band created by this loom will appear in future blog entries.

Tropical Twister


We made it to the mountains!

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , Handspun Knitted Shawl PATTERN , My Looms , Queen Anne's Lace Shawl , Techniques , Weaving 
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First, with great joy, we attended the wedding of Chris (my husband’s son) and his new bride, Yasuko.


…Then we headed to the mountains.


My chairs were “sprinkled” through the woods and we set out projects on the deck.


The loom is here. I had ordered a stainless steel reed (5″) but it was too long when it arrived. I returned it (thank you Glimarka) and they sent a new reed. But alas, this one is too shallow (4″). I’ll be returning it and ordering another. Meanwhile, I’ll try to use the old rusted reed. More on that project is upcoming blogs.


I have a new project (more about that in subsequent blogs), a Norwegian box loom. Box looms probably originated in Germany and migrated to Sweden and Norway. The loom comes unfinished so it can be painted, stained or oiled. I’ve been coating it with antique oil finish and plan to bath it in orange oil and bee’s wax after the finish drys.


Tropical Twister


Antique Yarn Winder

Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Spinning Wheels , Weaving 
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11This antique yarn winder was “won” on eBay and shipped from Holland. It was purchased knowing the “clock” didn’t work. BUT, with beeswax and two nylon bushings and a lot of fiddling, I got it working. When the wheel is turned to wind on the yarn to create a skein, it turns a wood gear which run the “clock”, the hand winds to keep track of the length of yarn. I must admit that even with my fiddling, it doesn’t work flawlessly but my plan is to display the winder when I use the antique flax wheel for demos. I expect I will continue to use my metal and plastic skein winder for real work until my new wood one arrives from Glimarka. Several views of the yarn winder below:


My newest band is from heavy, strong, somewhat coarse rug wool:


Tropical Twister



Posted by Tropical Twister under Articles , My Looms , Weaving 
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Loom is finished. Mended the aprons and re-installed. (Don’t love the oversized washers but there was a crack on the beater bar. I glued it and the large washers support the repair.) Now just waiting for the heddles and new reed.


And, I’ve started my second band; this one of rayon.


Tropical Twister


Kessenich 4/4 Floor Loom Progress

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Restoring the Kessenich 4/4 floor loom is progressing. I need to resew the apron to reinforce where stiching is coming undone and then remount the aprons. Instead of new, I chose to wash the aged canvas aprons. They are still strong (although aged looking) because I think they complement the loom. The loom originally must have had wire heddles as I received a fist full of those with the loom. Apparently, they had been replaced with flat steel heddles at some point. Some of those have reusted and I’ve decided to replace al the heddles with texsolv heddles because the heddles won’t rust and they’re quiet. They’re in transit from Louet so “I’m a waiting”. I’m also waiting for a stainless steel reed from Glimarka to replace the heavily rusted reed. Everything else looks good, least wise to my eyes. See what you think?


sewing-machineOh, and that antique sewing machine frame to the right. I picked that up at our annual church garage sale two years ago. I’m planning to drag that up to the mountains as well (yes, my husband must love me! LOL). I’m planning to turn it into a table. The treadly moves the wheel and it works.

Tropical Twister


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