You might think that I was keeping myself busy enough with the floor loom. And the traveling. And the sewing machines. And the sweater-dismembering. And the knitting, inkle weaving, rigid heddle weaving… oh, and my day job! But no. Someone needs to dye. Meaning change the color of fibers, you dark, dark person!
I’ve been dyeing wool for several years, and more recently have tried my hand at dyeing silk. They’re both protein fibers, so you can use the same acid dyes on both (insert here all the stuff I didn’t learn in chemistry class in high school but know understand). I really love using the Greener Shades dyes, which are both safe (heavy-metal free) and intensely beautiful. I’m quite comfortable working with them know so I can improvise pretty well on-the-fly. (I know, things that stain mixed with flame don’t sound like a good match with my randomness, but trust me – it works!)
I’ve been thinking about getting a floor loom for a while (I’d been using a few rigid heddle looms, and my mom taught me on her Schacht floor loom), but when I was visiting weavers in Ireland, I finally crossed the line and decided it was time to get one. Also I had done a massive clean-up job in my basement and finally had room for one! I did my research toward the end of my trip (on the Spinners’, Weavers’, and Knitters’ Housecleaning pages, amongst other places) and communicated with a weaver who was retiring and was within a reasonable driving range from my home.
So, a few days after I returned from Boston, a friend of mine who has a pickup truck (tip: a key piece of equipment for transporting a floor loom!) drove me to upstate New York to retrieve the loom. We got plenty of practice tying knots and arranging tarps in the borderline-harrowing drive home, but the loom arrived in one piece and is now living in my basement, below a ceiling festooned with Christmas lights!