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1  Re: rigid heddle loom-building one in Weaving: Discussion and Questions by quatzical on: January 01, 2008 09:09:30 PM
A rigid heddle loom is kinda like a frame loom with moveable end pieces and a rigid heddle for picking up every other warp thread so you don't have to pick them up by hand. It would probably be a little difficult to build a good rigid heddle (though I've seen it done with popsicle sticks) but you could easily make the frame part and use string heddles for the patterning.

Basically you need two end pieces...they can be round dowels or you could use a square beam...with screws sticking out the ends... and two side pieces with holes drilled through the ends for the screws to pass through and then be tightened with wing nuts/washer.

You wind the yet to be woven warp onto the "back" end piece and as you weave, the woven cloth gets wound onto the "front" end piece to give you more room to keep weaving.

Rigid heddle looms that you buy have a bit of extra shaping on the side pieces to give the rigid heddle a place to go "up" or "down" (not describing it well here, I'm sure it's described better other places) and mine has a raised thing with slits lengthwise on the end pieces to put the yarn through and tie it on but you could just tie it around, you'd just have to make sure to get even tension.

If you don't have the rigid heddle and don't want to make/buy one, you can use a dowel and string as simple string heddle type controls.
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2  tiny lampworked dogs in Glass Crafts: Completed Projects by quatzical on: December 18, 2007 02:49:57 AM
Have to share these because I'm super excited...my new boss (not an art-related job) happens to collect miniature animals which inspired me to do these little dogs. The black/tan/white one is a portrait of my friend's dog Mona...one of my favorite dogs ever.

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3  Re: Has anybody here every made their own wheel? in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by quatzical on: December 02, 2007 02:14:14 AM
Well if you want to copy the Ashford Kiwi, I think we still have the assembly instructions/manuals around somewhere and I can send you one if that would help you to see pieces and how they go together. I could even measure dimensions for you though I don't think I'll have time for that until January. But you could look at the basic design and make up your own dimensions. Google Sketch-up is a great free 3-D design program, very intuitive and easy to use (that's what I'm using for my wheel). The Kiwis are working great and other than the flyer and bobbins the pieces are all fairly simple to make. You could also buy a flyer/bobbins if you don't want to make them.

Here's a pic of a bunch of Kiwi parts pre-assembly:

And the happy herd:
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4  handspun art doll (nude so don't look if that offends you) in Spinning: Completed Projects by quatzical on: August 14, 2006 12:38:47 PM
Finally finished her Saturday for the Saturday evening group art show/house party...put her in the car and realized I'd forgotten to finish her feet so sat down at the exhibit with her and sewed her toes. Of course in the rush, I gave her two left feet (did the right first and when I finished, realized her legs were crossed and I'd given her a left foot on the right). Oh well, it sort of fit in with the show's theme "What's Left: The Art of Legacy." Anyhow, here she is: handspun alpaca (I started spinning it during the Tour de Fleece and got so busy with this and other pieces that I never posted again, oops), stuffed with alpaca and romney (what a waste), with needle felted shaping/facial features, lampworked eyes and my hair (cut it off last week for this piece). Don't worry, the armpit and "other" hair is romney wool, not mine.

For more info, or pics of my other (glass) pieces--including one with silkworms, check out my blog http://quatzical.blogspot.com/2006/08/whats-left-art-of-legacy.html
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5  Re: raising silkworms and spinning suri fleece in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by quatzical on: August 04, 2006 11:24:12 PM
So a little update on my worms...they're doing great, most have spun themselves into cocoons. Here's some pics of them in their fifth instar (eating machine) state just prior to spinning, spinning pics and spinning on my glass piece for an art show next week...just in time, although they're not going to hatch out of their cocoons until after the show.

For more pics, check out my blog: http://www.quatzical.blogspot.com
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6  Re: Le Spin de Tour - spinning adventures here in Spinning: Completed Projects by quatzical on: July 05, 2006 11:26:25 PM
I'm on an alpaca kick right now, have different fleeces going on both of my flyer wheels and on my charkha. Today was panic day because it was the World Cup semifinals. Great game, but only 4 more days until my circular shawl has to be done. So today's spinning was fine alpaca singles on the charkha. Took much more time than I'd planned and then kept catching and breaking or entangling as I tried to skein it off the spindle. I decided to be good and set the twist, but here it is pre-set:
(not super exciting, I'll do something more colorful later this week)

btw, chipper, LOVE the fireworks yarn.
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7  raising silkworms and spinning suri fleece in Spinning: Discussion and Questions by quatzical on: July 01, 2006 01:34:44 PM
Ok, two separate questions but suri is silky, no? Anyhow, the silkworm question is that I'm raising them, my babies are 5 days old and super cute, but I'm wondering if anyone who has raised them before has any advice...exactly how helpless are the buggers? I've been home a lot this week and seem to be spending all my time transfering them from old leaves to fresh leaves...they do travel a bit, but not all of them move to the new leaves within what I think is a reasonable amount of time. Also, best way to transfer? Their baby silk makes moving them hard.

Oh and the suri question is whether anyone has spun it, how they prepared the fleece (spun from locks, carded, combed?) and what they thought. I might buy a 10 lb fleece, but I've never spun it before, so wanted to check on people's opinions before getting that much.

(baby pics)
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8  plastic pants in Weaving: Completed Projects by quatzical on: March 20, 2006 10:12:26 AM
finally finished! I participated in a group art show this weekend and my project was a knitted lace tank top made with plastic shopping bags and woven twill pants made from black garbage bags. I spun the plastic strips for the warp and they behaved beautifully. As weft, I used the plastic strips unspun. The only problem was that my mannequin's hips were smaller than mine and her pants became lower and lower riders so I added a little extra detail the day of the show.

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9  Re: Fiber Friday! :) in Spinning: Completed Projects by quatzical on: November 11, 2005 12:40:14 PM
My first yarn post, and it's Friday! I did these two this week. Love the merino-tencel...

(wool blend)

handpainted merino/tencel plied with black alpaca/merino/tussah
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