Now that I'm taking a splash in the weaving pool, folks ask me if I know of a second-hand table loom they could start with, or if I know someone interested in a floor loom. That's how I know my feet are wet (grin).
This is gonna sound a lot like my recent post Where can I find a used spinning wheel? Because, honestly, weavers tend to hang out around spinners and vice-versa. Especially on-line.
First things first ... I am not endorsing any particular seller or venue by listing these, just providing the information. Buyer beware, that is the best policy. Also, buying solely based on a photograph is taking a risk. Get out there and see it yourself, or if it's not by you, find a relative, friend, or associate who can see it in person before it's shipped to you.
If you don't weave yet, take an experienced weaver with you to check out the loom, too. Even if the seller can weave, this gives you a less biased opinion.
I know second-hand can be quite a bit less expensive than new, but consider also any manufacturer's or store's warranties may be a safety net you'd like to have. That's why it's cool that AVL USA provides warranties on their refurbished looms, too. Given those looms have electronics in them, that's very important to consider.
When purchasing a used loom, find out its brand/maker, age, harness, type (jack, countermarche, counterbalance, rigid heddle), how many heddles it has, how many and what dent reeds it has, what other accessories come with it, and if it has any manuals. Some old looms have manuals available from The Weaver's Friend. If the brand/maker isn't known, perhaps you can poll some friends on-line or in your local guild to look at pictures of it to see if they know.
I have not used all of these placed myself to sell or buy used equipment; I've visited them all, sold on some, bought on some. Most of my used sales have actually been in person, at shows, in my vendor booth. So that's another place to check for used equipment -- wool show vendors often have an item on the edge of a table that is second hand equipment for sale; and some conferences, like NwRSA's, have used equipment tables. Check with your local guild, someone may be considering selling a loom; and perhaps your local yarn shop has a bulletin board for used equipment sales.
Here is a list of handy links for used weaving equipment:
FiberArts.org's Classified ad page
Fiber Equipment and Barter's Looms for sale/wanted
Association of Northwest Weaver's Guilds Classified Ads
Vermont Weaver's Guild Looms and Equipment For Sale
Weaver's Guild of Boston Classifieds
Homestead Weaving Studio's For Sale/Wanted lists
Spinner's & Weaver's Housecleaning Pages - Loom
Apple Hollow Farm's Used Equipment Page
The Online Spinning & Weaving Guild Discussion pages
Ravelry's Weaver's Marketplace
Ravelry's Used Tools & Equipment Marketplace
AVL Looms' Factory Reconditioned Looms
Woodland Woolwork's Used Equipment Page
Portland Fiber Gallery's Used Equipment Page
Hawthorne Works' Refurbished Looms
Black Cat Weavery Weavers' Marketplace (central US)
Warped Weavers' Studio Estate and Equipment Sales
Check out your local Craig's List or use http://www.craigshelper.com/ to search all of the ones within 250 miles of you (handy, that!)
There's ebay too, though then you have bidding to deal with and commercial suppliers selling new equipment as well. Large looms listed on eBay usually require pick-up, so use the advanced search box there to find looms near you.
And, drum roll please, my big tip ... some of these pages have RSS feeds, but not all of them. Set yourself up with an account on ChangeDetection.com so you can monitor the non-RSS pages for updates.
Of course, this works the other way around too -- are you selling a used loom? these are options for listing it. Pick one local to you, or with the kind of exposure you want.
One thing to consider on selling the larger looms: when you list an item of considerable value, you may get emails from scammers. Be aware that if they ask you for your website, or a description of "the item", or your email, it's likely they are not for real. Talk to your buyer on the phone, if you can. Google them on-line, see if they are a weaver too. And, do not send money to "the freight company they choose" ... it's likely their own check will bounce, and you'll be out the freight money as well, because believe me, that check of yours will be cashed. Just be aware, and careful. I know it sounds scary, but it just takes a little watchfulness.
These websites can also be handy for researching the value of a loom, for buyers and sellers alike. Consider age, condition, and accessories. I've been told that when selling, offering a price point 30% less than new for a like-new-condition loom will usually be successful. If your loom is old, consider discounting from the price you paid for it or its price when it was new. Some looms gain in value due to their no longer being made, having a high-quality well-respected maker, and availability; others maintain value, and others, well, you know.
You might also check with the vendors that offer second-hand equipment; it's very likely they got them as trade-ins, so that's another avenue to pursue for selling your used equipment.
I am too new at weaving to have good suggestions for prices of looms. You can find bargains on Craig's List, and even "hen's teeth" -- I know I did, and paid the lady's local UPS store to pack and ship it to me, from Maine: a Baby Dobby for my Baby Wolf (woot!) ... but you know, I still haven't installed that sucker. It's on the floor in front of the loom, beckoning me ...
Anyway. For second-hand pricing, research the price of new; if you aren't in a hurry, research the price of a second-hand loom in places not near you, and then keep an eye open for something similar near you. You never know when you might find a treasure in your own neighborhood -- my first loom was purchased for $20 from a coffeeshop friend as I was chatting about wanting to learn to weave. It needed restoration, so it cost me a fair bit more than that to get to a working loom -- but wow, that was serendipitous, and still less expensive than new.
Where can I find a used spinning wheel?
Where can I find a sock machine?
The internet for the uninitiated fiber artist
... and more posts on weaving listed here.
Oh, and the looms in the photos? past looms of mine, all now enjoying new homes. Some were part of my loom lust fund, which has now been applied in payment toward my to-be-here-this-summer 24" 24H AVL WDL loom (yowza!) too new to be found second-hand, it's coming brand-spanking new to me.
Do you have a site you recommend for used weaving items? Let us know in the comments ~ thanks.
posted 9 May 2009 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/
Saturday, May 9, 2009
Friday, May 8, 2009
Dave asked me about Saxony-style wheels -- should the flyer be on the left side or the right side?
The upright castle wheels with the flyer in the middle cut the cake in the middle, as it were. And electric wheels remove the question entirely as there are no pedals to treadle.
All the Ashford Traditionals I've seen put the flyer on the left of the drive wheel. And, quite honestly, I never gave it much thought -- so when I got my Majacraft, I put the flyer on the left side, as shown here.
Then, after reading a Spin-of article about Watson Wheels, I decided a Martha Watson Wheel might just give my Majacraft a run for its money. I was in luck, as Mr. Watson Sr. lives a short distance north of me across the border, my girlfriend likes taking car rides over there (via ferry), and Mr. Waton had a Martha being picked up within a week -- so if I came right away, I could test drive one! Oh yeah! We went!
The Martha he had completed was lovely, in Walnut, with regular and jumbo flyers. It had the flyer on the left, just as I would have expected. So, I sat down to spin on it. My friend sat down to spin at the Marie, also a left-mounted-flyer, his Production Saxony wheel (wow! gorgeous!)
As we spun, Mr. Watson was quite a delight. He recognized quickly we knew what we were doing ... and then he said, "for you (meaning me), we should put the flyer on the other side".
What? Being the curious sort, I said, "Why?"
He responded, "see how you are twisting at the waist when you draft? with the flyer on the other side, you wouldn't. See how Kym isn't twisting, and she's drafting the other way? That's why the left-hand flyer works for her." (Or words to that effect -- I had neither camera nor voice recorder with me that day.)
Wow! A revelation! Perfect! Now, the funny thing is, I knew why I draft with my right hand in front, left behind -- two reasons: I started my spinning life with spindles, and the people and books I learned from did it that way; and very early in my spinning explorations, I pursued and learned traditional long draw -- with the fiber as traditionally held, in the left hand.
I just hadn't realized it impacted my wheel spinning that much. In fact, reflecting on the ride home, I realized I should have purchased the left-hand Drudik wheel (oh man are those lovely wheels) at conference those many years ago. Now they are $$$$ and Magnus Drudik is retired. Sigh.
But that's all right. I can purchase my Watson Martha with the flyer on the right (it'll be ready in June ... I bounce in my seat as I type that!)
And, when I got home, I switched my Majacraft to put the flyer on the right. You know, it is more comfortable. My hands are in front of me as I spin, and I'm not all twisted up in my seat. Thank you, Mr. Watson!
So Dave, and all you others considering a wheel -- how do you spin? If your left hand is in front drafting/right hand behind holding the fiber supply, then the traditional left hand flyer will work great for you. If your right hand is in front drafting/left hand is behind holding the fiber supply, then the less common right hand flyer is your more ergonomic wheel.
posted 8 May 2009 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/
Thursday, May 7, 2009
What fun! My last round of classes and workshops were a blast. And summer season is fast approaching.
I'm getting into shape for the summer workshops with a bunch of spinning and spindling classes at my local yarn store (in Sequim, WA), A Dropped Stitch:
* Thursdays in May: Learn to Spin on the Wheel, 3 sessions, 10:30-12:30, $40; contact A Dropped Stitch (360-683-1410) or me and we'll get started on the next Tuesday.
* Tuesdays in May: Spinning Two ($15 each or $40 all three), 10:30-12:30.
- May 12: Color Whorl: colors for striping, spirals, neutrals and more
- May 19: Plying Around: Navajo ply, cable, boucle, coil and more
- May 26: Spinning Sock Yarns: fiber, color and technique
* Saturday, May 16, 1:30-4:30 : Learn to Spin on the Spindle, $40 includes spindle, fiber and book.
May ends with a terrific guild demonstration and fiber show, the Shepherd's Festival. That is in MacLeay Hall (Sequim Prairie Grange) on MacLeay Road just west of Sequim. I demo and sell learn to spin kits only -- so if you want something from The Bellwether, do let me know ahead of time, and I will bring it.
In June, I have a bunch of fun classes at NwRSA's 2009 Conference in Tacoma at the University of Puget Sound:
- Productive Spindling, Friday AM, June 5
- Support Spindles, Friday PM
- Using the Batt Machine, Saturday AM, June 6
- The Nalbound Edge, Saturday PM.
And right after that, same location, at the Circular Sock Machine CSMSA 2009 Conference, I am teaching a nice variety of dyeing classes:
- Dyeing Sock Tubes, Tuesday AM, June 9
- Overdyeing Yarn, Tuesday PM
- Rainbow Dyeing, Wednesday AM for early risers!!!, June 10
- Shadow Dyeing, Wednesday PM
Whew! I'm sure there'll be plenty of opportunities for ad-hoc hands-on teaching in The Bellwether's booth at Black Sheep Gathering as well, to keep me in shape for July.
In July, the NwRSA Workshop Weekend is in Lacey, WA at Gwinwood Retreat Center, July 23-26 . My workshops there include:
- Exotic Fiber Spindling (1/2 day)
- Spinning Color for Socks (includes fiber for your socks!) (1/2 day)
- Plying like Crazy (on the wheel) (1/2 day)
- Drum Carding and Spinning (a full day affair!)
- Combs, Flickers, Handcards (1/2 day)
After all of that I'll be taking a vacation in August ;-) but stay tuned for the fall report, as I have classes in the works for Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival in September and,
drum roll please...
Taos Wool Show!!! In October (Can you tell I am excited about that one!): Productive Spindling (1/2 day Saturday) and Plying Around (1/2 day Sunday)
posted 7 May 2009 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
This last Saturday, the presentation at our guild was "The Internet For the Fiber Artist ... who doesn't spend much time on the internet". And the presenter was me!
Oh, how to summarize all that's out there and show people the possibilities, without overwhelming them? So, it was just the tip of the iceberg! But even the savvy among the audience said they learned something new, so here you go ... my notes on the topic, with links and all!
The Internet for Fiber Artists …
who don’t spend time on the internet
The Internet is useful for:
• Free instructions and patterns
• Free advice
You could also spend time:
• Tracking your own projects
• Tracking the work of other people
• Helping others
• Getting ideas
• Paypal: some guarantees there (those scam emails aren’t generated by Paypal, but by scammers)
• If you give a vendor your CC online, check for the PADLOCK!
• A photo is *not* worth a thousand words --- it can hide blemishes, VM, runny dyes; check return policies before purchasing
Buying New …
• Google (buyer beware on what Google finds!)
• Online catalogs of large merchants: Woodland Woolworks, The Woolery, Webs (yarn.com) … to name a few
• “Indie” dyers and spinners: their own websites, etsy.com, artfire.com, lov.li (and there are others)
• Look for websites in ads in your favorite magazine.
• E-Bay, Amazon
• Craigs list … search all Craigs Lists within 250 miles with www.craigshelper.com
• E-Bay (fiber,yarn,tools,books), Amazon(books,…)
• ANWG classifieds and many other second-hand sites done by guilds
• Spinner’s and Weaver’s Housecleaning pages: www.kbbspin.org
• See “Buying”. Often, if you can buy it there, you can sell it there.
• Good pictures and ability to provide a provenance are important in making a successful sale.
• Don’t sell it to someone who will send you a check for more than the payment price.
• Emails from Liberia, Australia, etc. without your email in the To: are suspect. Especially if they ask you to include your website in the response! (Note: these two are currently the most frequent "sources" for US targetted scammers, but note, just like the Paypal scam, these are *not* coming from their claimed location!)
More on Selling:
• Mail your stuff with delivery confirmation … possibly even signature confirmation.
• Be reasonable about the shipping, but don’t discount it. (Just postage; UPS packaging costs for big items; cost of the box? Not if it’s a found one.)
• Priority Mail vs. Parcel Post – time versus money. Most buyers are impatient!
An Aside: The Technology
• Most things you view through a browser (Internet Explorer, Netscape Navigator, Firefox, Camino, Opera…) or email (Inbox, Thunderbird, Eudora, …)
• Some require browser add-ins or features: Quicktime, Flash, Java, Cookies
• Some require additional software: Adobe Reader for PDF files, others …
• PCs be sure to use Virus software: Symantec, Norton, or MacAfee
Free Instructions and Patterns
• http://search.blogger.com/ : find others doing what you want to try
• http://knitty.com/ : tons of great knitting patterns and spinning articles
• http://ravelry.com/ : faster than searching blogger for online knitting patterns. Tons!
• http://spinoffmagazine.com/ : some articles from past issues
• http://crochetme.com/ : crochet!
• http://handweaving.net/ : tons of weaving drafts. Peter Collingwood’s Techniques of Rug Weaving is here in toto!
• http://www.interweave.com/weave/ some articles from past Handwoven Magazines
• http://weavolution.com/ : coming summer 2009
• http://weavezine.com/ : weaving projects and WeaveCast (podcast)
• See the above list – knitty, ravelry, spinoff, weavezine, and weavolution have forums where you can ask.
• See also http://craftster.org/ , http://www.knittersreview.com/ and if you are not on dial-up, fiber groups on http://livejournal.com/
• Groups on Yahoo – lots of email back and forth, others’ questions as well as yours.
• Note that you’re not paying anyone to answer you: and no-one pays your answerer for accuracy. Be kind!
Tracking Your Projects
• Ravelry’s great for knitters
• Weavolution looks to be handy for weavers
• Spinners – cobble together things on Ravelry
• Roll-your-own solution with flickr (upload photos and annotate) or blogger (write and add-in photos); or other photo repositories/blogging sites.
Tracking Others’ Projects
• Follow their blog: be kind, comment: ask a question, say what you like about it …
• Check out projects by others for the patterns on Ravelry (handy way to check out Knitty patterns)
• RSS feeds … blogs, flickr, ravelry, etsy … Google reader
• Podcasts – PC, Mac, or iPod
• See “Free Advice” … you can answer other peoples’ questions, too. You don’t need any credentials to answer a question.
• Think in pictures: Google Images. Browse Flickr.
• A picture palette generator: http://www.colorhunter.com/ (there are others)
• Knitter’s Graph Paper (Google it :-) there are many)
That’s the Internet!
Of course, many questions were asked along the way -- we filled almost 3 hours in the end, with lots of trips down internet pathways, using the library's WiFi connection and digital overhead projector.
Our local guild is full of talented Spinners and Weavers. One has even opened an etsy shop with her wares: Thistlehill Farm (on etsy). And you can see our Show And Tell from the meeting in my flickr set, NOSSG May 2009 Meeting; photos taken by my daughter, Natalie, who would be quick to point out that she and her mom also have an etsy shop, By Our Hands :-)
posted 6 May 2009 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/