Thursday, August 14, 2008

Its Like Winning the Lottery!

This will get your attention.... a loom! ( not painted walls and decorating....)

See this Louet Spring Loom? Well, one is coming to my house and my friend Lynnette's as well. It gets better though...

This is a prototype of the new Louet table loom called the 'Jane'. It's based on ideas submitted by Jane Stafford to Louet and they built her one. We're getting one of each of this loom too when they come out later this year.

How the heck did this happen? Pour a cup of tea and sit back....

My best friend Lynnette and her hubby Michael came to stay for a visit and we had an enjoyable week together touring around the area and seeing the sights. They landed at Victoria airport and drove the Malahat highway. During their time here we did Cowichan Bay, Cobble Hill, Duncan, and Shawnigan Lake. Lynnette had an itch to go to Salt Spring Island ( and who could blame her?) and visit fibre places there. We hopped on the ferry which is very nearby where I live and took the short trip across to Vesuvius Bay on the island. Jane's Studio is on the north part of the island and so we went there first. The lovely studio space is nestled in the trees and ferns and there isn't a weaver around who wouldn't give their right arm for a place like that. Totally dedicated to weaving and away from the usual family stuff and chores.

I once owned an older Louet Kombo table loom but I'm not overly familiar with their big floor looms. A friend has the 32 shaft Megado and runs it with a palm pilot and another friend has the same loom but with a compu-dobby. But I have no real experience weaving on them. Jane took us through all the looms there and explained all the differences and why the looms have a small footprint but give you huge sheds with easy weaving. We sat and tried them out and loved it.
This, and a space filled with books and brightly coloured yarns was like inhaling an intoxicant! Yep, we're definitely hooked on our 'habit' :) Here Jane is explaining the Megado's dobby system to us.

In this one Lynnette and Michael are being shown the Louet Spring parallel countermarche. It's amazingly small but has all the potential of my big framed, high castle loom. Jane explained the circular texsolv system that means every shaft, every lamm is perfectly positioned. There was *nothing* out of place and all lamms were straight and even. Both Lynnette and I like this sort of precision being neat freaks!

Here Jane is showing us a multi shaft huck lace in silk with amazing patterning! Done on the Megado I believe.

Jane demonstrated the simplicity of the new Jane table loom and both our husband's placed an order for one right away and we were *thrilled*. I added a stand for mine so it's at the right height for my back. We started to browse in the books and yarns and left the men asking more questions about the mechanical workings of the looms. When we walked back in they were tucking their credit cards back into wallets and holding receipts. They had just bought us each a 36" 12 shaft Louet Spring countermarche. Lynnette and I stepped into the next room and did a wild 'n crazy 'happy dance'.... then walked back in all dignified but with permanent grins on our faces. Here's Lynnette's!

And with the sale of 4 looms and one stand, here's Jane's!

I'm sure she did a happy dance too as drove away.... (there is a link to Jane's web page on the links section. She is an amazing teacher, good sense of humour and loves to travel.) That's ten bucks Jane ...

We had to do a group shot and my grateful thanks go to my hubby, Bruce for manning the camera that day. I was too jangled to man one myself! Yup, that's me in the green.... and I don't step in front of a camera all that much so don't hold your breath waiting for the next one anytime soon. :)

We had every intention of going to Treenway down on the southern part of the island but we were hungry and dined Mexican in Ganges. We had gelato from Harlan's after and sat in the park near the harbour. Lynnette snapped this one of my hubby dearest, Bruce and I.

We were strangely quiet afterwards as if we couldn't fathom what had just happened. Gobsmacked?? But then our brains started to tick over and we mentally started the sales ads to reduce our loom inventory !

{*If you want a list of what is for sale for both of us, email me!! my email address is on the right hand side bar*}

Anyhoo, we decided that we couldn't risk spending any more as were now 'broke' and so decided to visit Treenway another day. It's a good excuse to go back to what must be the most beautiful of the Canadian Gulf Islands.

The time went quickly while they were here. We laughed, chatted and had a super time. The last night before they went home, we dined at a local restaurant called 'The Grapevine on the Bay' and sat overlooking Maple Bay and ate wonderful food like: halibut with champagne sauce, Artic char, seafood pie and Cowichan chicken vol au vent... all washed down with an amazing Australian Stickleback red wine.

Earlier during the week we had visited Cowichan Bay which has a row of shops, restaurants and marine traffic at the harbour:

It's an active port for lumber shipments and deep draft ships come in as well as this ocean going tug heading out.

An active anchorage for boating and float homes. This one is a real cutie patootie:

This shot is really neat. We caught a glimpse of people relaxing on their boat while their Jack Russell terrier caught a few winks. A tough life! ( Actually my husband and I lived aboard a boat for 5 years so we know this lifestyle well. No room for looms though... )

There is a maritime museum there with all sorts of boats and motors and all things nautical. Even boats being actively restored and under cover. Inside was a display of ship models and we have a great interest of the vessels of the Royal Navy during the battles with Napoleon. Here's a frigate of the 'first rate' My memory is faulty here, but this may be the HMS Victory

Everyone has a passion for something art like in their life... for us, it's weaving!

Speaking of which, I must get to work as there is a project on every loom, all at the beginning of warps too and I must wind on one more and complete a weaving exchange before the looms go out the door!

At least my posts will now be weaving related now... lucky you!


Peg in South Carolina said...

You are within driving distance of Treenway!!!!!!! Oh my! That almost blanks out the wonderful new loom you now have......(grin!)

Susan said...

Hi Peg,
Yes... it's but a short ferry and car ride away. Is there something you need? :)

When can I expect you then?


Anonymous said...

What a fabulous treat! I love weaving on my Louet countermarche and I am sure you will too.

bspinner said...

I wish someone would have taken a couple of pictures of your "happy dance". Now that is a great vacation, good friends, wonderful sights, amazing yarn shops and new looms. Doesn't get any better.

Dorothy said...

WOW! What a story! What first rate husbands! I'm saving up for my next loom, 12 month plan. And I have just had to add the Louet "Jane" to my list of wants!

I don't know of anywhere in the UK that a retailer has looms set up for weavers to try out, so I am very impressed with "Jane's Studio".

I hope you have a happy time with the new looms.

Dorothy said...

WOW! What a story! What first rate husbands! I'm saving up for my next loom, 12 month plan. And I have just had to add the Louet "Jane" to my list of wants!

I don't know of anywhere in the UK that a retailer has looms set up for weavers to try out, so I am very impressed with "Jane's Studio".

I hope you have a happy time with the new looms.

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

I'm doing the happy dance for you too!!! Wow!!! Congrats on all of the new 'toys';)