Sunday, February 6, 2011

Cobbling Things Together

I have a confession to make. It seems I might have pushed things a bit and had a bit of a set back this past week. I suspect strongly that sitting on my weaving bench, even with a cushion, to do that one weaving repeat I showed you in my last post aggravated the nerve. My physiotherapist agrees. So I resumed my 'resting' and left the loom alone. Its so hard  NOT being able to weave...

So the hard edge of the wooden bench(s) is an issue, even with my elevating the rear legs to angle the bench. Its a problem now and I can see where it may contribute to future flare up's. So Hub and I did some talking about what might be a good fix.  I heard that Fireside looms makes an angled bench but its a bit spendy.  We went to our local Staples office supply store and looked at chairs, all kinds of chairs. At first we thought a  tall drafting chair would do as it can be raised to higher positions than normal chairs, but the edge of the seat was hard and not really rounded or soft.  Your normal office style chairs will only come up to 21 inches at full height and my bench at the Louet is at 22 1/2 inches. That small difference is actually a lot up top at the breast beam ! The Woolhouse Tools CM loom has an even higher bench at 27 inches, so being able to make adjustments is important.

So here's what we have come up with:

It's a regular style office chair but it has the added bonus of being able to adjust just about everything! You can move the back up and down, the entire back will shift to adjust the lumbar support, the seat will be flat or even tipped forward, the entire seat will drop or rise  and finally the arm rests can be moved up and down, moved in or out from the chair or even removed entirely.

 There is some good news and some bad news though...   The good? It was on SALE for $99.00 !!  The bad? it will only rise to 21 inches. So we want to see if the chair meets my basic needs which is to not cut into the back of my thighs and and be comfortable to weave with. If not, we can return it , no questions asked. 
If it works then there is a special extension base that can be bought separately that will increase the rise by either 8 inches in one model, 10 inches in another. With the part being a special order, it can't be returned. If this test of the chair works, then the 8 inch additional riser will do as the other loom will be covered too with 2 extra inches to spare.

So today I felt good enough to give it a try. The focus is the chair and seeing if it will work so...

I gathered up my usual bench cushions on the chair and sat and wove for a bit. Well, one repeat! I can't stop half way you know or I'll lose my place. My ample butt compressed things down a bit too far but there was no pressure on the thighs! The arms didn't get on the way and I actually needed them to hoist myself up on the cushions. I needed more height so I found one more pillow for the pile and tried that.

It looks ridiculous but it helps to boost me up the needed right height and hey, I wove a repeat or two more as well. It was right there in front of me after all.  So I think this will work out nicely and with the new special base I can use the chair at either loom. I'm going to order the part this coming week. So for someone who was only going to size up a chair and take 20 minutes, I wove up 21 inches and then called it a day. Don't tell my physiotherapist okay?!

So what else have I been doing? Not a whole lot to be truthful but I have kept my spinning wheel humming. I have a lot of singles to ply up. This is 70% merino with 30% silk in a pumpkin shade and no, I'm not sure what it will become (yet)

I'm one of those spinners who will buy another bobbin over plying.  I have quite simply run out of bobbins so plying will be ongoing for while!

I have also been using the time to catch up on annual paper work, reports and writing letters. I have family living in the flood zone in Queensland Australia and between water and cyclones they have been well tested. But  my great aunt is 94 and has survived fires and floods before, plus a world war so she's doing fine. I would like to thank reader Gay in Melbourne for your assistance to our family during what has been a difficult time for Australia.

If you have followed my blog for any length of time, then you'll know that this time last year we were in the middle of a full kitchen renovation. Well, it was much, much more than that but I won't force you to live through it again. I know I don't want to do it again! Hub, Bruce found a wonderful new area rug for our new dining room walnut hardwood floor. Its not the usual Asian style pattern and I love the colours. In fact, it looks like a tapestry! It was on clearance and came home with us that same day.

Here's another view!  Its made from 100% wool from New Zealand.

The light cream portions match the cream of the new kitchen cupboards. It was worth the wait to find it. Thanks Hun.


Anonymous said...

Glad the chair will work - I have seen others using office chairs as their loom bench - certainly more comfortable! Good to know one can get an extension.

barbara said...

Hi Susan,
Glad to hear that you have a "fix" for sitting at the loom. I had one of those chairs in my office for a number of years before retirement, and they are wonderful. I did not know you could get an extension, I did not need an extension for extra height. My desk was custom made to fit me!!!! I know sometimes the compression does go out of those chairs and you have have them re-compressed. Happy weaving, hopefully that will be the answer to your seating difficulties. Beautiful rug made of New Zealand wool .... idea for the weavers home. All the best.
Weaverly yours .... Barbara

P.S. I too have been watching the weather in "OZ", my former travel mate lives in Bundaberg, also friends in Brisbane. Everyone is fine, that I know. Also, a good friend in Christchurch, New Zealand

dorothylochmaben said...

Hi there - I am so glad the chair looks like a success, anything to get you weaving but please take it easy, break yourself in slowly.
I have this vision of you tied to the breast beam to stop it running away on the castors !!

Take your time I'm not ready for the runner WAL yet !!

Ngaire said...

I'm so happy to see you back at the loom....and so glad you found a workable solution to your problem. Can't wait to see the scarves completed.

deborah said...

Delighted that you have solved your seating problem.As a retired Occupational Therapist I can appreciate your assessment!!!!!Just go slow(or slower!) I find that it is the effect of using my arms as long unsupported levers as in throwing the shuttle, spinning and sleying which causes my back to really hurt. But like you I will not be beaten!!!! All the best

DebbieB said...

LOVE that rug!

bspinner said...

I am so happy you finally found a chair you can use to sit on while weaving. I've checked Staples website and so far haven't found one like yours. I'm going to keep looking and maybe go to their store on Friday.

Love your rug!

thousandflower said...

I have a Harrisville rocking bench for my loom and it is wonderful. It moves with me as I weave and it doesn't bite into the back of my legs. My other loom has a regular solid bench and I can't sit at it anywhere near as long comfortably as I can work with the rocking bench.