Tools Day: Narrow Shelf

It’s not easy to keep a table top cleared off. Little things accumulate that intrude on the work space. The wonderful maple work table Steve made for my weaving room a couple years ago provides a needed surface for multiple uses. I do my project planning here; and I weigh out my yarns here; and I wind quills here. It’s time to create a space for the little things, to get them off the table. Steve to the rescue! He built a narrow shelf to go on the wall behind the work table. Pencils, snips, pins and needles, quills with a little bit of thread, and the like. Pegs below the shelf give me a convenient place to hang a few essentials–small scissors, Gingher thread clippers on a cord, a few choke ties, tape measure, and my Väv Calendar.

Hand-crafted maple shelf compliments the maple work table below.
Hand-crafted maple shelf compliments the maple work table below. Frequently used items are within arm’s reach.
Hand-crafted maple shelf above weaving work table.
Re-purposed vessels make colorful holders for small items.

Now, I am ready for anything!

May your creative space work in your favor.

All the best,

Tools Day: Loom Cart

Having a cart beside my loom is the next best thing to a loom-side assistant! A turquoise utility cart from IKEA sits beside my Glimåkra Ideal. An Elfa drawer system on casters is right beside the Glimåkra Standard, and keeps oft-used tools within arm’s reach.

The IKEA cart (Råskog Utility Cart) serves as a holding space for any project on the Ideal. Since this loom is not in the room where I keep my weaving supplies, it helps to have a rolling cart that holds items as needed. The three tiers hold tools and supplies for dressing the loom, like sley hook, extra Texsolv heddles, and treadle cords. While weaving, I keep extra shuttles and small tools on the top tier. All the weft thread or yarn for the project goes on the second or third tier. When I weave rag rugs, fabric strips that are sorted by design and/or color are piled up on the three tiers.

IKEA utility cart as loom-side assistant.
IKEA utility cart holds thread and wound quills while I try out weft colors on a new warp.

The Elfa cart enhances efficiency at the big loom. It houses frequently-used essentials, especially small tools and supplies needed to dress the loom. It is near my work table where I wind quills, so yarn for the current project goes in the deep bottom drawer. The woodblock top adds a nice touch that compliments the wood of my Swedish loom.

Elfa drawer system with casters for loom-side assistant.
Too many leftover quills from projects sit in the top drawer of the loom cart. Sley hooks, flat head pins, headlamp, pencils, tape, and other small tools and gadgets are in this top drawer.
Elfa drawer system as loom cart. Organized!
Second drawer has anchor pins and arrow pegs for Texsolv cord, box of choke ties, box of long treadle cords, box of short treadle cords. I found the little boxes at IKEA.
Loom room organization. Guide strings wrapped on empty tubes.
Guide strings for measuring warp are wrapped on empty thread tubes. This drawer also holds rolls of twill ribbon used for measuring weaving length at the loom.
Organization at the loom. Elfa cart solution.
Yarn in the bottom drawer is only a half step away from the winding station. All the cotton and wool weft for the current project is in this drawer, making it easy to grab what I need for winding more quills.

May your loom-side assistant serve you well.

Happy Weaving,

Tools Day: Thumb Guard

Have you ever drawn blood while winding a bobbin or quill? I have. First you feel the heat, and then, ouch! …the thread makes a little slice. Linen can do that. And wool can give you a little burn. True, my electric bobbin winder is fast, but I have experienced similar ouchies with my good ol’ Swedish hand-turned bobbin winder, too. That’s why I keep a woodcarver’s leather thumb guard at my bobbin winder station. I use it every time. For linen, wool, cotton, everything.

Leather thumb guard prevents cuts while winding linen quills.
Winding linen with the electric bobbin winder. Leather woodcarvers thumb guard keeps my thumb safe and sound, yet allows maximum mobility.

I first tried a leather golfing glove and found it too bulky; and then I tried a leather quilter’s thumb, but it was too thin and soon wore out. When Steve saw my predicament, he ordered some small leather thumb guards for me–the kind that woodcarvers use. Perfect! Convenient, sturdy, and no more ouchies. (We get the thumb guards HERE. You can also find them on I have no affiliate links.)

Woodcarvers leather thumb guard for winding linen quills.
Thumb guard is so comfortable that sometimes I forget to remove it; I’ll find it on my thumb later when I’m at the loom weaving.

May you keep your hands in good working order.

Happy Weaving,

Tools Day: Electric Bobbin Winder

Every time I use my bobbin winder I am reminded of how fortunate I am. It’s electric. No one has an electric bobbin winder quite like mine, because no one else has my Steve to invent things like he does. He watched me using my nifty hand-turn Swedish bobbin winder many times. Steve decided he could make something better. A motor and an on-off light switch, with a variable-speed foot pedal. It’s perfect! I love it. But mostly, I love Steve.

Home built electric bobbin winder. Works like a charm.
Electric bobbin winder holds any length of quill. The quill fits tightly onto a tapered dowel that extends from the bobbin winder.

The leather quilting thimble keeps me from burning or cutting my thumb as the thread speeds by while I guide it onto the fast spinning quill on the bobbin winder.

I am on my very last tube of this shade of light blue. Will there be enough on this quill to finish the last blue section of the last of four towels in this color scheme, plus enough for the light blue hem?? Somehow, I think a tightly- and perfectly-shaped quill will be able to weave just a little bit further… (You can see the beginning of this set of four towels HERE.)

Just enough light blue to finish the hem!
Small amount of light blue left on the quill. Maybe I can use the remainder for a couple of small stripes on another towel.

Yes! Finished the hem with a little bit of light blue left to spare. This is a good day!

To request Steve’s parts and source list for the electric bobbin winder, click HERE to send me an email.

May you always have just enough of what you need.