I was chatting with a couple of girl friends over email about what size looms to buy. Since they both said that my rationale was helpful, I thought I’d post an excerpt here:
As for the 22″ vs. 25″ weaving width. I took a long hard look at the projects that I thought I was going to do. In the near future, I saw myself making mostly “simple” plain weave items, such as scarf/stoles. And because of my size, my ideal stole depth is around 20-22″.
I may want to have the occasional foray into lap blankets, place mats, table runners, or maybe even a small rug. But for lap blankets, 25″ width isn’t all that much anyway. You still have to seam. Or use a double weave to double the width of your loom. So, I didn’t see much of a difference between a 22″ and 25″.
I didn’t think I was going to go as far as making cloth for clothing (yet). I also remembered the kimono class that we took a couple of years ago. She said that the kimono were made in panels because the looms were 11-16″ wide (can’t remember, but it was small). And they were boxy because they maximized what they had without cutting. That created a whole new perspective for me. I started to think about all those sewing patterns. Each individual piece of the pattern is rarely wider 22″ — think about it, the bolt is usually 44″ wide, and you usually fold it in half to cut 2 of everything. Occasionally, you need to put something on the folded edge and create a wider piece. Most of the time, a seam at that location would not make a huge difference to the finished garment. Or, for those pieces, you can use the double weave technique again.
Again, I couldn’t see much of a difference between a 22″ and 25″ width loom.
So, there you have all of my justifications. The real ones are of course: (a) if I get a larger loom, I have to consider myself a “real weaver”, and (b) I don’t have the space for a larger loom, or any other loom, for that matter.
Huge news on this end. Today is my last day of employment. Yup. I quit. I’m going to take the rest of the year off, sail, play with fibers, travel, contemplate my navel. I’ll also spend some time to figure out what’s next for me. I still need to work, but I’m not sure that I want to continue to work in high tech.