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Thursday, September 15, 2011

RV Safari Visitor Jeff - and getting some looming done

Last night we had a fellow Safari-ite Jeff from Illinois stop on by ... he is "trekking" up north to the U.P. and stopped by for a visit.  I say "trekking" because the model he owns is called a Safari Trek.   It's the same year as our vintage rig.   The guys found a lot to explore and share and show about their motorhomes and their upgrades and modifications.

It's an unusual model compared to most motorhomes, because there is a living area, kitchen and bathroom in it, but NO bedroom.  Wonder why?  It's because the bed is on a suspended platform that is lowered for sleeping, and then raised up during the day and becomes part of the ceiling!

It's a sensible use of space.  This way the rig can be shorter and more maneuverable, about 28 feet, but still have all the amenities of a full-sized rig.  It has all the same features and fixtures and cabinetry and quality and style in the Treks just like the Serengeti, minus a bedroom.  

The bed raises and lowers electrically, and it makes sense to double up the livingroom into a bedroom space.   Steve wanted one when we were first looking at motorhomes, but we ended up with the full-size Safari instead. 

Jeff wanted to check out the roof coating job we did on our rig, as his is getting due to have a coat of elastomeric paint put on his filon (fiberglass composite) roof.   Steveio hauled out his handy-dandy telescoping ladder to do the job.  I think Steve just likes clicking it up and down for the fun of it, and likes any excuse to take it out to play with it.   LOL   Jeff also checked out our solar placement for the panels that we did on our roof.   YAY for solar... free power!

Jeff brought along his companion, a darling 3 year old lab named Maggie.   (When she has is naughty, Jeff said it's "Margaret")  She shared her ball with Duke and Ducky, but kept a close eye on the guys and what they were doing to the motorhomes.    In the pic below, Steve was checking out how Jeff's air bags are on his rig and the shock setup too.  I think Maggie was waiting to dive in for a lick or two before he got back up on his feet. 

Jeff's door was not closing right and had air leaks and it made noise, so Mr. Locksmith to the rescue and he had it figured out how to make it close tighter.  A few twists, turns, drilling and pounding... and soon it was fixed!   (he had done ours a while back and finally remembered how to correct it)

The guys discussed adding more solar, adding to his battery bank and all the fun stuff we could do to our rigs to make them even more comfortable to use.  

Jeff headed out to stay overnight at the new little rustic City Park Campground along the lakeshore of the waters of Green Bay.  I offered to let him park in our driveway overnight.  But I am sure Maggie is enjoying the beach this morning, even if it is frosty cold out there.   Our thermometer read 35 degrees this morning!!!  ACK!   The TV weather reporters said they had record-breaking snowflakes up in Rhinelander, not too far from us.   This is wayyy to early for snow in September in Wisconsin.   BRRRRRRRR

Maybe Jeff will stop by again on his way home next weekend.  Hope so, because we enjoyed having him visit.  Any of our RV friends or blog readers who come into the area are more than welcome to stop on by!   Drop us a note and let us know when, and our driveway is always open!!!

I have some weaving stuff going on here in the loom room this week.  Now that the weather is cooler, I feel like getting more stuff done.   

I finished warping up the table loom, and added supplementary warp threads of a variegated cotton to make stripes in the towels.  It has colors of terracotta, blue and green and remind me of the Southwest last winter.   So I might call them my Southwest Towels?   

The Dean's sherbet container is weighted down with small rocks, and the rest of the colored supplementary strings.  During the weaving process, each time I advance the woven towel on the loom, I just pop off the lid, pull out more, and snap the lid back on.   There is enough of the cream base warp on the back beam of this table loom for about 40 towels.  By having the supplementary colored warp separate, I can change the colors of the stripes for every few towels if I wish.  Saves my getting bored weaving 40 towels all the same colors.  

Here is a towel started up with the edge.  The woven product is still "grey goods" meaning it is freshly woven but not yet washed.  So it looks loose and meshlike.  Once it's washed, because it's cotton, it will firm up, fluff, up and become a lovely towel!   That is why I have to weave them at 24 inches wide and 36 inches long.  Once they are washed, their finished size will be closer to 20 inches wide and 28 inches long.

I will do a birdseye twill border with the same variegated yarns and some cross stripes every three inches too.  Here is my graphic of my pattern I made up.  It's one of my favorite patterns I designed myself. 

Here are some of the towels finished up, using green for the supplimentary warp colors.

One of my big rug looms also needed new warp (strings).... I buy very strong cotton/poly warp from Great Northern Weaving in Kalamazoo, MI.   The shipping is the tough part because the small box of 24 cones of warp come to about 12 pounds.   This time I am using a variegated warp with some soft beige, tan, sage green and cream.   

The process to wind a warp on a loom is rather tricky.  All of the cones set on a rack and all 24 threads are wound on evenly and perfectly with tension into each section.  I am winding up 15 different 2" sections across the back of the loom, which will be wide enough to weave a 30inch wide rug.   I am winding on 70 turns of appr. 1/2 yard each turn.   Of course as the string builds up in the section, it's winding more than a 1/2 yard around.   I figure this is about 40-50 yards of warp thread.  That will let me weave off about 30 one yard long rugs or a few longer runners and then less matching shorter rugs.  

I enjoy doing this, but some weavers find the process tedious and frustrating.  (that is why I sell a DVD to teach people how to do it)   A nicely wound even warp is a thing of satisfaction to me. 

The blue tape you see is only temporary. I use it to hold the ends into place and keep the strings in order until I thread them all through the loom.  Crisscrossing can be a disaster, so the tape holds them until I get them threaded through the harnesses and reed.  

In this case, all I have to do is tie each string end onto the old threads still hanging down that are still threaded through the harnesses and reed.  Then once they are all tied on, I only have to pull them through and the loom is threaded up again!  Easy peasy!

I am packing up a finished rug to ship out today.   I told the customer that there are two other coordinating rugs that match it.  It's a one of a kind fabric that I won't have any more of.  So it's either buy them now or never have the chance to buy at a later date.  She said she will get the first one, and then consider buying the matching ones if she likes the first one enough.  This is the fourth customer this summer who has gone on to buy the additional rugs that match their first choice.  I think I will try to weave all my rugs in groups of 3 or 4 that coordinate from now on.  It seems to work out good that way!

So that is about it for things going on in my Loom Room today.....


  1. A 40 dish towel warp on a table loom! Wow. I never would have thought that. Your towels are beautiful!

  2. There really is nothing like a well made, hand made woven piece. I think weaving in groups is a very good approach. Nothing like the satisfaction of getting a reorder from a happy customer!

    I remember those early cold snaps. I hope you have a long and wonderful Indian summer. My favorite time of the year in Wisconsin!

  3. You make all that warping sound like a nice little walk in the park. :) I do like how you tie the old warp onto the new, in order to have it automatically threaded! I'll have to try that out, too, but if I only had more looms.......one for towels, another for rugs, etc.....AND the space to put them in! ;)
    Thank you very much for the "adding warp threads" tutorial, too! It seems so easy.......the test will be when I attempt it. ;)
    Thanks for another interesting post!

  4. Forgot to mention that we, too, had a cold morning.....38 degrees down here in Madison!

  5. Wow your weaving is gorgeous...
    Have fun

  6. I love your towels!! Unfortunately I can NOT take up another hobby, LOL!

    As for the Trek, we looked at those a few years back plus my Aunt has one but I'm not so sure I'd like to make the bed everyday! I do like the murals on the back end.

    I'm going to ignore the SNOW comment, LOL! Yes it's much too early.
    Cheers! ~M

  7. Nice motor homes. Boys and their toys----.
    Those towels are beautiful. Very interesting how you put the supplymentary string in the sherbert container. That is so smart. Being able to change the accent color on a warp. I have learned something. Isn't it fun to learn a new way to do something and also a time saver. Thanks for sharing that.

  8. Enjoyed my trip to the U.P. of Michigan and especially meeting you and Steve(or was it Dave? lol)! Thanks to him my door closes properly now and is one thing of the "to do" list! I know Maggie enjoyed her visit as well because when we started down the road when leaving she whimpered a bit and gave a little doggie cry while looking out the window...I hope to enjoy a campfire with you two someday soon!


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