The Majacraft Blog The official blog of Majacraft

6Apr/164

Weaving Circular!

Growth, it's all about movement, change, and outward expansion. This is what excites me about circular weaving! In my mind, it is an embodiment of these ideas, starting at the centre and working outwards, expanding into the space around it and changing it in a positive way, adding more all the time. When I start a circular weaving it is all about possibility, I have made the warp, or the framework for growth, and then begin to experiment with how to use that framework, using colours, textures, fibers both spun and unspun. When we designed our first circular loom for the Fiberygoodness spinning course (Journey to the Golden Fleece) it was not obvious that this was going to be 'something', although there were already a number of people who had been following my own early experiments with this kind of weaving and it seemed there might be a few people would also enjoy this quite retro '70s idea. I started out with a large gear off a very old Louet drum carder (the teeth were broken). It was the right shape, and the teeth ideal for allowing me to warp it and still be able to lift the weaving off the loom when finished without cutting. Up to this time I had only seem looms that required the warp to be cut off and tied, or that used the loom as a final frame in the work, I wanted something we could reuse and to also remove the need to mess about tying knots (not my forte!) This was my very first circle weaving.     I made some sketches of ideas for the design, we decided that it should have 'cut outs' to make it easier to weave into, as the gear I had been using was just flat. You can see I had a few ideas! Some of them turned out to be not very practical in terms of making them, but we finally chose the one you see bottom left, as the unique shape for the Golden Fleece class. A little later Andrew added another design to become the 'standard' Majacraft loom that would be available to people not in the course too, it proved very popular! Our first prototype was closer to the original gear, and while it worked really well and I loved using it, the material it was made of was too heavy, making it slightly harder to handle and also less portable, and this was another goal, to make something people could put in their bag and take with them, much like knitting! This was the first prototype: After a bit of experimenting and discussion we settled upon using wood for the loom, it is strong and light, it feels nice to use and handle, and the colour of the wood compliments any colour, making it pleasing to use. We came up with these two looms and then added the smallest loom: There was so much interest in weaving circles on these looms that we set up a Facebook page for people to share their ideas, techniques and tips, and where we could post things we could offer such as the 'Warp Speed' warping  methods and the 'make your own' Template. You can find the group HERE and are very welcome to join in! It has been exciting to see the growth (yes we are back..ahem.. full circle again.) of this group and see the huge variety of projects people are using circle looms for! If you are starting to feel a little inspired to try your hand at circle weaving, you might enjoy the following videos, a 'basic' circle warp, an alternate warp for making earrings, and some ideas for creating textures in your weaving. I hope you enjoy them! Happy Weaving everyone Suzy x

21Jul/1517

Something is Changing at Majacraft!

Welcome to the first of my (Suzy's) Majacraft blogposts! This is my introduction,  coming to you from the WoolWench – Suzy Brown studio in Napier New Zealand. Today I would like to share a bit of background about why I am writing this blogpost, as the newest member of the Majacraft team.

Here is me:

I’m a spinner who loves to spin any kind of yarn, fine and lacey, to big bold and bouncy arty yarns. My website has a gallery of my spinning if you are interested in seeing what I love to do.(www.woolwench.com). Most people who know my spinning also know I have my ‘One Wheel’ which is the fantastic Aura that Majacraft customised for me a few years ago and which is my dream wheel. Since then I have been lucky enough to add a Little Gem to my stable, along with a Majacraft dynamic heddle loom, hand combs, hackle, blending board, drum carder… Shall we just say I am very particular and wont use anything non-Majacraft in my fiber crafts?

Last year, my business partner Arlene Thayer (Spin Artiste) and I launched our online fiber arts education website Fiberygoodness.com, and as a major component to our flagship course ‘Journey to the Golden Fleece’ I worked with Majacraft to develop the Circular loom, which has become a great success! Together we have grown a wonderful group page on Facebook where people share their circular creations and inspirations, and it has been exciting to see this product grow in use and application.

I also worked with (ok nagged) Majacraft on the development of the Overdrive Spinning Head for production and bulky yarn spinning, it was a thrill to share in the making and the launch of this fantastic accessory (here we are on You Tube) which has opened up many new possibilities in my spinning practice.

Now I have returned to my home in New Zealand after 12 years residence in the Netherlands. The opportunity to work more closely and on a more ‘official’ level with Majacraft as their brand new Enablement Manager came at the perfect time, and in tandem with my plans for expanding Fiberygoodness it is the ideal match! I feel blessed to be able to follow my dreams in this way.

In the near future I plan to bring you some fun projects right here on the blog: things to make with your Majacraft wheel or loom, and tool tips and tutorials for the big range of tools we produce. I will also be working to expand the Majacraft You Tube channel with more tool specific demo’s and projects! Let me know what you would most like to see in a Majacraft video and I will do my best to make it!  I will be posting regular customer newsletters so if you want to hear early about any fun activities coming up you should sign up RIGHT HERE!

I would like you to feel comfortable to contact me if you have any questions about Majacraft products such as ‘should I get the one pitch or the two pitch hackle?’ or ‘which carding cloth should I start with on my Fusion Engine?’. I would be happy to give you my take on these kinds of questions in the context of what you want to achieve. I hope my experience as a fibre artist and a user of Majacraft equipment can be of service to you in helping you make good choices if you need it.

I look forward to sharing some fun activities with you and getting to know you better!