Tangled Skein | And so it begins…

I’d about given up hope of the loom arriving today when I saw the FedEx tracking had not updated since this morning and the location of the loom was “on van for delivery” since 2am, local. Usually, I get some kind of estimate as to the delivery time part-way through the day and none had been forthcoming. Then, the dreaded “Delivery date: Pending”.

For the record, FedEx used to be a pretty reliable delivery service in our area but, lately, the estimated delivery dates have been woefully off by one or more days in the past few years and the “Pending” note at the end of the day usually means, in the best case, “whoops, delivery tomorrow” and every once in a while, “Dammit, we lost track of your package”.

So, hangdog, I decided to see how many days needed to elapse before the seller would fix a missed delivery.

And the truck drove up.

I was joyous again! At least until I picked up the package and heard a major shifting sound, which never sounds good. I almost cried when I opened the box (melodramatic much, Michael?) and saw:

“warped” end

Interesting enough, absolutely nothing appeared damaged when I opened the box. I was sure I was going to find kindling rather than a loom. Instead, all of the parts seemed in awesome condition:

inside the crumpled box

Aside from a bit of cardboard that had been thrown from its place to protect a metal pin sticking out of one of the side panels, everything was in place and passed muster — I’ll mention, however, that the wood they used, New Zealand Silver Beech hardwood is fricking hard. I was glad for the predrilled pilot holes, as this stuff would have SUCKED to work with otherwise and I’m pretty certain you wouldn’t forget a good rap on the head if one was applied there. And yet, it’s pretty light (I’m used to hardwood being closer to oak, which weighs a ton in comparison).

Here are wood parts supplied:

from L to R: two shuttles, two warping sticks, cardboard warp spacers, right loom side, reed support blocks, warping post and block, left loom side, back rail, front rail, reed, two rollers

It also came with some hardware, plastic cogs and pawls, table clamps, a plastic threading hook (boo!) and some literature:

clockwise from “north”: first project (scarf) and manual, sandpaper for those rough spots, an Ashford catalog, Ashford-publication The Wheel, assembly instructions.

The assembly went pretty well, and would have gone more efficiently if I had actually read the instructions which (for once) were written in competent English and addressed several of the pitfalls I actually created for myself. I learned quite quickly that I could trust these instructions instead of basically ignoring them and looking at the pretty pictures to guess how to assemble the thing. So, anyone reading this — you can actually understand the assembly instructions from Ashford and they have helpful hints on how to put it all together.

Needless to say, I won’t be warping anything tonight. I turn back into a pumpkin in less than half an hour and I already lost a glass slipper.

Quick details and then I’m off to fight dragons in my dreams: this is a Ashford 24″ Rigid Heddle Loom that comes with a 7.5-dent heddle and (with additional purchase of about $12 US) direct warping on the underside.

G’night and let the adventuring begin.

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