Thursday, December 15, 2016

Stocking Stuffer Special

In need of some last minute gifts?  Look no further!  We have books (including Bonnie Inouye's Exploring Multishaft Design and Marian Stubenitsky's Weaving with Echo and Iris), shuttles, yardage counters and more!
Order by 12/23/16 and use the code 10OFFDEC to get 10% off any products listed here. As an added bonus, all purchases over $25 receive a free Little Weaver tote bag!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Flash Sale

Flash Sale on E-Lift Upgrades

Has treadling become too much?  Our E-Lift can help with that! This quiet device uses a high performance stepper motor and programmable driver to lift the harnesses.  It has two lifting modes, standard and double, and is easy to use. The E-Lift II fits many of our AVL dobby looms and is available in 110V or 220V (single phase).  

Be one of the first five E-Lift upgrades purchased between now and December 23, 2016, and receive 15% off using discount code ELIFT15 at checkout! Details on E-Lift upgrades are available in the listing here.

Friday, December 2, 2016

AVL Weaving School

Course Registration Open Now

January Course Offerings

Join instructor Jannie Taylor for the first of our 2017 course offerings Maximizing Your AVL and WeavePoint for Lace.  Offered onsite at our Chico, California headquarters, the emphasis of these and all of our classes is on collaborative learning and hands-on experience, in a relaxed, supportive atmosphere.  We hope you'll consider joining us!

Maximizing Your AVL--January 23-25, 2017

This workshop is designed for new AVL weavers or for weavers who want to better learn the systems on their AVL looms.  In this course, instructor Jannie Taylor will guide you through the design rationale for each system on the loom and will provide special training in its use and maintenance.  Emphasis will be given to sectional warping technique (with both Tension Box and Warping Wheel), flyshuttle weaving, and use of the Compu-Dobby®.

WeavePoint for Lace--January 26-27, 2017

Learn how to create your own lace weave drafts using WeavePoint! In this course, instructor Jannie Taylor will cover the skills necessary for designing in three of the loom controlled lace weaves: Huck Lace, Bronson Lace and Swedish Lace.  Tips and tricks on how to use many of the special tools found in WeavePoint (including the new tools in version 8) will be shared, to help make creating a weaving draft quick and easy.

To sign-up or to view the complete list of our 2017 class schedule, click here.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016 Winter Sale on A-Series and Pre-Owned Looms

Been thinking of purchasing a new AVL Loom?   Now is the time!  Take 15% off a new A-Series Loom from now until December 23, 2016.  

The A-Series Loom provides the ultimate definitive complex-pattern handweaving experience.  Utilizing computer-aided design, the A-Series with Compu-Dobby® is available with up to 40 harnesses, 30-72 inch (0.75 to 1.8m) weaving width, flying shuttle, multiple warp beams, rotary temples and auto advancing warp and cloth storage.  To learn more about these features that  make AVL special, visit this page. For more information and videos of the A-Series in action, click here.

A-Series not your style?  We have a variety of Pre-Owned AVL Looms also available.  

Why buy pre-owned direct from AVL?  Every reconditioned loom undergoes a thorough inspection, cleaning and testing.  We replace any component that does not meet specification and offer a one year warranty.

Take 20% off of our Pre-Owned AVL Looms using code WINTER2016 until December 23, 2016.  To see what we currently have in stock, click here.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

WeavePoint 8 and Compu-Dobby Upgrade Flash Sale

AVL Announces Release of WeavePoint 8

Exciting news—WeavePoint 8 is now available!  This major upgrade features a new Visual Floats display, improvements to the select option making it easier to use, and a Warp Color Order table.  

Buy the upgrade for only $117 here!

Don't yet own WeavePoint?  The full version complete with a loom driver is available for $376 here.

Here's a list of exciting new features:
  • Visual Floats - This new interactive dialogue in the Analyze menu uses color to highlight floats longer than selected length in the drawdown allowing a quick visual check of the fabric.
  • Extended Select Option – Two ways to select an area of any size in threading, treadling or liftplan grids!
    • Use the command Edit/Select to highlight a selection that extends outside the current screen view. You can then use the commands Copy, Modify, Crop, Expand, etc., on the selection.
    • The second way to make a selection that extends outside the current screen view is to first, make a selection. Then, press the Shift key on the keyboard and click the mouse outside or inside a selection to adjust it's size. You can scroll or pan without cancelling the selection. 
  • Warp Color Order - New interactive dialogue for creating or analyzing a warp color order/colorway. 
  • Translate and Overlay dialogues: There are several handy new buttons for easier grid use and manipulation. In addition, 5 new weaves have been added to the library including Huck, Huck Lace and Turned Bronson.
  • Printing Options  – A Printer Setup dialog will appear each time you print, allowing you to select how you would like to print (rather than having to setup your printer using the separate menu option, as in previous versions of WeavePoint).  
  • Toolbar Icons for New, Undo, Redo, and Edit Colors have been added for easy access to these frequently used features.
  • Multiply Shafts – This tool can help to save you time if you have a computer-assisted loom that works optimally when all shafts are being used. This is a new, automatic way to spread a draft over more shafts than necessary. This can help eliminate the necessity of moving heddles from one shaft to another and will provide for even loom wear. 
  • Insert Treadling – If you need to add a tabby into the treadling, you now can also add the tabby into the tie-up automatically by selecting "Insert tabby in tieup".  This will insert an odd/even tabby on two treadles.
  • Edit Colors – There is a new ability to copy the top line of the color palette. This is useful when creating Colorways.

Special thanks to Linda Davis, ├ůsa Martinsson, Janet Stollnitz, and Jannie Taylor for their assistance with suggestions and testing of the new version.

Compu-Dobby Upgrade Flash Sale

Have an older Compu-Dobby and are thinking of upgrading? Now is the time! Be one of the first five Compu-Dobby upgrades purchased between now and December 23, 2016, and receive 15% off using discount code CD15FLASH at checkout! 

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Arahne Releases New version of ArahPaint

ArahPaint  is a great free alternative to Photoshop CC for designing.  It’s a paint program designed specifically for textile professionals. Features and more information on ArahPaint can be found here. It’s available for Windows, Mac and Linux systems and can be downloaded for free here.

ArahPaint is also included with all editions of ArahWeave, a textile design software for dobby and jacquard weaving.  We have ArahWeave PE and ArahWeaveSuper PE available in our online store.  Want to try it out first? Click here for a demo version of ArahWeave.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Partners in Weaving—Barb MacIntyre and the Importance of Giving Back

I recently had the pleasure of connecting with Barb MacIntyre, a longtime AVL customer and friend.  Barb is a retired production weaver with a passion for making a difference.  Even though she’s retired from production work, Barb still enjoys weaving in her home studio on her Little Weaver and 60” Production Dobby Loom, which she has outfitted with a double beam, fly shuttle, and compu-dobby.  She also loves her AVL warping wheel.  She has found that her AVL equipment has allowed her to challenge herself to weave more complexly with her design, skills which are reflected in and assist with her new focus, paying it back.  Outside of her studio time, Barb has been teaching weaving to an unlikely group of people—residents at an assisted living facility in Poulsbo, Washington.   Her self-appointed challenge after getting her mother-in-law settled into the facility, was to get the seniors out of their rooms during the day and challenge themselves to interacting with each other and enjoying life other than breakfast, lunch & dinner. 
Back in 2010, Barb helped to identify an unknown piece of furniture an employee at Brookdale Montclair Poulsbo had found in the sprinkler room. Turns out it was an abandoned 4 shaft floor loom.  Barb cleaned the loom up, rethreaded it with the warp that was found on it, and set it up in Montclair’s Great Room.  Residents were invited to come-by and throw a couple of shots on the loom.  The rag rug that was woven now is displayed in the Great Room.  Sadly, the loom had to be re-homed, as it was too difficult for the residents to treadle.  Montclair and Barb struck a deal, providing Barb with a dedicated space within the facility to house the Kitsap Weaving School if Barb would provide looms & teach the residents how to weave at no charge.  Barb had been looking for a way to give-back in some way, and was pleased when this opportunity presented itself.

For the last seven years, Kitsap Weaving School has been teaching free classes for Montclair residents once a week for two hours and the room is open to residents twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.  Barb also teaches day workshop classes and private lessons to the general public. She has furnished the school with several 1970’s tabletop looms, many of which she’s picked up from yard sales and reconditioned over the years (as well as a few which were left over from her previous weaving school in Montana), and instructs attendees on all aspects of weaving. She utilizes her laptop and WeavePoint software as a teaching tool to allow students and residents to visually understand structure, complexities of color and how the overall look of a piece changes when changes are made.  She also utilizes WeavePoint to prepare drafts for the students so they can see what their project weave is going to look like to assist in their selection, as well as taking complex weaves and translating it down to four harness patterns. 

When it comes time to work on a piece, residents perform all steps of the process.  They select a draft from the options Barb has prepared, choose from the available yarns and are responsible for measuring, beaming, threading, weaving (including manually tracking the treadling), and wet finishing.

Barb encourages her students to push themselves, and enjoys seeing the many benefits weaving provides them.  As you know, weaving involves a lot of physical exertion as students have to stretch and raise their arms to warp, treadle, and operate the beater bar.  Over time, they often experience an increase in stamina and their range of motion.  Weaving is also a mental exercise, as students are responsible for math applications, and manually tracking threading and treadling as they progress, keeping their beat even and recognizing flaws (once they identify a flaw, they work backwards to fix the error).  Barb has also noted some important emotional benefits her students are experiencing from weaving—many students have shared with Barb that the class has helped to give them purpose again, as it provides an opportunity to leave their rooms and work on a meaningful project. 

One thing that struck me while listening to Barb describe teaching at the Kitsap Weaving School, is that as a teacher she’s really tuned-in to her students and meets them where they are at.  If someone has a hard time manipulating the loom to advance to the next pick, she’ll come over to assist.  If someone has a difficult time sitting/standing for a long time, she finds a way to modify the seating arrangements to make them comfortable, allowing for longer stretches of weaving.  In my experience, having a teacher who is attuned to their students’ needs and abilities, is key for an enjoyable learning experience.  I was also impressed with the level of involvement Barb elicited from her students. 

In talking with Barb, I found her passion surrounding this project to be both palpable and inspiring. She greatly enjoys giving back through her teaching at Kitsap Weaving School, and her commitment to making a difference is infectious.  Recently, in the banter of conversation among the residents, they indicated a desire to have more meaning in their lives.  Barb, after listening to their discussion, started asking herself what she could do to make that possible.  After much thought, a brilliant idea came to her.  What if the weavers could produce scarves that were of high quality, both in materials and skill, that could then be donated to the Kathleen Sutton Fund.  The scarves could then be auctioned off at the foundation’s annual event to raise funds to assist cancer victims with their transportation costs during their treatment visits.  What a win win scenerio!  The weavers loved the idea and six months later, they presented four beautiful scarves to the Kathleen Sutton Foundation to be auctioned off.

Barb encourages all weavers to look for ways to give back in their communities.  She’s found that the rewards of making a positive difference in someone’s life to be heartening.  If someone is interested in starting a program similar to what Barb has created, she suggests seeking out a facility who is amenable to the idea.  If you’re unable to find an independent/assisted living facility that is a good fit, she also recommends checking with Senior Centers as a secondary option (secondary only because 24/7 access might not be available and transportation may be a barrier for some interested seniors who would like to attend).  If you’ve not taught before, Barb suggests to keep it simple and have patience.  Having an interest in people is also beneficial.  If possible, having a teaching partner(s) would be ideal.  It can be difficult running the show solo—if you’d like to take time off, there’s no one to give instructions and solve problems.  If you do take this project on as a partnership, she suggests that you take steps to ensure you’re teaching consistently (decide together your approach to teach the different stages of weaving, then commit to teaching that way, even if it’s different from your own practice).

If anyone is interesting in supporting the program and their efforts to create more scarves for the auction this fall, Barb is seeking yarn donations.  For more information on how to send yarn donations, please email marketing [at] avlusa [dot] com, and we will connect you with Barb.  (If someone would prefer to support the nonprofit directly they can send their donation to Kathleen Sutton Fund, P.O. Box 727, Kingston, WA, 98346.  Please mention Kitsap Weaving School as you donate, so they know how you heard about them.)

Submitted by Ashley, Marketing Manager