We took the loom to Fiber Retreat at Jefferson City - people were very responsive and showed lots of interest. HOWEVER, using it that weekend and the following week we were able to come up with three or four ideas for improvement.
Now it's really working great! We added teeth on either end end to assist in keeping threads straight and tension even all the way across; did a cut down on the frame to increase the space available in the already huge shed area; and made the support legs easier to adjust.
I used Peaches and Cream Cotton to weave four placemats. Took me literally 15 minutes to warp and, although I didn't time the weaving, I would estimate it took less than two hours. (My life is always weave a little, stop and make supper, weave a little more, take the dogs for a quick walk, more weaving, check email and facebook and finally back to the loom.) But I easily finished all four placemats in one evening with tons of interruptions.
And they are gorgeous! Think I'll whip out some matching coasters (or mug rugs) and give them to my sister. (They match her new dinette set).
One thing I wasn't prepared for, but was very excited about: weaving with my standard rigid heddle makes my shoulders hurt after much time spent weaving. Raising and lowering the heddle creates tension and after a while I have to stop and relax. Because you don't have to lift the heddle on our new loom - just slide and turn - there was absolutely no shoulder fatigue!!!
I can't wait to warp my next project!