Tuesday, March 15, 2011

At Long Last the Loom is Loomable!!

Yup, loomable.  I made it up all by myself!  And it's true!  My loom is finally up and running!  I can't even begin to tell you how exciting it is to be playing with this new tool.  As you have probably gathered from reading previous posts, I really love working with fibers.  Knitting, sewing, spinning, I just love it!  I've done some handweaving in the past and have also enjoyed that.  Like everything I make, I don't keep much of it for myself, but here's one piece I did keep because I loved it so much:

This was woven on a frame loom with copper wire, stained glass, and fishing line.

I think this was the last weaving I did actually.  Which means I haven't woven in about eight years.  That's a long time.  It's funny how that doesn't surprise me, nor does it bother me.  When I look back at the last eight years they've been full of experimentation and delicious experiences that have all led to where I am now and what I'm doing.  I mean, eight years ago I was teaching and working on finishing my masters and starting my doctoral work!    Weaving, and crafting in general, wasn't even remotely in the kitchen, much less on the back burner.  I am so grateful to have the opportunity to be here, now.

Whew, ok, enough rambling along the shores of the memory sea (memory lane is so small and limited you know, memory sea seems to be more vast)...

About four years ago, I found a floor loom on Craig's List.  It was one of those ridiculous moments where you say to yourself, "Self, we have not the money for such a thing."  And then your other self pops up and says, "Yeah, but when else are you going to find a loom for 125 bucks?"  And then you call your husband and say, "Dear husband, I've found this wonderful fantastic loom for very cheap.  We shouldn't really do this right now, but what do you think?"

As you might guess, dear husband was all for it (I just made him sound much more enthusiastic than I think he actually was.  I think he probably said something to the effect of "Well, if you think it's a good idea...")  Needless to say, that was all I needed to hear and I was off for a 40 minute drive to pick it up.  It didn't fit in my car and so the fabulous people I was buying it from brought it home for me in their pickup truck.  With gas I think I paid about 150 dollars.  Crazy.

What's crazier is that she has been in our basement ever since because I have no idea how to use her!  So this past weekend, Patrick came over and helped me dismantle her and move her to our attic room which is where I sew etc.   Here she is in her new home:

Patrick had nice things to say and we dusted her off and got her in basic working order.

There was already a warp so we left that on so that I could play with the weaving for a while.  I have to buy some supplies and then he'll come back to teach me how to warp it and get a real project started.

Here's the heddles.  They are a little uneven yet but we will be replacing the ties and getting them more balanced next time.

This might be my favorite part. That wheel is a heavy cast iron thing and this is what holds the warp I haven't used yet on it.

And the treadles (because you tread on them) that lower the heddles to develop the pattern.

My homemade cardboard shuttle :)

And my first experiments with weaving.  It's easy, fun, and kind of intuitive once I started to play.  You can see where the original warper made some errors, but since this is just a sampler so to speak I could care less.  I've ordered a book of four harness loom patterns and can't wait to play with that a bit.  In the meantime, it's just fun and exciting to finally get to play with my new friend.

PS She needs a name!  Any ideas?


  1. She is beautiful!!

    I have a loom for exactly the same reason. We were in the midst of moving. My friend called and said her mom had a loom she needed to get rid of now cuz she had moved and didn't have room for it.

    I went over, quickly dropped the cash and put it in storage until we finished our relocation. It's now in our basement waiting to be assembled.

  2. I am suffering from loom envy. I love my little Cricket but want to make rugs...I need the time, the money and the space to house the beast.

    I love your wall hanging. Incorporating the stained glass is just gorgeous.

  3. Funny Wonder! I was envying your little Cricket!!

    Kathryn! Make it happen...so worth it!