An Old Loom

 

Constance Observes

Constance Observes

Today we are experiencing the third of three storms this week. Everything is wet and very windy outside.  Not surprisingly, the Quimper Hitty human has been a bit under the weather. However, with the help of the favourite photographer of the family, Constance and I have managed to get a very old collapsible four-harness countermarche loom fired up and ready to weave. 

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wooden cog

wooden cog

This is the loom that my grandfather had hand built by a Danish man in Minneapolis sometime during the 1930’s.  Luckily my mother kept the loom, and even had it warped-up by someone before she died.

beautiful

beautiful

  My mother wove the first ten inches or so using bamboo canes and scrap yarn, but then gave up. The loom has been being stored by a friend for some time, but I decided to see if I could get it going again.  

potential

potential

Several obstacles had to be overcome, including fixing the brake pedal, and installing a new brake line, before I even started to weave. After I got going I realised that one of the uprights holding the reed was cracked, and it broke during the middle of beating the first rag rug! Thankfully our favourite photographer dug into his woodpile and fashioned a new one just like that, I didn’t even have to take the warp off!  

Corduroy

Corduroy

I am using leftover weft rags from older projects, and treating this warp as an experimental one while I remember the process and mechanics of weaving on this particular loom…the first rug  is made of corduroy rags…

Kilts

Kilts

…the next one uses kilt scraps.

Human-sized kilt rug

Human-sized kilt rug

This is the loom I learned to weave on 40-ish years ago!  

Hitty-sized rug

Hitty-sized rug

Constance says rag rugs are the best! Cosy, quick to make and pretty! A good project for a stormy somewhat gloomy day!

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20 thoughts on “An Old Loom

    • I am glad it was possible to make it functional again…some deep muscle memory helped figure out the process…it was a wild storm but the wind has passed and it is just raining now.

  1. WOW! Such a sweet story. I bet your mother is smiling down on you (and your Hubby) in getting this treasure up and going again. I believe she is looking over the process as you weave and lending a helping hand.

    • My grandparents were more in my mind than my mother was when I was working,as they were the ones who taught me to weave – and I noticed a picture of my grandma smiling at me from the mantel-piece. My mother liked the idea of weaving but was very distractable – I am very glad she preserved the loom though, and had it warped so getting the broken bits sorted out was relatively easy!

  2. Going back to “loom roots” seems like soul searching…You know it’s there, waiting to surface again…how delightful when it pops up!!!! Reminds one of the good things in one’s life!!!! Bet the storm helped…and to think many a masterpiece will be created!!!!

    • The storm did help – there was not much incentive to go outside! The loom has many positive memories, and new ones are being made too! I could hardly believe it when my favourite guy almost instantly manufactured the broken piece, and fixed it for me, right in the middle of the weaving! What a gem!

  3. oh, so exciting, lucky you to have inherited a loom with so much family history. I have a big stockpile of cut rags just waiting for the right time/warp, love those tartan rags. Constance will be a great help. Hope you are feeling better.

    • I do feel lucky, and I feel positive about getting it back in working order. I do love rag rugs, though I haven’t quite managed to get the effect I wanted with these ones. I was thinking of this as the experimental warp, and hope to find the reed I want for the next project!

  4. Yes, very sweet story…so many memories…I trust that those sweet memories will soar your “lurge” away. So sorry you’re under the weather….great to have Constance around for cheer.

  5. such wonderful rugs…so happy that Constance and the favorite photographer were there to assist you. I love the chair that Constance is resting in. Hope this loom is full of good memories!

    • A neighbour gave us the wee chair, and we love it though it is the “wrong” scale for Hitty, they look so nice perched in it! Yes the loom is a lovely piece of history in my family…and responsible for many of the rugs I walked on in my childhood. Perhaps even responsible for my interest in manufacturing textiles, and for making “rags” live again!

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