Wednesday, March 14, 2012


3 years ago my mom gave me a loom for Christmas.  I had always wanted to learn to weave and the most experience I had was on a mini table top loom in a class I took ages ago.   I decided to research some local weaving classes to get a better idea of what type of loom would best fit me, before making the investment.  Along the way I found the Weavers Guild and took my first beginning weaving class.  After speaking with my instructor I found out that there was a donated 8 shaft Macomber loom for sale at the guild and the price was a fifth of what I would pay for a new one.  I snagged it right away and stuffed it into the living room of my 1 bedroom apartment.  I continued to take classes at the guild, including one of my favorites, with Lou French, called Terrific Towels.  It is in this class that I wove my first 8 shaft pattern in huck lace.  The one limitation on this pattern was that the selvedges are never perfectly neat.  Lou pointed out that a 10 shaft loom would have enabled me to end each selvedge in a ribbon of plain weave.  At show and tell, for the last class, I brought up my disappointement in the selvedges and how I really wished that I had a 10 shaft loom.  Lou laughed, looked me right in the eye and said.  “Oh, Kim, You are much to young to have shaft envy”.  And she was right.  Over the years I have been able to do so much on my loom.  I made curtains and towels and rugs and placemats and runners.  I could probably do so much more if given more time but...

it just so happened that another Macomber loom was donated to the guild. One with more than double my shafts, a wider weaving width, a proper bench and a real raddle (nothing like my pitiful hunk of wood with nails haphazardly clunked in.  I thought “how nice would that be?”  and then pushed it out of my mind for about a month.  Later I thought, “why not”  I have been wanting to weave more complex patterns, perhaps I have outgrown this 8 shaft loom of mine.  I decided to just take a look.  No harm in looking.  And then it happened I bought another loom and then dreaded moving it.  Unlike my previous loom, this beast of a loom had to be almost completely taken apart.  It won’t fit through a doorway without doing so and the monstrous bolts holding it together need to be literally hammered out with brute force.  You can imagine my distress.  So many parts seemed to be floating around, but after 2 hours it was in my house taking up space.  Busy travel and work has kept me from really getting to it.  So far Muffin has been enjoying the bench.  Last weekend the warp for my curtains went on and I am obsessing over putting some new heddles on.  The loom really does take up the entire room, so ideas are in works for better space usage.  It has barely moved in and I am already stressed about the day it will have to move out.  Perhaps it will just come with the condo. 

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