I am very very proud of this photo (well, not of the photo, I'm not a great photographer especially when the camera is sitting on the top of a rickety ladder... but of what it represents.) This is a Harrisville Rug Loom... you know, if you're a loomy person--the loom Peter Collingwood designed (the weaving world will miss you Peter now that you're gone!). My grandfather used this very loom for about 15 years to weave rugs using the shaft switching device (which I painstakingly removed today--sorry grandpa). He and my grandmother recently moved to Connecticut for health reasons... And, drumroll please, I inherited the loom!
This loom is sweet. You have to understand that I've been weaving on a Rio Grande loom made basically of 2 x 4s for years (lots of swearing when the fell line wasn't even which was always and the pieces came out lopsided--amazing what you can fix with a steamer). This loom has the tension bar on the back that you can raise to the top and run the warp over. Then as you weave you lower the bar instead of turning the warp beam and your tension NEVER CHANGES (so they tell me, I don't believe it yet). And it is a countermarche loom. I've always wanted a countermarche loom... maybe just because they seem so exotic. I climbed under the loom to tie it up tonight and realized it really isn't as exotic as I thought. It is pretty straightforward... perhaps that is because I'm weaving tapestry and I only need two harnesses to go up and two down at a time--then switch. Surely I can make it do that!
Before I forget, the reason I'm proud of this photo is that the loom entered my house in a bazillion pieces. It has been laying in various corners for a few weeks now waiting for the Rio Grande to make an exit. I put all those bazillion pieces together by myself. The process entailed a lot of contortions, some heavy lifting (the beater weighs about 40 pounds--geez! I found out after hefting it over my head that the weights come OFF the bottom of the beater), and more than a little bit of swearing. But here is the part I'm really proud of--there were no trips to the ER, no 911 calls, no head injuries, and I did not end up crushing myself or my dog under the very heavy pieces of hardwood or hardware. The loom is now together, and believe me, it isn't going anywhere! Now I can hope for the miracle of a tapestry on the loom just as soon as I finish the dishes.