Now this is progress!

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.

A White Christmas... in Gallup.. and other abundance

SNOW! Remember when you were a kid and snow on Christmas was icing on the cake? Well, for those of use who grew up in the southwest US anyway, getting snow on Christmas is a rare and beautiful occasion. It DID snow last night on top of the couple inches from a few days ago. It is melting fast, but the snow was appreciated as it dusted the sparkly Christmas lights and covered the dirty streets.

I am in the NM town where I grew up for Christmas with my sister and her husband who are pictured here showing off my grandmother's mangle. My grandparents have recently moved to Connecticut and they left the mangle behind as apparently ironing things like sheets was no longer a priority. We're not sure what to do with the mangle, but it was kind of fun to play with.

I am excited and overwhelmed by the gift of weaving equipment, also from my grandparents. The looms are no longer used by either of my grandparents and they left them to me, the remaining weaver in the family (after Auntie who already has a Harrisville rug loom!). The loom collection includes a Leclerc upright tapestry loom, a Macomber with 10 harnesse (castle for 16), and a Harrisville rug loom. My grandparents only bought the best looms! Now I have the privelege of using them--and trying to shoehorn them into my house and still have room to live! But I'm crazy enough to give up the couch for a loom. I will NOT be taking the mangle with me.


Does anyone know of a weaver who needs a 40 inch Gilmore 8 harness jack loom? I have an extra one lying around. No, seriously, this was my first loom and I still love it. It is made of beautiful wood, handcrafted by a guy in California. I got to pick the loom up from his workshop (I was living in Reno, NV at the time) and see the loom coming out of his cavernous woodshop. At that time (about A.D. 2000) he was largely doing the whole thing on his own. It was quite impressive--lots of sawdust and HUGE saws. Anyway, my girlfriend at the time helped me haul this loom home in her Nissan XTerra (it barely fits assembled--take note if you're thinking you want this loom and need to move it)... and it became my companion for all those years. But the loom has been neglected for the last 4 years as I have been weaving tapestry (and my family will attest to beginning to tire of moving a loom that isn't being used). I don't expect to give up tapestry at this point, and the Gilmore needs a new home.

Some of you may know of my space limitations... I need to sell this loom mostly because I don't have room for it. In a few weeks I am going to inherit my grandparents looms. I can't tell you how excited I am about this. I feel like I'm getting new members of my family and I know that the two new looms I'm getting will be well used and will serve me extremely well. I am lucky to have a grandfather who bought only the best looms, and so I will be renting the second UHaul truck in a month to haul a Harrisville Rug Loom and a 16 harness Macomber to my new straw house on the mesa (I may need to rethink buying a couch however). May my grandparents weaving spirit bless my future creations on their beautiful looms. Thank you Grandpa for this amazing gift! I love you!