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The new (to me) loom

July 23, 2011

My friends, Jerry & Peggy (aka Kermit and Miss Piggy), gave me a four-shaft Leclerc loom last year.  It’s beautiful.  The wood is gorgeous.  Everything about it is wonderful.  Did I mention it’s big?  It is 53-inches wide and, at full extension, 38-inches deep.  My husband, Paul, and I turned our extra bedroom into the “Loom Room” so we’d have a place to put it and conceivably a place where I could escape to create beautiful, woven blankets, rugs, fabric, or whatever else my heart desired.  (I should probably mention here that the “Loom Room” also is lined with my yarn stash in clear plastic boxes on shelves around the room next to the ceiling and it’s where Paul’s closet is located.)

Dressed loom.

In early Summer 2010, master weaver Christie Dunning came to my home and made sure all the pieces and parts worked like they were supposed to.  When we started to “dress” the loom (put the warp yarn through the dents in the shaft), we noticed that the white cotton was turning a rust color.  We stopped immediately and I spent the next couple of weeks, spraying on CLR (a rust remover) and wire brushing it to get all the rust off.  After it was all nice and shiny she came back to see how I’d done with dressing the loom.  Not so well it turned out.  I hadn’t followed her instructions closely enough and ended up making the warp too wide.  Plan B… baby blankets.  Use up the baby Jacquard acrylic yarn I have and make blankets for babies yet to be or to donate.  Not only will this help me learn how to weave, but it will pare down my stash. (Plan C now exists, but that’s for a later blog entry.)

After Christie’s second visit we headed off to Lake Tahoe and I didn’t touch the loom again for several months. I finally got through about 8 inches of baby blanket by April, then whammo… kittens in May!

Mama and her kittens that we fostered.

A whole litter that needed to be fostered with mama. Our male cats, Dickens and Oliver, were NOT happy about these intruders and we had to keep everyone seperated.  The only place to keep Mama and the kittens was in the “Loom Room.”  Yarn… loom…kittens… you get the picture.  I covered the peddles with a blanket so they wouldn’t fall between the peddles and choke themselves (they were soooo little when we got them).  As they got bigger, the loom was great fun for them to practice their climbing skills and chase each other around the legs and up the shafts.  We finally had to cover it with two sheets and safety pins to hold it all together.  But those little guys and girl found their way up inside and started wreaking weaving havoc.  After 7 weeks of fostering them with no real damage except for a pee spot, two days before we were to take them back to the animal shelter for adoption, I noticed that the tension bar was hanging catty-wampus.  They had chewed on the string and essentially caused the whole warp to hang to the right.  I haven’t had the heart to fix it yet.

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