Brand New Legs…my loom can walk now
Well, shall I say stand. Stand on its own.
The story of my loom is a bit of a funny one. True to form (I am a DIY lady down to the very marrow of my bones thanks to my mom and pops : ) I built my loom rather than buying one. I suppose the story of why I needed a loom is a bit of a funny one as well. It all started in grad school- me spending countless hours in the sculpture studio hacking away at some boards, heating plastic to form it, bending chicken wire, dyeing paper and fiber with coffee and tea, ever pining for time with fiber- traditional, follow-the-rules this yarn goes here-that yarn does that kind of time with fiber. Fast forward nearly a year after graduation and I ended up on an alpaca ranch. Yes, a ranch full of fuzz-faced curious creatures that sometimes chewed on my pants pockets and sometimes spat in my face, all in the shadow of those glorious Rockies. It was here that I jumped feet first into a big old bag of fleece (aka fiber- soft, fluffy raw fiber shorn straight from the backs of those fuzzy new friends of mine).
One day my boss Cindy handed me a book about weaving, a plastic bag full of yarns and a rigid heddle loom and sent me on my way. Two days later I had my first ever woven shawl, which I wear almost every day! That’s how it all started. I had to have more. I looked online for a loom to purchase and saw wooden frames that were out of my price range. (Really, when your price range is $20 most things are out of range : ) So what next? I took a good look at the loom I was using, got my ruler out and started drawing. I came up with dimensions, how many of each piece I would need to cut, a list of hardware and a plan. I would buy a board, chop it up, screw and glue it together and have my very own loom. What a plan. $11 and a couple of hours of woodworking later, which I never mind, I had my very own loom. And it worked!
It’s been working well for many months now, but it needed a few adjustments. Mainly a stand. I use the semi-circle cutouts on the ends of the boards to prop it up on a table. I put the other end on my lap and weave away. Only if the table is too fat, or the chair too low, or I’m weaving in the car (yes, I am a bit quirky I will admit), the reed (not pictured) falls over and stresses the yarn. I needed legs. Or shall I say, my loom needed legs. A couple of holes, pegs and plywood strips later, and my loom now has legs. The legs work like this: a wooden dowel goes through the wooden frame and through a plywood strip (leg). The dowel allows the leg to swivel up or down: the legs tuck nicely against the frame when not in use, and swing easily down to support the frame when needed. A small nail stops each leg from swinging too far and the loom falling flat. The legs are quite short (11 and 12 inches) so the loom can stand on a table top or the floor. I am a an insistent floor-sitter and can’t wait to try the loom out while sitting on the floor!