Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I have died and gone to heaven!!

Disclaimer (what, another one?) ... if you are not a weaver, have no interest in weaving, skip this and go on to the next blog which will be more about Kentucky.

This morning we woke up in Louisville, Kentucky (thank goodness ... we went to sleep there last night!) much rested – a more comfortable bed than in Polo, with sheets that did not smell like strongly scented laundry detergent. We took our time packing; I chatted on MSN with my mom and also with Joy. At the same time (I love multi-tasking) I looked for interesting places to go in Louisville. And I found it!
The Little Loomhouse.

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Norm and I had plans for other places to go, but went there first because it was the closest (thank goodness!) to the motel. We got there about 10:00 – it was getting hot and we had no real shade for Peanut so I went up to the office to ask if they minded if we brought her into the place and was graciously allowed to do so. The director of the place was all pleasantries and kindness; when she found out I was a weaver and a spinner, she gave us a private tour.

I gave Peanut to Norm to take care of so I could have my hands free for my camera and for touching (allowed) and questions and talking.

This place was the home of Lou Tate – a woman who was widely known for her weaving and teaching skills. She and Mrs. (President) Hoover got together to plan teaching for children in the Kentucky area. Lou Tate designed a small fifteen inch two harness loom (are you listening, Candy?) for children to use. She also designed a way to re-vamp the two harness loom to a four harness loom (again, are you listening?) .. I was sooooo tempted to buy one even though I have three twelve inch ones. But that doesn’t mean I can’t get one at a later date!

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Lou was a contemporary and friend of Marguerite Davison, author of my favorite pattern book. She was involved in helping Marguerite in some of her patterns. I am working on Maybeth now, on a loom and have finished Bachelor Buttons and Virginia Dogwood, all of them from the Davison book.

The director, Sally, had been taught by Lou before she died; when Lou died in 1979, a group got together to save the studio and teaching that Lou had worked so hard to keep going. They are now a non-profit group, depending on many volunteers to keep it running. I met one of them, John, in the weaving studio, and two others in the kitchen.

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The set-up contains three buildings (the historic outhouse was crushed with a fallen tree not too long ago); these buildings had been Victorian cottages for people to get out of Louisville during the hot smelly summer; most of these buildings were built in the mid-eighteen hundreds.

John was weaving key chains on one of the multitude of looms that are sitting around for students and the volunteers to work on. I was shown how to do direct warping – a really snazzy way to warp – and was given great ideas for projects of my own.

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But, Sally, we forgot the patterns for Norm .. the stool and what else did you promise? And, also, I didn’t get to see the coverlets ... were those available for show? I would have loved to see them but forgot THAT part in the humungous amount of information you gave me... but perhaps it’s for the best ... drooling on antique coverlets is not considered exactly professional nor correct!!

Gosh, I think we need to head back there today --- there is so much MORE I wanted to learn and see and do ... and we didn’t get to see the video that is promised in the tour (sigh), and should have gotten the Coverlet book and SHOULD have splurged and gotten a loom, preferably touched by Lou Tate.

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I think I need to move there!!! I will pack up the whole six acres of Ash Lane Farm with the ensemble of cats, chickens and dogs, sister Candy and her ensemble, friends, and all. No, maybe it would be easier to transport the Little Loom House to MY place!

Sigh ... wish we DID have transporter rings like Ashley is wishing for!!

It was a fantastic hour (Norm swears it was four hours, but I can not believe THAT ... it went so fast!) with Sally. And, Sally, I think we took you past your lunch hour! So it must have been the four hours that Norm claims. A time warp? We went in at ten o’clock and came out at two o’clock, but I still SWEAR it was just about an hour!

As I said, non-weavers, if you have made it this far, I will do more Kentucky on my next blog .... We are now in Dansville ... didn’t get very far .... and heading to the Shaker Village in the morning. You have a beautiful day!!

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Goodbye, Sally .. hope to see you again!


Candy Duell said...

Oh Connie, that sounds like a really wonderful 4 hours (or should I say 1 hour??). I am so glad you found "the little loomhouse". It makes for such a wonderful day!

happyowl said...

Oh, now I really wish I could weave. How exciting for you!!! I think you should go back today and spend another Hee hee hour there! Sorry Norm!

I love what I have seen of Kentucky! The tree's are amazing! Can't wait to see the next set of pics!

Brightest blessings


Sister Candy said...

I think we need to take a trip without the Boys and spend all the time we want at the Loomhouse. I hope you got pattern names for your picturs of the weavings. MY LOOM IS DONE!!!! I'll send pictures.

Kati said...

*drooling over the wallhangings* Sounds like a fabulous place to stop!!!! And, even a non-weaver (who wants to be a weaver but really doesn't need ANOTHER hobby) can appreciate the pictures & the info. Fabulous!

Have a great time at the shaker village!

Renee said...

I live in Ky and have been to shaker village a couple of times but I don't remember seeing a place with loom? I hope the weather has been good for you:) It is getting colder here as I speak.



Sonia said...

What a beautiful works of weave! Looking those works I miss my Mom so much!