Norm and I went to my weaver student’s house a little over two weeks ago and got my loom, who will be called “Freya.” Freya is the mother goddess of the Nordic gods and is the goddess of weaving and spinning. She is made of maple wood and is nearly brand new. Darlene used her a bit but not much and they have taken great, GREAT! care of her! They wouldn’t let her out of the house unless we brought a trailer because (unlike Norm’s assurances) she would not fit in our mini-van.
So we went down with the trailer and got her in. Norm was surprised at Freya’s heaviness. But Nordic goddesses are not light-weight in body or powers, so I wasn’t surprised!
We got the loom up into the studio and set up (I had worked hard to re-organize the studio so that there would be room for her without having to tear down any other loom) and I sat and grinned for the rest of the day.
There were a few things missing ... the most important were the tie-downs. Now, to those of my fans who understand weaving, this would not be complicated but to the other million fans who don’t, let me try to explain.
A harness loom has harnesses and heddles and treadles (or levers) to make the patterns that are so enjoyable to weave. Freya is a “Mighty Wolf” and has eight harnesses and ten treadles. To make the whole contraption work, you take tie-down cords and connect them from the harnesses to the treadles, so when you press your foot on one treadle, a complicated (or not) set of harnesses go up to allow you to put your weft yarn through your warp yarn. Understandable as mud, isn’t it? Trust me ... it works.
But Freya, having eight harnesses needed enough tie-down cords to connect to the ten treadles, making eighty tie-downs!
I ordered them, and while waiting, got my warp ready to put on the loom. I went through the reed, then through the heddles and got the warp tied to the back beam and ready to roll. It takes two people to roll as you need someone in the back rolling and someone in the front holding the yarn to keep the tension properly tight.
Norm went to Rapid City to be with family for Thanksgiving - his sister Betty was celebrating her fiftieth wedding anniversary to brother-in-law Ed. I could have had Candy come help roll, but I wasn’t ready, so Norm rolled when he got home.
I got the tie-downs and had to lie down on the floor to get the cords connected to the treadles and harnesses. That took two days (or parts of) because I couldn’t stay down there very long. But the hardest part is done and I won’t have to do anything but change the tie-downs for different patterns and that isn’t has hard as putting the cords on.
So now the warp is rolled on, everything is working well and I am actually weaving! Freya is a work of art! The Schacht company that makes the Wolf family (Mighty, Baby and Pup) have been working on these looms for over thirty years and have gotten them so very finely tuned that I can’t find anything to complain about except that I need longer legs to stretch from treadle one to treadle ten.
Now I am already planning what’s next on for Matilda. I have the project planned, have ordered the yarn and am almost ready to re-warp her. I am working on a patriot runner on Cherry and am tying on a wool warp on Harriet-Dare. So I will have much to do (and little time to do it) up in the studio. I am so grateful that: 1. We have a large room for my studio and 2. Norm allowed me to claim and use that room. We have good lighting, with spot lights on each loom; we have a good wood floor that is bright to help reflect light; we have a large west window for light and pretty yellow walls. The whole room is bright and cheery and pleasant to be in.
I have been asked by some if I’m going to sell a loom. NO! NO! NO! I have rearranged the room to fit everything in with no crowding. I was willing to sell Harriet Dare if I had to purchase Freya. But because I am trading lessons for Freya, I don’t need to sell any looms to pay for her. I have five (count them, FIVE) looms; they all have projects on them and I can go from loom to loom to loom to loom to loom, if I want or if I get bored (what, me bored?) with one project.
The true happiness in life comes from being happy in what you are doing and what you have. My sister Cara told me that in a dream last year, to remind me of what I have. And I am truly happy. I have time, I have tools, I have ability and I CAN WEAVE!
It’s a beautiful day today for anything you want to do. I am going back up to weave again. You have a beautiful day.
|Darlene is saying goodbye|
|It's bigger than he thought!|
|In the trailer, covered well.|
|Home and getting it out|
|Set up ... blanket was used to slide into place. Do NOT look at the mess!|
|Treadles and tie-up to harnesses ... 1/2/3/4/left-tabby/right tabby/5/6 etc|
|My bread cloth|