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I don’t remember exactly what I saw or heard that made me want to learn to weave. I do remember thinking that it would be something that would help use up all the extra knitting yarn laying around. Since I didn’t want to knit with it, maybe I could weave it? I learned a friend I’d made through the blog world knew how to weave. She had previously owned a loom, and there were/are days that she wishes she had one again. She told me that weaving would not just make my stash disappear, it would actually enhance it. With that thought, I began to reconsider weaving. Heaven knows that I don’t need more yarn. Regardless, I’d bought a book for kids on learning to weave. In that book, there were instructions on building a loom out of pvc pipe. Since looms are expensive, and I didn’t want to spend a bunch of money on something that I might not even like, I built that pvc loom. I have mixed feelings about that pvc loom. On the one hand, it sucked. Totally, truly sucked. They had you build it to a certain length, and in my newbie-ness I did just that. Looking back, I think if I had built it smaller, I would have been happier. On the other hand, even though it sucked, it made me want to learn even more on a real loom.

After doing a little research, I decided I’d probably be best starting out with a rigid heddle loom. Not too expensive, but not a pvc pipe loom either. I checked eBay, hoping to find a loom that would be reasonably priced. My idea of reasonably priced would be something under $25. Mmmhmm, right. If I were going to spend that much money on a rigid heddle, I might as well keep an eye on the table looms. Even better, table looms have multiple harnesses, and more could be done with them. Still, it was more than I wanted to sink into weaving just yet. On a trip to California, I stopped in a shop that sold looms. There, they had floor looms set up. There were table looms and floor looms with projects on them. Ohh, the floor looms. Imagine the possibilities. And my friend had told me that with floor looms, you could get more of a rhythm going. My husband offered to buy me a loom in that shop, and I declined. Still. Too. Much. Money. Besides, if I did decide I wanted one, I could always purchase one there after we moved. Or I could order one online. There was no rush.

More time passed by. The urge to learn passed in and out. I had my knitting to keep me busy, along with getting ready for our move. One day the urge hit yet again. There are several, and when I say several I mean a ton of them, thrift and antique shops in our area. Hoping maybe to find a table loom in one of those shops, I set out. It was getting later in the day but I decided to stop at one last shop that I knew. They had a spinning wheel, but no looms. “However,” the guy told me, “just next door in the thrift shop they have a large one. It’s standing in the window.” I had walked right by that window but never thought to look in there because, let me just be frank and say it, that shop is kind of dirty and junky. I wanted to run out of the antique shop without even saying goodbye instead of making more polite conversation. What if someone got to it in the 5 minutes of idle chit chat?! When I finally got next door, there it was. A rusty, dirty 4 harness 4 treadle loom. It could be mine for the grand price of $79.99. I was disappointed. I wanted a nice loom, I didn’t want that dirty old thing. I asked if they’d consider taking $50 for it, after all it was in bad shape. Nope, it had already been marked down the previous weekend from $129 to $79 but I could wait until the coming weekend and if it was still there, it would be marked down to $49. I left without the loom. All the way home, all I could think was IF it’s still there. I rushed home and shot off an email to the previously mentioned friend to get her opinion. I sat in front of the computer, willing her to be there, willing her to answer me before someone else got that loom. I was lucky. She was there, and her response convinced me that maybe it wasn’t such a bad deal. I rushed to the thrift shop before they closed, and I brought home that loom.

As I said, it was rusty and dirty. I cleaned it off and took pictures of my new toy. I was so excited. My own loom for eighty bucks! I’d skipped right over rigid heddle and table loom and gone straight to the big girl toy. It was several months before I got all the rust off the loom. Each screw was rusted. One harness was missing a hook and still is. All the heddles were rusted, the reed was rusted, everything. I called the manufacturer, gave them the model number I’d gotten off the loom, and asked about replacement parts and manuals. The only part that can’t be replaced for this 1975 loom is the crank handle. And guess what mine is missing. It’s all good, I can use a visegrip. I did order a new reed  and a manual.  And now I’m ready to learn to weave!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Paula Arnett
    Jul 29, 2014 @ 17:03:10

    You’re the only person I’ve found that has actually built and used a PVC floor loom. Could you please give some insight on why it truly sucked? Considering this loom for a beginner and wondering if it is worth the effort. Thanks for your input.

    Reply

    • AnnB
      Oct 09, 2014 @ 15:23:13

      The author of the book Kids Weaving by Sarah Swett provides instruction for the loom and continues to use it herself.She lives in Moscow, Idaho.
      I purchased the book (not here yet) http://www.amazon.com/dp/1584794674/ref=pe_385040_30332200_TE_item and the materials to make two for under $15 each as some of the materials I already had due to recycling of webbing and buckles, etc. One for me, one for grandsons to use when here…and I will buy a rigid heddle or make one or more using wood for the frame and free popsicle sticks, wire (premade or I twist), plastic or twine…or a non-rigid heddle with twine. It would seem to me, this loom could be made as wide as desired by increasing the length of the pvc in the middle. There is no mention of securing the fittings permanently (from a you tube video demo of this loom)…but if you desired to do so, just make another one the desired width.
      There is also a book to make a large floor loom from larger diameter PVC pipe from here. http://www.pvcloom.com/?page_id=16

      Reply

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