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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Fanny Price

I have my 36” LeClerc Fanny loom, since October 5th. Nothing came of my notices or my ads on two internet sites, although one local weaver took in on spec the exact loom I wanted, and I must bring six hundred in cash because she had to “pay the woman”. Some weavers are scalawags, too, but I think fewer than the general population.

I was a little grumpy about not finding a Fanny at once, and River emailed me, “Why don’t you try Kijiji? Look how many I found just in Canada!” River lives in Australia. Such a world. Of course, Canada. The looms are made in Quebec.

I emailed four sellers in Ontario and received two responses. One would get back to me when he returned from vacation, the other answered the loom was still available. I asked for pictures, Mark responded at once with about twenty. He lived about a six hour drive from my home, but offered to meet me essentially on the other side of the Peace Bridge on October 5th, at a hockey arena where his son had a meet.

A deposit to hold it seemed in order, but Mark declined. No, we would just meet in the parking lot and make the exchange. Because my notes on who I emailed and what was on offer were growing illegible I emailed Mark the last week before the meet, “Please confirm I need to bring $400 Canadian to pay you.”

Mark’s response: “I would take 400, but I’m only asking 150.”

With two shiny new one hundred dollar Canadian bills in my wallet I left for Canada that Sunday morning.  I could not tell Border Patrol where I was going except to a hockey arena not far away, to pick up my loom. He smiled and waved me through.

The nice young hockey dad in the black station wagon pulled into the parking area just ahead of me. He transferred the beautifully disassembled loom into my car. His wife bought it used, several years ago, never used it. I wonder if it was used more than once. It had the remnants of its last warp tied to the back apron, but the brake that is held open by a butterfly device to warp had no marks. Who knows? I think it’s a 1970’s or ‘80’s vintage loom, but haven’t researched the serial number yet.

Mark wanted to give me change, but I shook his hand, thanked him for the beautiful job he did in transporting the loom and was on my way. Border Patrol looked down at the stack of wood in the back of my car and asked what it was. “A loom,” I replied. “Ah, a weaver?” She waved me through. I was back home by supper time.

Fanny Price is the perfect name for my loom.

In a pile.

Jan and Tom, assembling.

Joanne and Tom assembling.
It's a long way to the floor these days.

Well begun.
Waiting the arrival of the sectional beam.

Installing the sectional.
I needed gardening gloves with rubber bumps to get enough traction on the screwdriver!

Ready to put on a warp.
Technically, that's called "dressing the loom."

Twenty yards of warp, more or less.
Those silver flanges on the last bout dressed are the thread guides.

Over the back beam, ready to thread the heddles.

I threaded almost all the heddles before I quit for the day.

Come back tomorrow for M's and O's
and what I hope to do with them.


  1. Wow! I don't know much about weaving but it seems that was a great price. I'm just thinking it would cost an arm and leg where I live. It is really great shape too and how wonderful you got it from a nice Canadian, eh? :-)

  2. What a piece of equipment! $200 must be a great price.

  3. Fascinating! Thanks for the education.

  4. If you hadn't mentioned 'loom' I might never have known what that pile of bits and pieces was. Lovely to see it all coming together and a warp going on. Thanks for the link back. I'm looking forward to seeing hat you make this time. My tea towels are doing a fantastic job.

  5. Fanny Price looks right at home in a room I remember as the Studio (weaving room) where many looms sat and were attended by various weavers. She looks beautiful and sure it tickled Janice and even Tom in remembering days gone past and all possess the necessary loom assembly skills.

  6. Wow, you were busy! I love Fanny! I'm sure you will enjoy working with her. What a story too to get her!


  7. What a great story! Can't wait to hear what is next.

  8. Hari OM
    She's a beaut! Clickety clack, I'll be back... this is serious working business now! YAM xx

  9. That is one elegant machine!

  10. That name would produce a much different response in this country if you were to advertise it. I use those cloths you gave me all the time!

  11. You got a great deal. Go Canada eh?

  12. You not only got a good deal, you met a nice honest man who would not take advantage of a stranger.

    Putting the loom together looks like quite a project. Well done.

    I love the towels that you sent me. They go perfectly with the colors in my kitchen.

  13. YAY for Canadians!
    The loom in itself is beautiful,the fact that it also does a job is pretty amazing.
    Jane x

  14. so after being retired and not weaving for years, how do you feel? excited? what will Ms Joanne make?

  15. Your loom looks beautiful... and complicated. Can't wait to see more pics!

  16. The internet has changed the world in so many ways--some bad, but so many good things have come from being able to find those of similar interest. I count you and many other bloggers I've never met as good friends. The new loom is fascinating. Good Weaving!

  17. The internet has definitely changed how we shop. My first stop for shopping is always the net. You really lucked out with your seller. Happy weaving.

  18. When I saw the pictures of dressing the loom, well I cracked up. That is what my plants look like that make hoses. In between the rubber we have the threads, very similar that surround the first layer of rubber. We have specific colors that must be used to identify the manufacturer.

    How fun this tutorial is becoming, new information. Great fun.

  19. What a process! Looking forward to the progress.

  20. So glad your loom transaction went so smoothly. Looking at your photos makes me marvel at how intriguing the room where you set up the loom looks. The quilt on the wall is a great background. Is this your workroom? I love artist's workrooms -- they always are so reflective of the artist's personality.Have fun with your loom!

    1. This is "the studio." It used to be "the loom room." For twenty years my sister and I wove and sold at art shows. There were nine looms in the room and a couple more off site. When we retired weaving my sister took it over as a quilting studio. Her quilts hang all around the room.

  21. Really fascinating! What an eye opener to see your "project" from the ground up, so to speak! I don't know what you'll be making, but as I write, I glance over at my lovely blue and white towel hanging on the oven door just a couple feet away... I know that whatever you make will be beautiful!

  22. As I joke I was asked to call a patient to clinic
    Her name was fanny stain

  23. That I read your blog for so long without realizing what a craftswoman you are. I'll wave you over my border any day, no questions asked!