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Friday, October 24, 2014

You can do this


When Beth lived upstairs on Whitcomb, Jan and I were just starting our weaving business.  Back in Mentor, every time a daughter moved out, I put a loom in the bedroom.  First Beth’s room, then Shelly’s.  Then in the dining room.  Down in Akron, after she and Tom married, Jan put a loom in her old bedroom.  Then one in the dining room.  They still ate meals there, until a second loom went into the dining room.  That’s when we bought this house, with the studio.

In the beginning we bought far too many looms.  Good looms are never a bad investment.  We learned from our looms, and then sent them back into the world, generally at a profit and never for a loss.  Until we learned a good deal more about them, we gladly went to look over looms that folks wanted to sell.  

The only Union Loom we ever owned we purchased in a distress situation.  The owner loved it, but needed the money.  It was a wrench for the woman to part with it; she had happy memories of learning to weave on it when she was a teen.  But, we paid up and loaded up and the deal was done.




Driving back we knew we really didn't want it, but…..   Let’s give it to Beth.  She can weave rugs!

I knew Beth was away on a business trip.  I also knew Chrissy had a key to take care of the cats.  Chrissy was very reluctant to agree with my request to let us into Beth’s house, as she should have been.  It was extremely presumptuous of Beth’s mother to put a loom in Beth’s dining room and wait for Beth to come home and find it.  But she let us in, and Jan and I hauled the loom up a long set of stairs and set it up in the dining room.  We put on the first warp and threaded the heddles and the reed.  Then we went home and waited for the phone call.

When it came I caught heck for involving Christina, but not for the loom, which really interested her.  In our ignorance of Union Loom braking systems, we put the first warp on the wrong direction.  Beth fought her way through it, and was a downhill weaver thereafter.  

She bought several looms and wove steadily for us until Bill came along and distracted her. Beth owned her house by then and all the looms lived in the garret.  Shelly and I finished emptying the looms up in the attic of desperately needed fabric while Beth and Bill made goo goo eyes downstairs.  By the time they married, all the looms were out of the attic and sold.

The Union Loom never made it to her attic; it did its service on Whitcomb. That’s where Ann learned to weave.  The Union had been pressed into service for fabric by then and Beth wove a couple of yards each night, when she came home from work.  Ann moved in with Beth temporarily, after selling her home, before moving to Wisconsin.  She came home from work earlier than Beth, and looking for something to pass the time, picked up a shuttle.  She accumulated her own looms in Wisconsin and wove for us until we retired. 

The  Union Loom we sneaked into Beth’s house?  The original owner said she’d like to buy it back.  So, having done its job, the loom went back to the person who loved it most.


Christina, the cat sitter who let us in.
During her harpsichord phase, twenty years ago.
She grew up to be a New York attorney.

18 comments:

  1. Nice bit of writing. I liked the continuity of the story, the loom's going through the years. Good post.

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  2. I enjoyed this post. I've always been a lover of woven items and an admirer of anyone who can make them :-)

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  3. I'm so glad the loom went back to the lady who loved it most. It really belonged there. Thank you for sharing this lovely story.

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  4. Good way to fill up rooms after children leave with looms; definitely not an empty nest syndrome there with looms :)

    Glad to hear the loom went back to its original owner and that you guys were willing to let her buy it back!

    betty

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  5. What a perfect ending to a winding journey! I feel like I'm reading a foreign language with some of your weaving jargon--and I welcome that; it's a good thing for me to absorb some of the words surrounding the textiles I love so well.

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  6. Hari Om
    Perfect! It was a missionary loom, weaving its story through you... &*> YAM xx

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  7. Dear Joanne, now this is a story (or should I write more appropriately 'yarn' ?)
    Time weavers, cloth with two sides, the pattern only to be seen after a while...

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  8. And now I am thinking I need one of those. :)
    Nice weaving of the story of the different looms Joanne.

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  9. Wonderful story Joanne - you take me to another place in my imagination. Glad the loom went home x

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  10. Looms in the garret? Looms with a view!
    Jane x

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  11. so glad the woman got her loom back, good things do happen. you are quite a character putting that loom in the dining room.

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  12. Great story, you are quite a weaver of tales.

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  13. Nice that she got her old loom back...a happy ending.

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  14. You were a busy lady. Still are! That's a lot of looms and a lot of work. You've got a ton of fascinating stories up your sleeve.

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  15. I felt a bit sorry for the woman who would have liked to have kept the loom but needed the money. Felt quite glad when she was able to raise the money to buy it back again - that was nice.

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  16. another good one and so glad the union loom made it back to the woman who was loathe to sell it.

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  17. A veritable sisterhood of travelling looms.

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