While browsing the Fiber Friday thread from last week on Craftster I got the urge to jump on Craigslist to look at wheels and bobbins. Obviously I'm not in the market to buy anything, being quite content with my Ashford Traveller, but I couldn't help checking out the local scene. On a whim I decided to check out looms as well, just to see what people were looking to get rid of since I'm pretty keen on learning the age old art of weaving. Much to my surprise I saw a headline listing a vintage "Weaver's Friend" loom. I checked out the listing, saw the photos, and my jaw dropped to the floor. I swear it had to be a misprint. There was no was way on earth that the price could be correct for that size loom! It gave a number to call for more information, so call I did! I got a call back shortly after and spoke with a lovely woman who explained that the loom was purchased in an estate sale and was going to be used for a small side business that she and her mother wanted to start. In an unfortunate turn of events her mother was recently diagnosed with cancer and has since become wheelchair bound. The dreams of their business together were dashed and it has since become an item of regret, taking up a good portion of the living room. Really she just wanted it gone, but to a good home. Having an evening off of work I set off to take a look. You know that old "love at first sight" story? Yeah. It can happen. I stayed and chatted for a bit then had to make my way home, but not before paying the mere $150 asking price and setting up a time on Sunday to go pick up my new toy!
I was so excited that I couldn't even think of anyone to call who would understand how COOL this is. Then I decided one of the best people to tell first was my dad. He was really excited for me, our family being really interested in history and keeping the trades of the past alive. The loom was made by the Reed Loom Company in Springfield, Ohio which stared back in the late 1800s. Shortly after Mr. Reed's death it was taken over by Paul Linker who kept the company open until the mid 70's when he passed and they stopped manufacturing them. Basically, at the youngest possible age my "new" loom is at least 30 years old!
I think I may go back to French Creek Fiber Arts to learn some loom basics since that's where I took my spinning classes. Peggy was a great teacher and her shop is fantastic. It's kind of a long haul from here, but I think it'll be worth it since I'm already familiar with her and she has really reasonable class prices. Although I did find the Western Reserve Spinners and Weaver's Guild. They meet at the Farmpark (about 20 minutes from my house) once a month. As is turns out, their next meeting is a week from today so I may just check them out first and go from there.
Another issue to work out is where the heck am I going to put a 52 x 52 in. loom?!? lol I'm really too impulsive sometimes. :) It should fit in the back room of my house, but just to get it inside I think the front door may have to come off! Luckily there's enough room to do some rearranging of the furniture.We're just going to have to wait and see how it goes on Sunday. Improvise will be the name of the game I think. Thank goodness that's one of my talents!