Monday, August 22, 2011

Chance Encounter

We have a local auction house that has regular auctions on Friday nights.  I don't go a lot but I do enjoy going from time to time.  A couple of weeks ago, I noticed on their weekly email that they had a "small loom."  That was the only description and there was no picture posted.  So, after I got finished at work, I headed over to see what this "small loom" was.  I knew the area that it would be in so when I got there I made a beeline to that area but I couldn't see it.  I looked high and I looked low.  Nothing.  Of course, the thought that came to my head was, "Small loom is right!"

I eventually found it hidden behind a basket and it was this:
It's a 9" Dick Blick Artcraft 4-shaft loom.  The gleam in this little guy's daddy's eye was a design developed by the Structo Company back in 1922.  Initially they were toys but came with all the fixings, including prepared warping spools and an instruction manual written by Mary Meigs Atwater, a most venerated weaver of the time. After World War II, I believe, when Structo had changed it's manufacturing output, the loom was put aside.  In the 1970s, Dick Blick (the artist supply place) bought the design and put out its version for a number of years.  It's all metal and this one had been sitting around a looooong time.  I took it completely apart and cleaned every little piece, put it back together and, Bob's your uncle, a truely portable loom.

The last time I was at Yarn Barn, I bought some blue and white linen because I wanted to do a twill study and I thought that would make it interesting.  I don't yet have a proper warping board (except on the back of my rigid heddle loom that was unavailable because it's got a project on it) but I realized tha the old weasel yarn winder I picked up at a local antique mall wound the yarn to 94 inches.  Well, I didn't need any more than that, so I just wound the warp on the weasel and got the thing warped right away.  I even got my twill study started.  (to everything there is a time....)

I'm not a very good weaver and I'm more interested in learning about weaving at this point than about making something perfect, so combining what little I know with this nice compact loom has been a perfect match.  It can be stored in the corner and brought out when I have a few minutes to work on the study.  Ideal!

p.s. If you want to find out a little more about the Structo and Dick Blick Artcraft loom, click here.  And here. And here. And here.

No comments: