Quiet Friday: Cutest Loom Ever

We (truthfully, my husband) turned a 100 centimeter (39+”) Glimåkra Ideal loom into a 70 centimeter (27+”) loom by creating all new horizontal pieces. I can select either size loom–it is convertible! I plan to use the 70 centimeter loom for workshops, since I am able to break it down with a warp on it and and set it back up. Singlehandedly. Not kidding! Steve spent hours of measuring, cutting, creating, and fitting. All in a hot Houston garage. A lot of love went into this cute little loom. Here’s our story in pictures.

Second hand 100cm Glimakra Ideal loom
After months of searching for a second-hand 70cm Glimåkra Ideal, we found this 100cm one, right here in Houston, that was looking for a new home. So we took her in. Now, we just needed to figure out how to take her down in size. (Click picture to enlarge)
New warp beam and cloth beam for 70cm Ideal loom
Steve started with the most challenging part, the octagonal cloth and warp beams. One end is precisely shaped to fit into a round hole on the side of the loom; the other end also has the round shape, but then is squared to fit exactly into the turn handle, with a rectangular hole for the wedge that holds it in. Whew, he did it!
Horizontal countermarch made from scratch
After making all the beams, Steve said this horizontal countermarch mechanism was a piece of cake.
New pieces for 70cm loom being added: treadle beam at the back, foot rest at the front, and upper and lower lamms in the middle. No need to replace the treadles, on the floor by the old 100cm treadle beam.
New pieces for the 70cm loom being added: treadle beam at the back, foot beam at the front, and upper and lower lamms in the middle. No need to replace the treadles, seen on the floor in front of the old 100cm treadle beam.
Making warping slats
Last step before putting a warp on the cute little loom. With classical music in his ears, Steve is making 70cm slats to use for warping. The hat is to keep sawdust out of his hair. The fan is to keep him alive.
Re-sized Glimakra Ideal loom
Ready to weave! Besides being cute, this loom could well be the world’s first convertible loom. Two looms in one! Have you ever seen a loom that could convert to two different sizes? (Click picture to enlarge)
Lime Green & Blue Stripe Rag Rug from Simple Weaves
For the first warp, I used a simple plain weave draft from “Simple Weaves” (Nya Vävar) by Björk and Ignell, p.22, just long enough for two small rag rugs. This first rug, Lime Green and Blue Stripe, is happy proof that everything works!
Disassemble warped Ideal loom for traveling
One rug done, one to go. First rug is cut off, and warp ends are tied in overhand knots in front of the reed. Now I bundle up the reed and shafts with the warp beam, and completely disassemble the loom. Can I get it all back together in working order? By myself? (Click picture to enlarge)
Red Flame Rag Rug on 70cm Glimakra Ideal loom
Loom is reassembled (took me 28 minutes, 30 seconds) and Red Flame rag rug is in the making. The cherrywood ski shuttle is another one of Steve’s lovely creations.
Lime Green and Blue Stripe & Red Flame rag rugs
Two simple rag rugs, a test for this old-new loom. This cutest loom ever passed the test with flying colors, and oh so much love!

May you enjoy a quiet day of love – some old, some new.

Feeling immeasurably loved,


Feeling Empty or Filling Empty?

This Swedish lace warp is finally cut off! The big loom now stands empty. I don’t like to let a loom stay naked for very long, so I will wind the next warp soon. That desire to keep the loom dressed will give me momentum through the finishing details and sewing of the dreamed-about curtains. Like this loom, we humans face times of feeling empty in daily life, and don’t like to stay in that unpleasant state very long.

Cutting off Swedish lace from the loom.
Cutting off the warp always feels like a celebration! Now I have a piece of fabric in hand to sew into curtains. Ta da!

When we experience that feeling of emptiness, we try to find a way to overcome our bare state. We get super busy, stuff our life with things or food, or isolate ourselves to our own detriment.

The good news is that we do not have to stay alone and empty. Amazingly, our creator desires to live with us, not just above us. And that is when our soul is filled–when we make room for our creator. And being filled, we say, Bring on the next warp!

May your loom always be ready for the next warp.

Making room,

Vintage Swedish Loom: Never Too Old

This old loom has been taken apart and put back together with all new horizontal pieces. Not a refurbishing, per se, but a new edition of a vintage model. My genius husband has refashioned an old 36-inch Glimåkra Ideal loom, down to 27 inches. It is still an old a vintage loom, but Swedish looms are built to last; and this little pieced-together handiwork will surely outlast me.

Glimakra Ideal with Swedish rag rug
First project on newly re-sized loom. Rag rug in progress, using cotton print fabrics. (Click picture to enlarge)

We humans have a lifespan, and at some point we start falling apart little by little. An ache here, a memory lapse there, and before you know it, we see the end of the warp coming over the back beam. How will we retain our value when we are all used up and worn out?

Our worth originates in the hands of the one who made us, not in our usefulness and ability. Our master weaver will never set us aside or abandon us when we finally become threadbare. In fact, he goes out of his way to notice those who are forgotten by everyone else. You will always be a special someone to your maker.

May you carry your years with elegance and grace.


Keep it Simple Sweetie

A simple solution for keeping the guide string out of the way when winding a warp: Eliminate the guide string! Okay, use a guide string, but not while measuring the warp. After I select the appropriate length guide string, I line it up on the warping reel. And then — this is the simple part — I place a little piece of blue tape (fold under one edge for easy removal) on the inside of each vertical post at the spot where the guide string passes. Remove the guide string and wind the warp, following the little blue tape markers! Simple.

Rag rug warp for Glimakra Ideal loom. Read about simple solution to eliminate guide string.
New rag rug warp for little Glimakra Ideal loom. Little pieces of blue tape mark the winding path for the warp.

It is easy to complicate things. In my efforts to simplify, I occasionaly reach an impasse by trying too hard to get the perfect solution, and lose sight of the main thing.

Talking with our creator is one of the simplest things we can do. When we get caught up with trying to say the right words, we can make it so complicated that we totally miss having the conversation. Simply saying what is on your heart touches our creator. And I’m convinced he bends down to listen …just like a father.

May you find simple words to express your heart.


Weaving Windows of Time

The 8/2 cotton threads are doubled, and form an outline around the delicate 20/2 cotton threads, creating this Swedish lace. I see the 8/2 outline as a window frame around panes of glass. A repeating geometric pattern like this is a visual impression of the cycles that form our backdrop for life. The sun rises and sets; seasons follow their sequence; years come and go. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Handwoven Swedish lace using double bobbin shuttle
By using a double bobbin shuttle, the thicker outline threads are placed in the shed together without twisting.

Life hands us constant changes, but one thing we can always expect is a new day. We have been given a lifetime of tomorrows. Even when we are not able to see the sun because of clouds, the sun still rises.

In that consistency of tomorrow, no matter what the present day offers, there is a knowing that runs deep in every soul. In moments of solitude we feel it: The creator loves me. No matter what. New every morning.

May your soul be refreshed today and tomorrow, and the day after that, and so on…