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,

Karen

34 Comments

  • Irene says:

    I’m impressed with your husband’s work! It is indeed a cute loom 🙂

  • Gret says:

    Only one word: awsome 🙂

  • Sandy says:

    All I can say is wow! Great idea and well done both of you.

  • Betty Van Horn says:

    LOVE: You two are a team!

  • Bev says:

    I agree with Betty. WHAT a team! God really did a work when he put you two together. Beautiful loom, beautiful rugs, beautiful couple!

  • diane says:

    That’s the neatest thing I’ve seen in ages! I just restored a 35″
    Ideal. Wish I had the woodworking skills to make it convertible!

    • Karen says:

      Diane, thanks for taking time to leave a comment! I owe a lot to my hubby. This couldn’t have happened without him. My woodworking skills are zilch.
      How nice that you have restored an Ideal! I’m sure it will serve you well!

  • […] Ideal loom? The one we re-sized so I could use it as a workshop loom? You can read about it here. Well, it is time to take the show on the road, so to speak. Time to go meet Jason Collingwood in […]

  • Frances Dale says:

    I can’t believe you wanted to shorten the loom. Why>> I have a chanch to buy a 70 one and I think it is too small for rugs. Do you make many little rugs?? Pretty tiny, Fran

  • Karen says:

    Fran, I understand your question. 70 cm IS small for making rugs. Normally, I do rugs on my 120 cm Glimakra Standard. The only reason I wanted to make the 100 cm loom smaller was so I could use it as a workshop loom. I don’t expect to make many rugs on this smaller size loom, though it is sturdy enough for it, and it did function very well for the Jason Collingwood rug workshop, where the warp was only 11 1/4 inches. I have to say, though, I really enjoy weaving on this tiny loom. It will be perfect for weaving scarves, yardage for clothing (most pattern pieces are no more than 18″), and even kitchen towels.

    I’m glad you stopped by to ask a question!
    Karen

  • Kerstin says:

    Nice job!
    – just wanted to tell you that having several width beams was not *that* uncommon in Sweden of old. (Source Lanthemmens vävstolar by Grenande-Nyberg) – so you are following an old tradition

    • Karen says:

      Kerstin, wow, I had no idea! That’s great to know. Now I can say I’m just following an old Swedish tradition. It does make sense, though, because it’s a very efficient use of materials and space, and the Swedish seem to be experts at that.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  • Leesa says:

    This is really fantastic.
    I found your post while searching for a Glimakra in Houston and it’s made me look at listings for much larger Swedish style looms differently. Now that they’ve stopped making the Ideal this might be the only way of owning one of these perfectly sized Glimakras.
    Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Karen says:

      Leesa, I’m glad you happened upon this post, then!

      There have to be some more Ideals around, but it’s not easy finding one. I hope you end up with what you’re looking for, even if you have to re-size something. That’s not exactly easy, either. But where there’s a will, there’s a way.

      Karen

  • Greta says:

    Wow! Amazing! I had discussed this very thing with a weaver friend of mine, but neither of us is a woodworker. To me the possibilities are endless. I love the Glimakra Julia, and she is built with less timber, I had thought… what about an 18″ or 20″ Julia instead of a 27″ Julia? What about a 36″ Julia? Julia also has a design flaw, because the vertical beater supports are inside the frame, not outside, so the supports cut into the maximum weaving width. Just a modification of the beater, which really ought to be done, would need a skilled woodworker. I offer my deepest respect for your husband’s talents. If he wants to make some money for his handiwork, I would love to hire somebody to create a replacement beater for my Julia.. just like the old one, but with the vertical supports outside the warp area.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Greta,

      It’s amazing how simple, really, these Swedish looms are! I love the thought of a little bitty 18″ or 20″ loom. You could fit that into any corner of a room. The Julia, especially, is such a beautifully simple design. My husband has thought of trying to build one like it from scratch, with a few improvements. But that’s way down on the “someday” list. For now, he has a “real” day job; so, even though he would love to help you out, he doesn’t have the spare time to do all these wonderful things. But he does feel very honored by your kind complimentary words. Thank you.

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • Betsy says:

    Hi Karen

    I love keeping up with your blog. I have a Cranbrook loom and would like to add 4 more shafts. Can you tell me what kind of wood your husband used for your loom parts?
    Thx
    Betsy

    • Karen says:

      Hi Betsy, I love having you along with me here.
      Steve tried to match the wood as closely as possible to what was on the original loom. He used pine for the lamms, and poplar for the shaft bars and countermarch jacks. He didn’t add any treadles, but he said if he did he would use maple, a dense wood.
      I hope everything goes well with expanding your Cranbrook. Exciting!
      Karen

      • Betsy says:

        This info will be very helpful especially about the maple for the treadles. Now I can sound more knowledgeable when I talk to a woodworker about making the parts for me. Thanks

      • Jane Milner says:

        Hi Karen…What kind of pine did Steve use?

        • Karen says:

          Hi Jane, Steve says it’s just pine he picked up at Lowe’s or Home Depot. He’s not so concerned about what type of wood it is, but how straight it is, how many knots it has, and how straight the grain is.

          Hope that helps.
          Karen

  • Vibeke Bekker says:

    Love this post – and he even changed the bench to match the width of the smaller loom.

  • Karen Spray says:

    I loved reading this – I have just bought an Ideal loom and am amazed how easy it is to dismantle and put back together. If I had known this, I might have gone for a Swedish loom years ago! I had read that the only difference between the different widths is in the cross pieces, and the fact that the ratchets are a separate part makes it more do-able too. I doubt if I will do this (unless perhaps one day I move somewhere much smaller) but I do plan to add extra shafts at some point – mine came with 4, but with the countermarche for 6 and there would be room for 8.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, It’s a great advantage that these Swedish looms are easy to dismantle and put back together! I’m sure you will enjoy your Ideal for many years to come.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Jane Milner says:

    When you disassembled the little Ideal, did you also roll up the shafts and the reed in the bundle so you only needed to reassemble your loom and tie on at the class?

    • Karen says:

      Jane, That’s exactly what I did, and bundled it with the warp beam. I wrapped a sheet around the whole bundle and tied it with a few fabric strips leftover from rag rug weaving. It worked great.

      Karen

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