Wednesday, February 07, 2007

First Warp

Not my first warp. The loom's.

I've been gloating about my Craigslist score to several friends, so now it's time to gloat about it to the entire internet (or at least to the few of you who may actually read this blog).

A couple of months back, I saw a listing on Craigslist for a Dorset loom down in Santa Cruz for $100. The photo wasn't very big, so I couldn't tell what kind of condition it was in. But, I figured it was worth checking out, so I emailed the guy. He took at least a week to get back to me, so I didn't hold out much hope, but then he emailed me back asking if I'd like to come down and see it.

So I headed on down to Santa Cruz, with daughter in tow. I figured if it turned out to be total crap, we could at least go hang out in that lovely (if cold) beach town for the day. When I saw the loom, it looked great. No rust, nothing broken, the shafts moved up and down. He said it was his girlfriend's and that she'd bought it used, never used it, and finally came to the conclusion that she wasn't going to weave after all. I handed him $100, and threw it in the back of the car (catch that? Threw it in the back of the car - it fits, even with a kid in the back seat!).

It wasn't until we got home and I took a good look at it that I realized that it has never been used. Its 600 heddles were perfect. The end sticks weren't even attached.

I'm not sure how long it's been since Dorset stopped producing looms, but I took a glance through the few old issues of Handwoven magazine in my collection and found the last ad for the company in an issue from 1997.

That poor loom has gone at least 10 years without ever even seeing a warp. So, I threw on some of my hand-dyed rayon chenille yarn to make a scarf for the kids' school auction. It weaves wonderfully.

Sure, it's only got 4 shafts, it's direct tie-up, and it only weaves about 20 inches wide, but it fits in the back of the car. Perfect for workshops or the kids' sheep-to-shawl team. Of course, when I mentioned that to Olivia, she got all excited and wants to weave on it.

Worth every penny.