First Warp

Little did I realize the world I was falling headlong into. Like a child with its newest toy, impatient to discover everything about it and wanting to play now!

Upon discovering a tall, grey stained, floor loom lurking in the furthermost corner of my local ‘Rural Mart’, flashes of days spent at Ladies College weaving scarves, spurred me on to ask the question, “How much for the thing outback?”

I offered $100 an amount I thought too little but it was worth a try! A phone call days later and it’s mine.

A trailer and two able men dropped the awesome wooden structure in my old woodworking shed. Machinery that has long given up on seeing my presence, faithfully helped me disassemble and carefully sand every part. The removal of 300 rusted eye hooks sent my other half looking on in wonder. “What is she up too?” But, the task was completed, every piece was sanded and sat on the floor waiting to be reassembled.

I was not interested in spending long hours in the cold old shed, so I informed everyone it will live in the rumpus room. Remarks like, “You will never get it together again,” only fueled my determination; consequently by the end of the summer school holidays all was in place and I was ready to weave.


First large weaving

The hard part was over I told myself, how wrong can you be? I had eight shafts, 16 lamms, ten treadles, how do I thread it up? New phrases and words bombarded me. Draft, tie-up, temple, tabby, ……. off to the local library for some serious reading.

Many books were consumed, I was ready to warp up for my first article. On the loom, when I found it, was a faded, unfinished piece of weaving that fascinated me, I wanted to replicate it. But I couldn’t fathom out the pattern or how it would be tied up.

The computer was the answer. For many years I had been on the internet. I found weaving software and downloaded Fiberworks and tried to work out different drafts. I searched for information about weaving and found a myriad of sites and information. The Weavers List and the Rug Weavers list provided the answer to my dilemma. These lists provide a constant stream of question and answers from many different weavers, here was where I could find out how to replicate my piece of cloth. I sent out descriptions of the fabric and hoped someone would understand my crude analysis of it.


Summer & Winter Sampler


It was a week before Christmas, I hadn’t prepared the usual food by the given date. I was forever on the Internet trying to describe the piece of weaving . If I didn’t work it out soon there would be no Christmas dinner.Many emails back and forth and finally a lady near the Yellowstone National Park enlightened me; it was a Summer/Winter six block. Heavens what was that! Back to the books and magazines.

Out of cyberspace from Yellowstone came the file containing the threading and tie-up and I opened it in Fiberworks. Eureka, we would have Christmas dinner this year, I was on my way. The internet has been my eyes and ears, my enthusiasm has been triggered by the many articles and pictures of hundreds of rugs. Weaving can be a lonely craft, so the contact daily or even hourly when I was seeking the tie-up details, has been my saviour.

The loom now takes pride of place in our rumpus room. After sanding and painting (a clear satin), I realize I have a very valuable piece. No name or brand was found on it, but I would say it looks like a Swedish countermarch eight shaft, ten treadle, the only problem I have with it is the lamms are pivoted from the one point. This can cause the lamms to touch the shafts with some treadling.

I am now completely hooked on weaving and thanks to the new friends I have developed on the internet and in person, I look forward to some very productive hours on my loom.