Birth of a New Loom

My friend Deb does nothing by halves. Deb's never played an instrument, but learning the Celtic harp is on her bucket list, so for her 50th birthday, she did her research and then bought herself a fine new double-strung lap harp, knowing she'd grow into it. Now her daughter is grown and launched, and Deb has studio space for weaving. Given her "go big or go home" philosophy, it was no surprise to her friends that Deb went all out for her first floor loom and bought a brand spanking new 8-shaft, 39-inch (100 cm) Glimakra countermarch.

On Tuesday, I had the great fun of watching the birth of Deb's new loom. Suzie Liles, of the Eugene Textile Center, and her daughter Sarah came to set up the loom. As the tallest member of the party, I got to tighten all the bolts on top of the frame and help hang the shafts. (Here are some pictures so you can enjoy the vicarious pleasure of a new loom, just like I did.)

Deb still has to adjust the shaft heights and add apron rods before she'll be ready to weave, but then the adventure begins! She's had only one shaft-weaving class (at the Vesterheim museum, on boundweaves), so here are the loom-warming presents I'm recommending to her friends and family to help her learn to weave happily and successfully on her new loom:

  • Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler is a must, but I think she has this one already.
  • Madelyn van der Hoogt's Warping Your Loom video is an indispensable part of every weaver's library. (Oh, my gosh, the tie-on tips alone have saved me hours of selvedge fussing and sadness.)
  • Tom Knisely's Loom Owner's Companion video will help her to keep her new "baby" in perfect adjustment and perfect weaving condition it's whole life.
  • I think she has A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns, but she plans to start weaving with only 4 shafts. (Not a bad idea, given that she'll have to get used to the countermarch tie-up.) So she'll want The Handweaver's Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon.

I'm looking forward to helping Deb as she goes through all the weaving "firsts" ahead. As well as watching the growth of a new weaver (hey, every addict needs a support group, and I am a weaving addict), I will get to review all these great resources once more and strengthen my own weaving foundations once again. And for so many of us, the joy of weaving is that lifelong learning process, isn't it?


P.S. If you want to add some essentials to your weaving library, take advantage of the savings at our virtual Summer Tent Sale. See the savings at


Deb's new loom in pieces, waiting to be born.

The new loom sure has pretty lamms.


Sarah and Suzie go to work!
Shafts  almost in place! (Dig those crazy big stitch holders, knitters?)
Success! "Team Loom" is tired but happy. (That's Deb,
the proud new loom mom, in the middle.)

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