I had the opportunity to assist Laura Fry in a class she was teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School last week. The class was called The Efficient Weaver. Laura talked about different tips and techniques that would help make the weaving process more efficient and enjoyable. Because Laura was so efficient, she really didn’t need much help from me. This was good since I had a chore that I needed to do in the studio since I am the Resident Weaver at the Folk School.
A lovely old Norwood, 52 inch, 8 harness loom had been donated last fall to the weaving studio. But it seemed to have an issue or two and I wanted to try it out before a student tried to weave on to it. I designed an 8 harness twill based pattern for dish towels. I wanted to use all 8 harnesses to make sure they all worked properly. As the students in the class could verify, my relationship with the loom in the beginning of the week was, well let’s say, rocky. But as the week progressed, I worked out the bugs and actually gave her a name, Brownie. For my second project I wove another twill based weave structure but only used 4 harness. It made a huge difference in lifting the harnesses. I have notebooks along side of the looms in the studio that allows weavers to write about their loom that they wove on while they were at the Folk School. Brownie has several pages of tips and hints from me to help the next weaver have a nice experience.
Why I am writing about this? Well, if only everyone who was in the market of a used or new loom could weave on it first, it would make all the difference. You would either pass the loom by, or like Brownie, keep her because she now has a warm spot in my heart. If you come to the Folk School, do go by and check her out! She gives a good weave!