While I was setting up my drawloom, a few respected weavers called into question whether my big Scandinavian loom was a Glimåkra Standard at all. At first, I shrugged it off. Then I started to wonder, and it started to bother me a great deal. By questioning Per’s origins in that way, there was an implication that I should know better than to expect an inferior pile of cobbled together loom parts to behave like a proper loom.
When I though I had the only loom like this in the world, it was a plausible theory. The day that a second loom, exactly like mine, showed up half-way across the country, it was time to come up with a better theory.
The answer was in plain sight on the GAV Glimakra website:
In 1950 the two entrepreneurs Lennart Persson and Yngve Nilsson started Glimåkra Vävstolsfabrik (loom making factory) in the small town of Glimåkra in the south of Sweden. 1975 this company was bought by one of the larger groups of companies in Sweden, the Bonnier Group.
In 1999 GAV bought the loom manufacturing and the right to the brand name from Glimåkra and moved the loom manufacturing to Oxberg, near Mora.
Knowing that my loom was purchased in Sweden in the late 60’s, and later brought to the US by it’s first owner, what I have is a genuine old–dare I say original–Glimåkra Vävstolsfabrik loom with it’s proper bench. In those days, Glimåkra looms had four spokes on their ratchet wheels. They were shaped a bit differently than today. They were virtually unknown in the US.
You can just call him Per Persson.
While the assembly of the drawloom consumed most of my summer and early autumn, I am now completely consumed by weaving the first project on my Myrehed single unit drawloom.
There is something so satisfying about pulling draw cords according to the charted design that I drew. I feel like I have finally found an outlet for my somewhat primitive drawing skills. And, should I not feel like drawing, there are so many sources for charted traditional folk art motifs.
One of my uncles kept bees, and I have given serious thought to getting a hive. Bees are a threatened resource because of the pesticides used in industrial farming. I shudder to think of a world without bees, for it would be a world without fruits and vegetables.
What stopped me from getting a hive is that it would produce 40-50 pounds of honey a year. I probably use a pound of honey in a good year.
Instead, I shall weave my hive and bees, and buy my honey and beeswax from a local farm.
This is the beginning of a pair of casual napkins for the kitchen table, woven in broken twill using 8/2 cotton. They will be perfect for the breakfast table, especially when serving toast with honey.
When I am deep into the cloth, in the light trance that comes from repetitive movement, my mind is free. Sometimes I think deeply; other times, not at all, just riding along on the cycle of movement.
Yesterday, I sat on the deck, weaving a narrow band in fine wool. Colorful stripes. It was difficult to get into the trance state, because I had to focus on keeping the band a consistent width. This is more of a concern with fine yarn because the band heddle spreads it so wide. Then I broke a warp thread. There may be a rough spot on this band heddle. I have not used it before.
My thoughts were light, mostly on why some looms, such as band heddles, are nameless tools and other looms call for names. They are all weavers’ tools, like anything else in the studio. Didn’t I just read on a forum that there’s no shame in having a loom without a project on it. I’m not troubled when there’s no warp on the warping mill, or no quill on the bobbin winder. Why should I be concerned that there is no warp on one of my looms?
I don’t know. I need to carry the question with me for a while longer.
While I’ve made much mental progress on what needs to be done to fit the loom extension to my loom, and I have an elegant solution in mind where three modifications will correct all five issues, there has been no physical progress on it.
I am not ready to wind the linen warp for the drawloom. Not yet. Linen warps should not linger in a basket, waiting to be used. They get into all sorts of mischief. It’s just their nature.
One loom will be naked for a while longer. It’s just his nature.
Said with my best approximation of a Massachusetts accent, of course. It is the place I call home now, so I might as well use the local idiom.
I have been wicked productive in the past few weeks. My winter study project in the Swedish art weaves of the Skåne region is off the loom. Yes, it ran long past winter, but I was having such fun with it. I am thrilled to see the fabric, because it was woven face down. It’s fabric for a tote bag. This is the front
The plainer design at the bottom is for the back of the tote.Another project from the winter is finally done. You may recall this shawl, called Opposites Attract. I’m going to appreciate its thickness and warmth on a cold winter’s day. Today, I am content to drape it over a chair in the library and enjoy the warmth of a fine June day.
What’s happening in the studio?
I still have warp for more Swedish art weaves on the 4-shaft Julia. The other Julia is set up to weave the wide border for my Stjerne coverlet. Three meters done, and four to go. Per, my big old Standard, is naked, as is often the case, but there is something very exciting in his future. I have purchased a ‘harnesk’ or single-unit drawloom! There are some minor technical difficulties in getting the loom extension set up. Per is a non-standard Standard. There are loom parts all over the studio right now. It looks like a loom exploded in there.
I have fallen in love with weaving damask, and am so excited that I will be able to do it in my own studio. Here are two pieces that I wove at Vävstuga Weaving School a few weeks ago.