We’ve made room for a loom

A monster is lurking in my living room. Its hulking, silent, wooden presence has overtaken an entire corner. Jagged metal teeth protrude at unlikely angles, steel wires mimic a forest of eyes, and its joints creak, clank, and groan. Stained ropes are tied to and knotted through it.

My family and I brought it home and carried it in, piece by dismembered piece. In the dark of night, my husband and son reassembled the pieces like modern-day doctors Frankenstein. The resultant massive beast strongly resembles a medieval torture device. It looms over the furniture. It should…after all, it IS a loom.

My long-suffering hubby has been amazingly supportive of what is turning into my fiber addiction. It started with knitting cheap yarn on cheap needles, but soon morphed into knitting rather expensive yarn on top-of-the-line needles.

Just when I’d gotten into the swing of that, hubby indulged me again with a sock-knitting machine. It had a wickedly steep learning curve, but manages to do several things simultaneously.

First, it makes nice socks, and makes them quickly. That (second) theoretically frees me up to do more handwork, if I so choose. Third, it uses sock yarn at an alarming rate. If it weren’t for all of the yarn out there that I haven’t yet bought, I would definitely be afraid of singlehandedly causing a worldwide yarn shortage.

Maybe it was the mounting yarn bills, my mysteriously growing yarn stash—feed me, Seymour!—or perhaps simply the notion that I could make my own yarn with the proper tools and materials that prompted darling hubs to get me a spinning wheel. He really set it up as a surprise, bless him, and it turns out that I enjoy spinning.

Once you get the hang of it, its rather relaxing. And, like knitting, you get to touch luxuriously luscious color, and shape it to your will. What could be better?

Years ago at the Et Cetera Shop in Hutchinson, I watched a woman weave a rug from denim scraps. The mechanism of the loom fascinated me. The memory floated around in the back of my mind for years, an ember searching for tinder.

So, when the kind lady who had passed her spinning wheel on to me called me one day and said that she wanted to get rid of her floor loom, and that if I didn’t want it, it was going to the dump, I jumped at the chance. Ember, meet tinder. Add tornado.

Darling Daughter and I headed out to pick it up one morning. As it turns out, trying to beat a rainstorm has about the same effect as trying to outrun a train. Not smart. So, a side trip to Tractor Supply was in order to buy tarps and tie downs.

Thankfully, the loom was disassembled on the floor of a garage that we could back partway into to load up. The disadvantage was that two of the three of us weren’t feeling like climbing in and out of the truck bed with very little overhead space.

Offspring to the rescue! My dear daughter clambered right in to guide the precious cargo. It was originally laid out in a moderately sensible reassembly order, but there was no way to preserve order and still fit all of the bits into the truck.

So, we finally stretched a second tarp over a jumble of parts. Had I not known the previous owner, I would have thought made an iron maiden or a medieval rack rather than a loom.

Happily enough, the tarps and tie downs held. We arrived at home in the rain, but with the loom, as it was, still dry. Intrepid hubby started carrying in parts immediately, reasoning that eventually the truck bed would take on water. Finding no flaw in his logic, we all grabbed what we could and started stacking it, in no particular order, in a corner of the living room.

There the bits stayed until darling hubs apparently either got tired of looking at them or got bored. Completely without instructions, let alone experience with looms—I was of precious little assistance either, besides finding pictures online—he and Darling Son managed to put the thing together in what seems to be perfectly workable order.

I strongly suspect that this monster will end up consuming just as much, if not more, yarn and fiber than the smaller spinning wheel and sock machine.

“Night Of The Living Loom,” “Loomferatu,” and “Frankenloom” just don’t sound like films I want to star in! Have a safe and happy Halloween!

Shana Thornhill lives on farm near Marion. She can be reached at shotah76@yahoo.com.

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