Sunday, February 14, 2010

weaving the past or a treasure trove of historical threads


husband bought me a loom yesterday. i don't have it home yet and it was just a pile of what appeared to be sticks and other mysterious bits lying on the floor in a basement, so it wasn't really worth photographing yet anyway. it's a 130cm wide lervad loom, an old one, but it's been well-used and well-loved and many a beautiful thing has been created on it. we bought it from a lovely lady who is nearly 80 and who was a member of my weaving group for years. she said she's painting now and doesn't have time or inclination to weave anymore (isn't that a marvelous reason?), so that's why she was selling it. lucky me! along with it, she had a box of binders and a basket of weaving yarn. we had room for that box in the car, so we took that much with us. we'll go back with a trailer when the weather gets better and pick up the loom itself. at first, the binders looked a bit uninteresting, but then last evening, we took a closer look. and we discovered treasure beyond belief.


the binders contain countless weaving patterns and weaving exercises and samples of things she wove over the years. many of the pages are from courses where it was clear that patterns were distributed as hand-written mimeograph copies - so they have that characteristic purple ink and that old familiar smell that takes me back to the 3rd grade (in a good way), but they're in some sweet lady's handwriting. it is simply a priceless historical record of the countless things woven by the lovely lady who owned my loom. taking advantage of a bit of sunshine today, i photographed the contents of one of the binders:


she had carefully noted patterns and yarn samples and accompanying many of the pages are woven samples of the patterns in various different materials. sabin wanted to appropriate some as furnishings for her littlest pet shop, but we discussed how important these are as historical artifacts and now she knows her LPS are not going to have fine carpets anytime soon. there are about 10 binders in all, an absolute treasure trove of 30 years of weaving in denmark. i find it unbelievable that this treasure came with my loom. i'm going to see if i can have them bound into proper books by a bookbinder. and they will have a place of honor in the new blue room, wherever it may be. it just seems like such an invaluable resource.

here are some samples from just one of the notebooks...










i think this may be the very best combined anniversary-valentine's day-upcoming birthday present ever. thank you husband and thank you lovely lady who let me buy your loom.

22 comments:

Lost Star said...

That is an amazing gift and it is so lovely to see the history that comes with it! The weave samples are wonderful!

Margie Oomen said...

those notebooks and samples are such an amazing treasure
they remind me of these buttons a elderly patient of mine made
http://www.flickr.com/photos/12967142@N05/2405284629/

Elizabeth said...

Congratulations!!!!

This loom and its history on record couldn't have found a better home.

Tracy Golightly-Garcia said...

The samples and notebooks are wonderful and I look forward to seeing more.

I also remember the smell of purple ink on copies--how funny how something can take you back in time.

Have a great week!

Best
Tracy :)

Barb said...

Wow! What a treasure! I'm so happy for you. The samples are lovely.

The Redhead Riter said...

I love the idea of the neat and tidy notebooks with everything in there. Lovely pics as usual.

Happy Valentine's Day!
Come and view my note to you...
http://theredheadriter.blogspot.com/2010/02/i-spy-valentines-day.html

Marilynne said...

The book and its samples are not only lovely, they're a challenge for you to learn how to do them. I can only imagine how many lovely things have come from this woman's loom, and how many will come from you.

Thanks for sharing.

CatLadyLarew said...

Wow! Those samples are exquisite! I can hardly wait to see what you create with the loom. Best Valentine/Anniversary/Birthday gift ever!

marja-leena said...

These are indeed an amazing and priceless treasure - how very blessed you must feel! Getting this bound into something archival sounds like a wonderful idea, and acknowledges the person who gave it to you!

I come from a family (Finnish) of several generations of weavers and have been gifted with and inherited many lovely pieces. That last one looks very familiar, I think I have an ancient worn out tablecloth in green like it. If I'd had the opportunity in my youth, I'd have become a weaver instead of a visual artist. Now I just admire and collect and display these treasures in my home.

Erin Wallace said...

What an amazing and thoughtful gift! Hope you enjoy it thoroughly! Happy Valentine's Day.

Elisa @ Globetrotting in Heels said...

Wow, that's amazing. Seriously, amazing. And this is from a total non-crafty. To have something like that, put together with such care over the years, and all those beautiful samples... just WOW.

And I had to laugh at the LPS luxury carpet thing - Sarah would have asked for the same thing :-)

spudballoo said...

oh gsoh how super! I'm amazed that she gave them away, but then it's also really heartening to know that we can 'move on' from our passions/hobbies and completely let go of them like that.

Super idea to get them bound. Don't tell her. She might want them back LOL.

stephanie said...

Ooh, what a find! Those little samples are amazing! I love it when people keep such good records of what they do and how they do it, but this kind of takes the cake. If you get the bound into books, you'll have to share photos because I think that will be lovely.

kristina - no penny for them said...

these are just stunning. - and i'm looking forward to seeing how you will continue writing the (hi)story of that loom. it couldn't have found a better new home, i'm sure.

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Honestly, this is crazy amazing and its like - don't think Im nuts but - a coffee table book. Dont you think it would make the most amazing coffee table book ever?

Lisa-Marie said...

HOw wonderful, to have something that has been part of someone's life, and a bit of their shared history.

Joanna Jenkins said...

This may be the all-time best gift ever! What a great history the loom comes with. Enjoy and please share the things you make!

jj

bekkah said...

Congratulations on such a wonderful find! Beautiful colors and textures...enjoy :)

PROVINS said...

Øj øj øj hvor skønt!! Er lidt jaloux (på en god måde) over at du har plads!! Er den sat til computer eller er det kun med tramper?? og hvor mange skafter har du så?? Åh hvor er du heldig!

Barb said...

What an absolutely marvelous treasure. I'm sooooo jealous, have always wanted to try weaving. Enjoy! Barb xo

Samantha said...

Wow, how beautiful!

mel said...

Gasp! What a gift!! How amazing to not only have a loom with all that history and use and stories - and those notebooks and samples... *sigh* Inspiration for the day - how amazing. Happy early b-day/belated v-day! :)