Way back in 1982 when I started
weaving, I was using a "Lillistina" Loom from Sweden. It had string heddles and an "X" style construction. Everything on it was string. I bought the loom because I was fascinated with weaving, but I didn't know how to set it up or do anything. I had no "vocabulary" for weaving, but I did have a handout from the woman I bought the loom from that listed the steps I needed to do in order to warp the loom. What fun.....
About three months into loom ownership, I was in a craft store in Ogden, Utah (where we were living at the time) and I found a Dover Publication titled "The Joy of Handweaving" by Osma Gallinger Tod. This book became my EVERYTHING. I treasured this book -- it had a history of weaving, an explanation of looms and the tools necessary for weaving, projects, drafts, weave structures, and problem solving. I became dependent upon this book in my winter isolation on the
Wasatch Mountain range and I devoured this book cover to cover many times over. And Osma Gallinger Tod became very real to me -- she was my hero, even though I knew nothing about her other than she authored the book I learned to weave from.
Fast forward 25 years of weaving devotion later to last week at the Saunderstown Weaving School where I am given the opportunity to rebuild THE loom that Osma Gallinger Tod wove on. Her husband built this and many others like it. It was part of her business. Osma passed this loom onto her niece, who in turn, donated it to the school. I was almost crying with reverence and excitement as this beautiful machine is put together. It is 8 harness, 14 treadle, high castle "jack" style action. Norma will be the first one to weave on it and we are planning Summer and Winter project. I can't wait!