If you've been following me on Instagram / are friends with my mother on Facebook / have visited my house in the last few days, you will have heard the news: I have a new loom!

The rug I'm working on right now has taken me 25 hours so far, and will need many more before it is finished. I love working on frame looms, but at this rate I'll be lucky if I can weave two rugs a month- it was time to start looking at alternatives. I searched the internet quickly for looms for sale, and fired off a couple of hopeful messages to a few table loom sellers. And then I saw it: the loom of my dreams. It was a Harris De Luxe Power Loom, and it had been sitting in pieces in a garage in Sevenoaks for the last 30 years.

I quickly got in touch with the owner- a lovely lady named Gill- and we agreed that I would come over on Monday and have a look at it. Gill was at pains to stress the fact that it was in bits, and would require a lot of work to get it up and running. But I was already sold- I was going to have that loom.

My father and I drove down to Sevenoaks on a bright sunny morning.
Gill greeted us at the door and showed us down to the garage.

It was in much better condition than I expected. All of the equipment that came with it was still there- heddles, reeds, even the original shuttles. It was made from Makore wood, or African Cherry, a sturdy hardwood which had aged brilliantly.

Actually getting it into the car proved to be a challenge. My father took on the patient look of long-suffering that he always wears on these occasions which means: "I am getting too old for this." (He's on his way to California with my mother right now for a three week holiday, so don't go feeling too sorry for him)

But at last, we got the loom packed into the back of the car. As a parting gift, Gill ascended into the attic and handed me down an enormous sack of rug wool. She also managed to dig up the original instructions that came with the loom when she bought it in 1976, along with the receipt.

She had bought it from Harris Looms (now made by Emir) and had it installed in her previous home. When they moved some years later the loom had been taken apart and never put back together again. Now the garage where they kept it was starting to fall apart, so she had begun looking around in earnest for a new home for it. She was so thrilled to be sending it off to someone who will give it a good home, and she will be coming for tea when the loom is up and running.

Now the loom is in bits in yet another garage, and also scattered on my bedroom floor. Renegade Craft Fair is imminent and I'm working flat out to get everything ready for that. But as soon as things quieten down I'll begin work.

posted 29th October 2015