You know, I wasn't sure where to put this post because technically I haven't made this project. But I have decided to label my husband as an extension of myself in this regard, and since the project was done for me, I think it is fair to put it on my project page. Now that that has been cleared up to everyone's satisfaction, let me give you the tiny bit of back story that led up to this amazing project.
I want to get more into weaving as a craft. I have my rigid heddle, which I love and have by no means exhausted, but I also wanted to get involved in some larger projects with different pattern options. With this in mind, my husband and I started shopping around for a loom. It was not long before we discovered purchasing a loom is very expensive business. It was a fact we already had bouncing around in the backs of our heads, but the point wasn't driven home until we actually intended to buy one.
It makes sense they are expensive, in some respects, since many looms are really gorgeous pieces of handcrafted furniture that double as a crafting device. But it is hard to justify spending that much money on something I do not yet know if I will even enjoy in the long term. We don't have thousands of dollars to drop on something that might prove a passing fancy. (My mother is notorious for buying gobs of crafting gear only to find that it is not a craft she is passionate about. Needless to say, there is a lot of dusty stain glass equipment, ceramics gear, every cross stitch thread color imaginable, garment design aides...and none of it is going anywhere because she is adamant she loves it all. I think there was a valuable lesson for me in the craft hoarding.) Long story short, I sadly decided that perhaps a larger loom would just have to wait until it was realistically in our financial reach. It made me sad, but it felt like the responsible thing to do.
Well, my wonderful husband did not let the issue rest. He went on a search for something that was affordable for us. In his internet meanderings, he came across a book called Building a 4-shaft PVC Loom, by David Holly which I've linked to its webpage. (It is available as a $10.00 Nook Book.) My husband bought the book and built the loom for my birthday. How awesome is that?
Now, my birthday was Monday and I haven't yet had the chance to try out this neat table top loom, but this weekend has a nice chunk of time carved out for that purpose. (Plus we need to find a better place than the living room floor for this PVC creation.) It has all the functionality of a wooden table top loom, but only cost a little over $250 to make. I watched the whole process as my husband (aided by our two toddlers armed with toy hammers) put the loom together. I must say, it really has given me a deeper understanding of the mechanics behind this style loom and familiarized me with much of the terminology that I probably would have been lazy about learning had I just bought a manufactured loom. This is a 4-shaft jack style loom with pulls on the top. The only parts not purchased at our home improvement store were the reed, special rope and the heddles. (All of these parts were easily available from The Woolery. I think they are popular parts for loom restoration.) The weaving width is 24", which is a perfectly good place to start for me. It gives me almost ten additional inches over my rigid heddle.
My husband did say there were a few errors in the book. It is a self-published how-to, so keeping that in mind, it is still a wonderful resource and great that Mr. Holly shared is idea with the world. (However, if you plan to make one yourself, make sure you've packed some patience in your tool bag.) My husband also made some small modifications of his own. Working only on weekends and impeded frequently by the helping hands of our kids, this loom only took 2.5 weekends to make. I am so excited to get my first project warped and ready to go! What a special birthday present this was. I know it will keep my satisfied and learning tons for at least a few years. And maybe by then I'll have enough money squirreled away that I can buy whatever floor loom my heart desires. One can only hope. :-)