I drove up to Fond du Lac, WI yesterday, to buy Lilla, my new Swedish Floor Loom. By the way, Lilla means "The Small One" in Swedish. Wouldn't you know it......the weather decided not to cooperate and it began snowing earlier in the morning so by the time I left, around 8 AM, the roads were covered and somewhat slick. That is to say, here in town they were snow covered and slick. It seemed to take me longer to get from our house on the near west side, through downtown, and the east side, than it did to finish the drive to Fond du Lac! Once I got on the other side of I39/90, it was smooth sailing for me.
Woolgatherers is located right on Main Street in downtown Fond du Lac, so it was easy to find, thanks to Goggle maps. ;) As you can see in the reflection on the windows, I was able to get a parking place directly in front of the shop, having the backend of the car right where a path was shoveled to the street, making it perfect for loading the 5 boxes which contained the unassembled loom.
The view from right inside the shop door. Physically, it isn't a large shop, but the variety of fiber materials/equipment offered is huge! Owners, Sara (an avid and VERY knowledgeable weaver) and Hans (engineer and woodworker), both run the shop.
This is a smaller Lilla Floor Loom [Lilla is offered in 24" (60cm), 32" (80 cm), and 40" (100 cm) weaving widths].
This is the Lilla 40" (100cm) which has been converted into a drawloom. For me, it was overwhelming to see all of the cords and weights.....I couldn't imagine weaving on one. Truly amazing!
This loom, a 16 shaft (!!!!) Toika Floor Loom, is computer driven (small box located on the top and controlled by the black step on the floor). Another amazing innovation that is so beyond my comprehension.
A view towards the front of the shop.
I was at the shop for easily 2 hours receiving instruction on how to assemble Lilla. How much I've retained remains to be seen, eh? "Thankfully", Sara and Hans have translated the written Swedish instructions for assembly into English, and also include a CD with step by step photos of how to assemble Lilla. As some of you know, I am a visual learner, so this CD is a good thing. :) Don actually printed out the entire CD for me last night, so I will punch hole the pages for a binder and have the "Loom Assembly Bible" with me as I begin to assemble Lilla today. Wish me luck!!! ;)