Like many of you, I have been weaving for over 35 years. I have been a middle school teacher, a librarian, computer saleswoman, director of children's theatre, and museum program director. Through all these careers, I was always a rug weaver.
The first time I saw a loom, I knew I would be a weaver. My first loom was a Reed Cambridge Model, four harness, counterbalance loom. The purchase included a spool rack, handmade rug shuttles, boxes of carpet warp, sewn rag balls. I had all of the equipment and enthusiasm, but no teacher. There was no internet, so thanks to books, Mary Black, Harriet Tidball and Mary Meigs Atwater became my teachers.
I am very interested in old looms and historical weaving equipment. To me, there is a sadness that most people have no idea what these looms can do and adult children often take no interest in their weaving heritage. Sometimes, looms are in parts and with my husband's help, we put them back together. I have helped many historical societies acquire a loom. I taught the docents to dress the loom and weave. Now they are demonstrating rug weaving to the public. To encourage community interest, I teach beginning and intermediate weaving classes through the Waukegan Park District.