Saturday, February 6, 2010

In the beginning.....

When I was a little girl, I spent a lot of time with my Grandmother, Ola Schultz. She loved to tell me stories of when she was a little girl. She also passed along family stories from her side of the family, as well as my Grandfather's family. She had two coverlets that she said came from the Schultz family. She loved to tell me that the wool came from the sheep on the farm, and were sheared, spun and woven at the homeplace. I didn't ask any questions...but I wish I had! She asked me which coverlet I wanted, and of course I wanted the blue and tan one! (Now I realize that the secondary color is a rust.)







Fast forward to the mid 1970's. My great-aunt had died, and her brother asked my Dad to come up to the homeplace and get some things that the family wanted him to have. While we were there, Uncle George asked me if I'd like to have his Mother's loom. I didn't recall ever having seen a loom at the house....where was it??? His mother, my Great-Grandmother, Ester Kidwell Schultz, had the loom taken apart in the early '40's and stored in the attic. And, there it came down the steep steps, all the pieces of what had once been a "barn loom". Uncle George was really proud of the warp beam...he knew that it had been carved from a tree trunk. It took two men to carry it down the steps and load it on Dad's truck. The side pieces were still together, and they were almost 6 ft. tall. And, there was a lot of other STUFF that I had no clue what they could be!
This loom remained apart until 2002, when my new husband, Bruce, decided that it needed to be put back together again. I found some pictures of what I thought it should look like, and he had her back together in less than 20 minutes...just like she had never been apart. There are no bolts, just wooden pegs that hold the joints together. I have called her Ester since that day. It took until 2005 for me to learn to weave!


In all that stuff, I found REEDS....real reeds. And, there were shuttles: one has the initials JN and 1860 carved on it. (I have no clue who JN could be. That's research for another day!) And, there are two carved stick shuttles that I imagine might have been used to weave the pattern on my coverlet.

There was thread that was still wound on corncobs, and spools of crochet thread. I suspect that the X shaped items were some kind of skein winder, but I haven't figured out exactly how it goes back together.

It took me forever to find out that the object with the teeth was called a "temple." And, one of my prized finds in all the STUFF was a handmade raddle (not pictured) that had tiny handcarved pegs. I used that raddle until I bought my Mighty Wolf and raddle.
So, I guess the stars finally aligned, and now I, too, am a weaver. I wonder if Ester put that loom in the attic in hopes that one of her granddaughters in the future would love her? I do, Ester, I do. I just wish she could talk......
LouAnn


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful connection to your family! I'm glad your family had the foresight to keep it! The stories Ester continues to tell in her own quiet way! So many families just threw it all away. You'll be writing the continuation of it as you weave on her.
Carol

Tina said...

I just love seeing those coverlets! They are absolutely beautiful!

Maggie said...

That's a beautiful story. And you know I love that coverlet!

Bonnie said...

A wonderful and inspiring story. Thank you for sharing the great memories.

Tuesday Weavers said...

What a treasure trove of things you have!

Linda