While I could never succeed without the support, love and help of my husband and children - I could not do ANYTHING without my "other half" - my "business partner" -- MY LOOM!
I remember the first time I ever worked on a real loom. I was in middle school (12 or 13 years old) - and I had the opportunity to do a small project on a table loom. I absolutely loved it - but it was a one-time-deal....a single project in school. Or so I thought.
Many years later, I had an opportunity to help with a Tallit-weaving program that was offered by my synagogue in the U.S.. Women (and sometimes men) came in and were able to weave a Tallit for a bar mitzvah, etc. This was my first time dealing with a floor loom. I assisted with this program for a little while - following the instructions of the woman who oversaw the program and had been doing it for many years. I fell in even deeper love with weaving and looms.....and then my family moved to Israel. Even though I was basically nothing more than an apprentice - I missed weaving, I missed working with a loom. Then my husband offered to buy me my own loom.
I was amazed by all the options available when purchasing a loom. I liked the idea of a floor loom and found one that can fold up when not in use to save space. I decided on a 4-shaft loom, which was familiar to me. The hardest part of the process was getting my loom here because the ones I could find were from the states. I ordered a "loom kit" - meaning my loom would come unassembled and in a few boxes. The company suggested getting a "kit" because you really get to know your loom when you put it together yourself. They were right.
My loom arrived on 22 March 2013 and I started assembling it on the 28th. It was a family effort, everyone pitched in with at least a small part. I really did get to know every millimeter of it - the company was right about that! After only two days, the loom was finished and ready to go!
Then it hit me - I had no clue what to do. I had never set up a loom on my own - I had no idea how much yarn to buy, what patterns to use or how to set them up. I didnt even know what type of project to do.
Thank goodness I live in a time of technology - YouTube was a huge help and I found vidoes on there walking you through every step of the weaving process to make a scarf.....from figuring out how much yarn to buy, to setting up, weaving, and finishing the project.
I went out and bought myself some soft, cotton yarn. Set up YouTube in the room with me and slowly made my way through my first project. Was it perfect? Nope.....but every little mistake taught me something new. I stuck to making scarves for several months, but I knew it was time to move on.
Next I started making pocket-purses -- which led me to learn how to make my own cording straps.....and made me finally learn how to sew on a zipper. I had purchased wool, hoping to start weaving full-sized Tallitot again - but I had ordered yarn that was too thick....so I started making my Old-World style Tallit Katans. Then came shoulder bags -- which brought about the purchase of my Inkle Loom for making wider shoulder straps. Then shawls...blankets....full-sized Tallitot finally were added in (after consulting with the woman I worked with in the states and purchasing the correct thickness of wool yarn)....then smaller bags... And I'm just getting started - adding new products all the time.
Just like any business partners - my loom and I don't always get along too well. During a praticularly complicated project, I got frustrated and yelled at my loomand debated throwing it out the living room window (which would be quite difficult because of its size). Several months ago my loom decided I was working it too hard and it snapped a screw - I admit that it is still limping along as I have not repaired it yet because I was working on starting my business and the repair will require me to DISassemble part of it. Despite our little arguments - I love my loom and the creative outlet it allows me to have.
It took almost two years of getting to know my loom and making tons of woven gifts for friends and family before I decided to turn my hobby into a business. On 1 March 2015 - Chana's Loom opened for business...and now - on 24 June launching my website is a HUGE step forward.
So, WELCOME! Take a look around - I hope you like what you see here. If you don't see what you are looking for, or if you prefer different colors or patterns, let me know. While I love coming up with ideas on my own - I also love making something for another person that is exactly what they want. Don't forget to keep coming back too - as new things are always being added.