I've been away from my own looms for a couple of months, while completing some spinning and weaving projects for others. Last Saturday, I finally had time to sit down and start weaving on a warp that had been on my AVL Little Weaver for a while. Before I did that, I knew I needed to download some software and firmware upgrades for the loom.
(What our heroine did not know is that, with the latest OS upgrade, Apple changed the protocol for connecting her Mac to a peripheral like her loom.) I downloaded the three upgrades I needed from the AVL website, connected the loom and - nothing. I went through the usual steps - reboot the computer, reboot the loom, download the software again, test the USB port with a flash drive, check the settings on the Mac, repeat all of the above (just because) - still nothing.
Finally I went back to the AVL website and looked at the trouble-shooting FAQ's. There it was - the answer to my problem, and another little download script to fix it. It worked. Ok, I had to reboot the router to get the loom working wirelessly, but that's just part of life in the wireless lane.
After a couple of frustrating hours, I finally was ready to start weaving. This never happens on my regular looms! But here's the thing - it does.
Last May I had the opportunity to take a week long Navajo rug weaving class from weavers Linda Teller Pete and Bobbi Teller Ornelas. I've wanted to learn to weave this way for as long as I can remember. The class was amazing and if you have a chance to take a class from these ladies, you definitely should.
Now, a Navajo loom has a pretty simple design. Even so, there are a fair number of parts and tools. Even more important are the steps. In the warping portion of the class, it was really important to follow all of the steps carefully. I'm a pretty experienced weaver, and have warped a lot of different looms, but I still made some pretty bone-headed mistakes.
After giving it some thought, I realize that all weaving - whether on an inscrutably complex computer controlled loom or a deceptively simple frame loom - is a miracle of human ingenuity. It was, I think, our first technology - older and more ubiquitous even than the wheel. And yet the final result is still all about and as simple as back and forth, over and under.