Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Tale of Rachel's Loom

No one weaves a story better than my friend, Trish, but she had some crazy idea  she would rather hold a new grandbaby than write a blogpost. So, here’s my attempt to do The Tale of Rachel’s Loom justice:

Rachel has always had some Martha Stewart/Pinterest-y tendencies. When she was a teenager, she developed an interest in weaving fabrics. Allen and Trish did what supportive parents of a textile-loving teen do. They got a full-size loom. Now, full-size looms take up a considerable amount of space, but that was okay. Rachel was truly talented and Trish scored some lovely textiles out of the deal. (More info on Rachel's weaving hobby can be found here.) The problem was that when Rachel married Brandy, they moved into a one room apartment. One room apartments and full-size looms do not mix unless you’re willing to do without furniture. Rachel and Brandy wanted furniture, so the loom stayed with Allen and Trish.
A sample of Rachel's weaving

Eventually, Rachel and Brandy moved to a larger space, but they decided they would rather have a nursery for Nathan than a loom. It was beginning to look like Allen and Trish would always have a full-size loom. Hey, it could serve as a conversation piece, but they weren’t willing to put up a placard and tell people it was “primitive art”. Go figure.

With options depleted, Rachel posted a notice to a Facebook page for missionaries in Honduras. LOOM FOR SALE! One family’s behemoth of a loom is another man’s treasure and a buyer was found.

The Sowers didn’t know the people getting the loom, but Russell and Trish hauled the weaving apparatus to the address they were given. (Okay, Russell probably did most of the hauling, but Trish was there, too.) He stopped the truck at a building with ministry signs. They were at the right place.

Rachel's loom, arriving at its new home.

The right place turned out to be a vocational school, which teaches deaf children, as well as those with other types of handicaps. Not only do these children receive an education, they are also trained to have a vocation. They train them to weave! Russell and Trish were escorted into a room containing about 15-20, mostly handmade, looms. Some of the looms had pedals, allowing the operator to set patterns. Some did not have pedals. They were all put to good use. With the piece of machinery formerly known as “Rachel’s loom,” the children will be able to learn to weave more intricate patterns. The children are also taught to sew, and they use the woven fabric to create many beautiful items to sell.

Sadly, there were no children on site that day, because this was the day of the eclipse, and all of the schools were closed that day. But even without seeing the children, it was clear that they are learning to do beautiful work here!

When Rachel listed the loom, she set the price at far less than it is worth . . . but the joy of knowing the loom is in the right place is priceless! (The joy of having the extra room isn’t too bad, either!) - posted by Christi

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