Saturday, February 12, 2011

Weaving in the ends.

I have mentioned the old barn on the croft before.  We intend to renovate it as a working part of the croft.  It is a long building with a living room at the far end, a storage area with a couple of animal stalls in the larger end - a fairly typical arrangement, and one we will probably stick with.  
The room at the far end may have originally been an actual family living area, but latterly it was used as a weaving shed.
We did know this, and indeed most of the crofts would have had weaving sheds complete with looms at some point.  In fact, our neighbour from across the road, who is a woman in her 30s, said she still finds it strange on Summer nights not to hear the sound of the looms.  Now, there is only one weaver left in the village.

A few days ago, as we were pottering around outside the barn, clearing the path, a man came walking along the road. He is a local builder and was working at a house up the road.  He said his father had worked for the weaver here, as a boy, setting up the warper, and he wondered if the warping frame was still in the shed.  Of course it was  - and he was delighted.  He explained to us how the warp threads were arranged on to this frame and then transferred to the loom. It was wonderful to have such a live connection to the past, and to imagine the work that went on in that very room.  We were left with the delightful feeling that, here we are, yet another colour being woven into the warp and weft of the history of this croft.

A subtly different shade, perhaps - a slight variation in the design, maybe,
but still in tune with the colours and patterns of the land.


  1. Such history right at your door. How wonderful that he stopped to chat.

  2. oh this is lovely. I feel like there is some kind of silent echo of the sound of the looms. what a super story x

  3. How wonderful to be such a part of that history, and to be able to pass it on and keep it living.

  4. Wonderful, shame there wasn't a loom still in there for you to renovate too. Maybe one day you will hear the sound of a loom going in there again ;-) - it's the next natural step from spinning so I'm told often by the Guild x

    Look forward to seeing your warp and weft on this barn and the croft.

  5. I was happy to find your blog on Farmama! You're in the land of my ancestors (McGregor) and the place I so dearly long to see. Hopefully, some day not too far in the future! So, for now, I will sit here with my fresh cup of coffee and catch up on reading your past blog posts. What a wonderful life you have there in Scotland...

    Oregon, USA

  6. How lovely to find that connection!! I so love reading your blog, the history that you are unearthing from your home and surroundings and you write so well. Maybe there is a book inside you, telling the story and history of your area and the way you are bringing it back to life? Sounds like the kind of book I love to read anyway.

    I recently cleared a load of brambles out of the old orchard here and cut my way to an old chicken shed, buried in the thicket. Inside is a treasure trove of strange little triangle pens, either for protecting veggies from rabbits or else for chicks, I can't decide. Also, a load of wooden vegetable crates and a deckchair where someone must have sat whilst mending tools or chitting potatoes. Finding these links to the farm's previous life is very special. xxxx

  7. An older property is so much more than a work in progress I think.They give little clues here and there of the occupants who went before us.
    I find it really fascinating to find bits of the past under old wallpaper or in the loft etc.

  8. Thank you everyone. I love discovering something else in the barn that belonged to the previous owner - such a tangible link.
    Pippa - that must have been such an exciting find.

    Dawn - I somehow don't think i will be looking for a 2nd hand loom just yet (but if you happen to see one - no! just kidding ;)

    Dianne - Hello and welcome. My grandfather always claimed Clan Gregor blood, but they used so many aliases, it is hard to work out where the connection is!

  9. lovely! so much history right at home. love that.

  10. What a great story that proves the past is still alive in some ways. I've heard the same from my friends on the islands - that they miss the sound of the looms on summer evenings. It's wonderful that you can appreciate this history.

  11. Wow! Looking at that warping board, you get an idea of what home production weaving really was... that's set up for a LONG warp!!!!


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