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New Weaver: Lucas

I have a rule. Any kid who comes to my house, whose eyes light up when they see the loom, gets free weaving lessons.

Lucas got bit by the weaving bug bad. I think he's one of those people who became a weaver from the moment he first saw a loom.

His younger brother goes to kindergarten with my son Kai, and Lucas came over for Kai's birthday party as the dragged-along older brother. He did pretty well for an eight-year-old stranded among the kindergarten/preschool set.

But the looms in my studio fascinated him. I would have given him a lesson right then and there, but all my looms were empty at that moment. (I know, yet another reason to immediately put a new warp on!) So I told him that he could come later and have a lesson.

His mom was like, "sure, sure," not wanting to be an imposition. But Lucas was persistent. His mom said it's only thing she's seen him get that excited about. It took us a bit to work out a time that would work for all involved. But this weekend, we made it happen.

Lucas's little brother disappeared upstairs with Kai, and much giggling ensued. His mom sat with me at the kitchen table and drank tea and told me fascinating tales about her childhood in Communist Poland. And Lucas wove.

For four hours. Stopping only to wind bobbins.

He burbled over colors, and tried different textures. I had him learn on the Baby Wolf, with the Baby Dobby installed (I know! How unfair is that? No treadling mistakes!) He soldiered on with cheerful aplomb when the dobby finger on shaft six broke (not his fault, BTW.) We, on the fly, turned an 8-shaft braided twill into a 7-shaft braided twill, fortunately the floats weren't too long.

By the end of the afternoon, he had a respectable first woven piece. We twisted the fringe, and he grinned like he'd discovered fire. (In this photo, he's grinning like a flash just went off in his face, so you'll have to use your imagination a bit.)

Before he left, he talked about ideas for his next project, asked how to design his own weave structures, and had a go on the AVL 16-shaft loom, sending the empty fly shuttles zooming back and forth.

His mom came back to check on his progress. "Next time I might get to weave on that loom!" he enthused, pointing at the huge AVL.

At the right you're going, Lucas, you just might.

Welcome to the warp side...