Back in September of last year I broke my Louet Octado loom. I was weaving along and stepped down on the treadle and heard a clunk. Then the loom stopped working. Because this is a computer controlled loom, the process is complicated. Not necessarily hard, but definitely complicated. I contacted Tracy Kaestner for help since I bought the loom through her store, Lone Star Loom Room. She talked to the Louet North America person and he sent some pictures of the area I needed to repair. At the time there were lots of things going on and I just couldn't deal with fixing the loom. It was a section of Texsolv that had separated and I really didn't think it would be a big deal to fix, I just didn't want to think about it right now. Well, yeah. Then time stretches on and I looked up after Christmas and realized I really needed to get it fixed.
So bright and early one morning I pulled out my roll of Texsolv and proceeded to map out the section that needed to be replaced. That section goes up and down and around and through so it took some time. I counted Texsolv holes between specific points and was sure it would all work perfectly. Well, no. It didn't. I took it apart again and redid it. Nope. I built this loom from four large flat boxes of wooden pieces. How is it that I couldn't replace one fairly small section of Texsolv? I was frustrated and feeling completely incompetent.
Enter the Louet North America person mentioned above. His name is Dave Van Stralen and he is wonderful. I sent him pictures of what I was doing and he sent back suggestions. But I still couldn't get it to work. Dave and his wife were driving from their home in Prescott, Ontario across the US to Las Vegas for a meeting. And he was driving through Texas! We checked our schedules and the best time to meet up was early in February when they were on their way back home. And this past Saturday was the day.
Dave is a great guy. I really didn't expect anything less since he is the president of Louet North America, but you never know. Dave was more than happy to get to work on my loom and make sure it worked properly before he left my studio. The best part of the entire repair was watching Dave go through all the options. We can pull this part up or that part down. We can tighten this up here or over there. It was amazing. Yes, everything needs to be in its place to work properly but it is NOT a fragile system. I can tweak it here or there, whichever makes it work properly. It's been incredibly liberating.
And, yes, I took pictures of just what it's supposed to look like so I can fix it myself the next time there is an issue. But for now, I'm weaving again!