Saturday Adventure

Saturday Hubby and I set out on an adventure…well, maybe not an adventure but an outing.

It all started a few weeks ago.  My brother Jim is a “junkie”…not the drug kind of junkie but the kind who is always out and looking for good junk.  I got a message from his wife one day….It said, “I am not with Jim but he asked Taybor (his grandson) to send this to you & wants to know if u want it?


I was doing childcare when the message came.  I looked and looked again at the picture.  OH MY…was that a rug loom?!  Well next thing I knew Jim was calling me.  He said he was at a house, the house was getting cleaned out and I could have this loom if I wanted it.

I don’t think it all registered with me because I asked him how much it was.  He said FREE!  WHAT?  Free.  Yes, Free.

Um, yes I want it.  I couldn’t get there so he was so nice and brought it to his daughter’s house and she has kept it in her garage over the last bit until we could get there to pick it up.

Saturday was out day to go.  We ended up going through Osage to get there.  If you’re a long time blog reader you know that the cross stitch shop I like is in Osage…yep I stopped and while I was shopping Hubby checked out the town and the antique shop.

He decided we should eat at the Smoke Shack.  We both like BBQ so it was an easy choice.


Oh my…it was good.  Here were our choices for lunch.  Hubby got #4 and I got #3.  We also got the Jacked Up Beans and the Sweet Potato Hash….


While they were prepping our food we were busy trying out the sauces.  There were two that I loved…the Raz-Jaz and the Carolina White sauce…the others were good but those two were my favorite.


The atmosphere was good too.


Hubby, of course had to check out the construction of the bar stools.  They were chunky and home made…really neat.

He loves knowing how things are constructed…me, not so much.  I just like to know they work…these were fun for sure.


So how was the food?WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!!!!

This was my sweet potato hash.  I am going to google and look to see if I can find some type of close recipe…honestly, I loved it.


This was the pizza.  It was yummy….perfectly spiced.


The waitress came buy and asked how things were.  I said, “There is only one problem…your restaurant is an hour away from our house”.  That’s completely the truth.

If you head that way, make sure to check out the Smoke Shack.  It’s on main street on the north side.  YUM.  We will for sure eat there again!!

So what about the rug loom?  We traveled on from Osage up through Austin, MN and onto Freeborn where my brother Jim lives.  Here’s the loom.


I am so excited but I am also a bundle of nerves over it.  I have NO IDEA how to do anything.  I remember my siblings saying that my mom had one.  She had sold it by the time me, the youngest in the family came along.


It’s textile related so you can bet that I am VERY interested in giving it a try and seeing if I can make it work.


So blog readers…HELP.  I need help to try to make this thing go.  Are any of you out there rug makers?  What can you tell me because I have a lot to learn.

Plans for now are for this to go in our garage….Right now I am completely booked and don’t have time to give this enough attention.  In the mean time, I am gathering information….I’m hoping some of you can help with that.

I love my family….I called Kayla to tell her about the loom.  I told her Jim got it for free…her comment, “of course he did”…I am still completely amazed that he found for me.  I guess this makes up for all the times he teased and picked on me.

On the way home Hubby offered to stop at a the Calico Hutch Quilt Shop in Hayword…I took him up on the offer.  I’ll show you a shop tour tomorrow.



20 thoughts on “Saturday Adventure”

  1. OMG an original antique rug loom. Very much like the homemade ones we saw in Thailand although they were for silk. It is a thing of beauty.

    I wish I knew how to warp a loom since I would be on my way to see you and the loom.

    I always like your trips around Iowa since they point out the special places that “tourists” miss. Hubby wont eat meat so he would be out of luck at the BBQ place but I enjoy it. I think we need to make vacation trip just to Iowa.

    I only know about the John C. Campbell Folk Art School in NC. They have a whole building full of weaving looms and each one is named. Their website is and one of their resident advisors may be able to point you to more resources for the loom. I looked at one of their classes and clicked on the instructor and it had an icon to send an email to the instructor. Or you could send an email the school itself to find the person in charge of the weaving program. Might be a way to start a conversation.

  2. Hi Jo. I hit YouTube to try to find you a link. It seems that the brand would help. Each you tube seems to be brand related. Antique Rug loom doesn’t bring up a model that looks like yours.

  3. Jo, there is a lady that goes to our church that has made rugs for YEARS!! Her name is Jean Szabo and she lives right in Castalia on the east end of town near my mom. Give her a call, I think she still has a loom set up in her basement, not sure. Deb

  4. Jo, If I’m reading the name correctly you have a Union Universal Loom, Here is the google links to that loom It is a two harness loom, which means you will do plain weaving on it. A four harness loom, like I had two of for many years, had six pedals and you could do patterns on it. I sold those as the quilting has taken over. There is a Weavers guild in Waterloo, and from their web site, here is their address 3257 West 4th St. Waterloo, Ia. There is a guild in Iowa city also. Cedar Rapids hasn’t had one for many years. I learned to weave at the YWCA in CR, in 1956 and then bought a 4 harness loom and made and sold rugs and placemats. Trouble is they are trip rugs unless you put a non-skid backing on them. They were not welcome in the house I’m living in now with hard wood floors. I learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine, sewing rug rags for my grandfather who had a built in loom in their out building called the summer house where laundry was done in the summer time, and where butchering took place. You will need to learn out to warp the loom which requires a tensioner, and a spool rack. If you can get a book on line it will tell you all those things. I preferred to sew my rags on the bias and then folded like double fold bias and rolled them into balls, so there were no raw edges showing. This way there are no bumps in the weaving. It is smooth. You will also need a bench to sit on and shuttles to hold the material you are weaving with. Good luck.

  5. Cheryl in Dallas

    Oh, Jo, what have you done? Child care, quilting, charity quilts, writing quilt patterns, blogging, entertaining family, refinishing furniture, butchering hogs, cross-stitching, . . . and now a rug loom! There is no way you have that many hours in your day. Well, this will be interesting to see what you do with the loom. Good luck!

  6. Lois Hendrickson

    What a find- my grandmother had two looms. I remember sewing the cloth strips together as I learned to sew in the 60’s. Sure wish I knew how to help you. She used plastic bread wrAPPERS FOR rugs also and panty hose. Those rugs lasted forever! Lois

  7. My mother often took balls of fabric strips for rugs to the veteran’s home in Marshalltown, IA. If there is a veteran’s home in your area, it’s possible they may have a loom and know something about weaving.

  8. Soooooooo jelly!!!!!!
    Wish I’d found such a freebie!!!!! Those aren’t cheap! Keep it well nourished…. wood can dry out !
    My recommendation …….keep track of each project….notations …. how much warp, what the heddle pattern is, how you make weaving changes…. it will help you build up a “library”….. you can do more than rugs.
    I learned to use and warp a 4 heddle treadle loom in the 80’s…. you can do double cloth and it’s like a computer….. you can set up your weave patterns in the Heddles and the treadles can alter those exponentially!!!!! My first looming piece was set up as a sampler…. different heddle sets and weaving treadle changes. Looks like a checkerboard….wish I could have found all my original set up notations…..

  9. Your loom is a Union Universal, and does not require a spool rack as there is one built into the frame of the loom. (The board with the pegs/pins/rods across the back of the loom near the floor. There are rug weaving pages on Facebook, and I’ve found help there. Feel free to email me if you are interested in sources for warping. I am nearing the end of the process of restoring a Union loom and am going to take a beginners class at The Manning’s, a weaving studio in Eastern PA later this year when I’m done and have saved enough of my pennies!

  10. Back in the day, like about 30 years ago, a friend had one. She made beautiful scarves and throw blankets. I don’t recall her making any rugs. I’m looking forward to your progress with your “new hobby.” :)

  11. I have one just like this that I purchased 2 years ago at an antique store (not in as good of shape as this one). My great grandmother had one when I was growing up and I have always wanted one. I do mostly old blue jean rugs on mine (those rugs wear forever!) You have a great start with it already being ready to go, mine was wound but not threaded, for a novice that took 2 full nights of wishing I had stronger glasses! You are being sent in the right direction for instructions by everyone, it really is not difficult and very quick to finish a rug. is an awesome site for supplies. I’ve ordered their upholstery ends before and paired with an old army blanket found at Goodwill for a pretty sharp looking rug. Have fun!!

  12. Just to let you know on the Food Network there is a recipe for a sweet potato recipe called “Mama Lane’s Sweet Potato Casserole” that looks like the sweet potato hash. Every time I make it, people go crazy over it. It is very easy but a warning, the recipe given will only feed about 3 normal people. It doubles or even quadruples very easy.

  13. I wove and sold rugs for about 10-15 years. It was lots of fun! I was pretty much self-taught, and if I can do it, you can! I learned how to thread it from a Union Loom owner’s manual. Rag Rug Handbook is a great book, but the value of it to me was concerning four-harness patterns. It looks to me like your new loom has a new warping tied onto the back of the loom that will need to be pulled through to the front of the loom and attached to –yikes, I kinda forget the weaving terminology. Anyhow, when you pull it through the heddles and the reed, do it section by section and it will not tangle nearly as much. If you have a supply of polyester double knit fabric, it makes wonderful rugs. Happy weaving

  14. and if I can answer any questions, do not hesitate to email me. I quit making rugs because I could no longer sell them in my rural area—they lasted too long! Now quilting has taken over my life and I do longarming. There is no shortage of customers for doing quilts!!

  15. Oh my gosh, I am so jealous! I would love to weave on that loom. It was surely a great find. I think you may need to find a couple of more hours in a day though – lol.

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