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Loom purchased on whim provides therapy, business for Pa. woman

August 06, 2002|by Liz Boch

lizb@herald-mail.com

When, on a whim, she bought a loom 10 years ago, Becky Swallow never expected she would be selling her rugs to people in Boonsboro, let alone in Turkey, Japan and Canada.

The Central City, Pa., resident said she picked up weaving after buying a loom out of curiosity.

"The first day I bought one, my husband came home and said, 'What did you do today?' I said, 'I bought a loom,' and he said, 'What for?'" Swallow said. "I told him, 'I don't know,' but now I know."

Swallow, 54, has made everything from rugs to handbags with the scrap pieces of material from bolts of fabric.

Her largest rugs are 3 feet long by 28 inches wide. Everything is machine washable and can be tossed in the dryer.

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"I do place mats and table runners, too," she said. "It just kind of mushroomed. I didn't even have a goal."

Swallow is approaching her second year at the Boonesborough Days weekend, scheduled this year for Sept. 7 and 8.

"I'm thrilled to be able to go back," she said. "I was overwhelmed last year. People were very friendly to work with."

Swallow said she came to Boonsboro with a truck packed full of woven rugs and tablecloths and left with a nearly empty vehicle.

"I got orders from people who saw me at Boonesborough Days after the weekend was already over," she said.

In September, she will bring rugs and other woven articles to Boonesborough Days and set up a demonstration booth.

A large rug takes about five hours to weave and tie together, Swallow said.

Setting up the loom takes at least a day.

"Anyone can learn to weave," Swallow said. "I taught myself and my grandson learned at 7 years old from watching me."

Swallow said she continues to weave rugs because it is therapeutic.

"It's relaxing and I like the idea of creating something," she said. "If I'm angry, I can make the best rugs."

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