Thursday, December 15, 2011

Room for a loom


Sometimes it's hard to see the forest through the trees. All you detail-oriented folk out there know what I'm talking about: we focus on the miniscule only to loose sight of the bigger picture.

Don't be fooled into thinking this mindset is only fraught with disadvantages, though, because we are the same people that notice small treasures that others have overlooked. Take, for example, this weaving frame/hand loom from the late 1950s or early 1960s.

I noticed it sitting in a pile of children's games at a local second hand shop the other day. Actually, what initially caught my eye was the manufacturer's name printed on the side, VEB Kamenzer Spielwaren, which revealed to me that this object was made in the GDR/DDR. VEB refers to Volkseigener Betrieb, or a business establishment owned by the people in communist-controlled Eastern Germany. This particular firm was located in Kamenz and manufactured children's toys.

So I pulled the box out from underneath the stack of games and was surprised to learn that this is more of a craft tool than a board game.

The former owner had started a piece in green, white, and grey which will have to be sacrificed to make room for a new design of my choosing.

So far I cannot tell if mine is the model for children (7 or 8 listed above), or the one for adults (P 60 and 9). An internet search has not been of much help, either.

A detail of the weaving comb, or Webkamm

A detail of the weaving shuttles, or Weberschiffchen

For inspiration I will look into one of my favorite handbooks for old-fashioned crafting, Werkliches Schaffen by Monika Leist-Andre, published in 1957 by Union Verlag in Stuttgart.

This handy book contains an entire section on the basics of the art of weaving, including some handy patterns for beginners.

The tiny format of this frame might not prove useful for long-term use, but at least I can get started on learning the basics of weaving.

Incidentally, does anyone out there know if there is an essential difference between a weaving frame and a loom? The box is marked Webrahmen which indicates to the former, whereas the word "loom" is usually translated as Webstuhl.


  1. After searching high and low for anything about VEB Kamenzer Spielwaren, I finally found your blog. I have inherited boxes and boxes of my grandmother's crafting supplies and have a wooden girl-shaped spool knitter by this company. Mystery solved!!!! Thanks for the details. :)

    1. Becca, so glad to hear my post was of use to you. I'd be quite curious to hear a bit more about whether your mother has a connection to East Germany—basically, how such a piece ended up in her collection.


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