Travels of Ruby the eight shaft table loom

We are very grateful to be able to supply so many craftsfolk, textile artists, teachers and passionate creators with our products all the way from New Zealand, pretty much at the bottom of the world where we manufacture our wheels and looms and ship them far and wide – to over 57 countries this past year. This charming story of the travels of Ruby, the eight shaft table loom, sent in by Sue Locke from picturesque Newfoundland, brightened my day and put a smile on my face. 

I hope you enjoy it too!


Ruby’s Journey

My story starts where I was born, well I am a loom so really where I was cut and packaged. I have to say those folks at Ashford really know how to pack a box!  I really am a world traveller but now I am ready to settle down.

Let me start at the beginning, I am originally from Ashburton, New Zealand and now live in St. John’s, Newfoundland. That is in Canada, and another island but in a different ocean and I will tell you “I think there is something wrong with the thermostat here, boy is it cold!”  

I left home and travelled to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Would you believe, that is 11,707km. At least it isn’t cold in Vancouver. I heard that someone really wanted an Ashford Shaft Loom and guess what? I was picked!  I didn’t hear where I was going but I was ready for a new adventure. I was packed snuggly and wrapped and taped and placed in a big truck. Off we go!

Ok, it’s been days and I am still bumping along in this truck. There are no windows just endless roads. Nap time! ….. More days…. More naps! Finally I have been taken off the truck. Have I arrived?  I heard someone say this is Dieppe, New Brunswick. I also overheard a hushed conversation where someone said this is the “Bermuda Triangle” of Canada Post. What does that mean?  

Apparently it means waiting. That’s ok, there was lots to see and loads of activity. Oh, look someone is coming my way. Looks like I am going back on another truck.

We have travelled 5,993km and finally we have stopped. I smell the ocean! I hear Seagulls! Are we there yet? Something is rumbling and vibrating underneath the truck yet the truck isn’t moving, this is very odd!  It has been hours and I am not enjoying this new movement. It is forward but also up and down and side to side, sometimes harsh sloshing from side to side. Uggg! I think I am going to loose my nuts! Maybe even my bolts!  So I am on a boat and finally after 182km the up and down has finally stopped. 

My travels are not over yet! The truck has rumbled to life and I am so grateful for the relatively smooth surface we are travelling over. Well at least we are not moving from side to side anymore.  At one brief stop someone opened the back door and I had a quick look out. My first thought was “close it, close that door!” Apparently we are travelling through some sort of outdoor freezer, wow, was that air cold! Not only cold but it was moving fast and hard, the wind actually had a bite to it. This is a strange place. I can smell the ocean so I know it isn’t far away but where are the trees? The landscape is bleak and the trees look stunted and bent over like they have been bent to the will of this wind.  Again I eavesdropped on a conversation. So we are close to a place known as “The Wreckhouse”! That doesn’t sound good, at all.  Oh!, no worries today the winds are not too high.  Some days you have to wait because the winds are so strong they blow trucks right off the road, but not today. Today we move on.

This road is endless! Oh, I think we are there. 900km later, (I counted, not much else to do) the doors have opened and I am picked up and “oh for the love of Pete” I am on another smaller truck. Hang on, what’s all this white stuff?  It is over everything and it is freezing. Close the doors and turn up the heat.

This time the truck ride is different, we keep stopping and going in short spurts. Another stop, sigh! Oh wait, it’s my turn. I am taken off the truck and brought to a house. The door opens and people are chatting. Oh, good grief bring me inside already. Literally “shiver me timbers”.

I am inside now and heard someone say “finally”. I guess they were waiting as long as I was.  

Oh, I am being unwrapped and someone is stroking my…. Castle! You would think the least they could do is warm up their hands. I don’t know if I will ever be warm again.

Great! Here I am a day later literally scattered all over the floor and table. 

Now it is the next day and the most I can say is “sure and steady better win the race”.  Did you know swear words are the same all over the world?  I did hear a new one “Lord Thunderin”!  I wonder about that one. I heard this one after the cog wheel was hammered in and the next washer was picked up. Did you know washers can be the same size with different hole sizes in the middle? 

Christmas is almost here and I am getting used to my new home.It is very different here than what I am used to. Weather seems to be a huge topic of conversation everywhere and it is no different in my new home. 

Here is what I have learned so far: 

• 13 degrees in December is unheard of, normallly I won’t feel that until mid June. Climate change is everywhere. Now, two days later and it is below 0 and there is snow on the ground.
• This is a foggy place, sometimes weeks will go by and I won’t see the sun. On average 126 days of fog a year. Did you know the foggiest place on the planet is very close to here, on the Grand Banks off our coast.
• Also a super windy place, no wonder the trees are so short!
• I can see, Cape Spear from here, that is the most Easterly Point in all of North America.