AP NEWS

Logsdon enjoys weaving yarn into something useful

April 9, 2019

BROTHERSVALLEY TOWNSHIP — Laura Logsdon weaves every day on one of her looms that fill their own special room in the family’s farmhouse along Weighley Mill Road.

Many of the looms date to another time and place. In fact, weaving is one of the world’s oldest continuously practiced crafts, dating to at least 6000 BC.

Logsdon is always keeping her eyes open for another treasure to add to the room, a goal that has led her and her husband, Tom, on a few road trips to other areas of Pennsylvania, Ohio and now New York. The couple put a floor in the loom room so Laura could easily move her looms.

The Logsdon family moved to Somerset County from Corriganville, Maryland, nine years ago to become farmers. They built a home and raised their kids to near adulthood in Corriganville. Both still work in that area in second jobs, which she said is necessary to keep the farm going.

Their two sons, Joe and Josh, both engineers and farm tractor enthusiasts, were mostly to blame for the move, she said with a smile. She admitted that the thought of owning a working farm wasn’t far from her mind. and now their daughter, Shelby Graham, is also involved in a farming endeavor, a Christmas tree farm in Pocahontas with her husband, when she is not working as a veterinarian technician. The couple are busy planting 800 trees there this spring.

Joe and Josh live on the farm with their parents. The men use their mechanical skills on the farm.

Their interest in tearing apart tractors and putting them back together and participating in tractor pulls as younger men has helped.

“When we first moved here, both the boys were in college and Shelby was here at home,” she said. “It’s funny how things work.”

Laura bought her first loom in 2010. She learned how to operate it through YouTube, she said.

The attraction of weaving, she said, is “you can take this yarn or strings and make something out of it that is useful.”

She enjoys working with the fibers in different colors and patterns, which eventually become rugs, clothing, blankets and even wool paintings. She also enjoys the camaraderie. Mother, daughter and sister-in-law, Shelly Brown, of Frostburg, Maryland, share a common love of fiber art.

The trio participated in an event entitled Common Threads last year presented by Laurel Arts and the Somerset Historical Center. The event was so popular that it will be held for a third year at the historical center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday with more than a dozen regional fiber artists demonstrating specific fiber arts techniques. Artisans will also be selling their handmade products and providing hands-on activities for participants. A small fee is required.

One of the draws of their farm was a mill on the property that was used to weave coverlets from 1825 to 1855. There were two “barn looms” in the mill.

“I have a couple of the coverlets (made at the mill),” she said.

She would like to fix up the mill for people to visit and see how the old coverlets were made and perhaps to own one made there.

And then there was room for the Logsdon’s two Newfoundlands. One has since passed, but Turbo, their black and white landseer, is still spreading out on the front porch taking in the sun and watching for company.

“Turbo enjoys company. He loves to be petted. He would stand here all day to be petted,” she said has she placed a soft kiss on his massive head.

Turbo became a Logsdon about 10 years ago when Shelby discovered him at a pet store when the family was in Florida on vacation. They already had one Newfoundland, a female.

“She said, ‘There is a Newfoundland on the clearance rack,’” Laura said.

Turbo was 4 months old and so big and hairy that the pet store was having a hard time finding him a new home, she said.

The family would soon be heading north out of the southern heat that makes Newfies uncomfortable.

“We said it was meant to be,” she said.

Turbo does well on the farm, she said. At first, he was leery of some of the traditional farm animals, but now the 10-year-old family member plays with them a little and then moves on to other things, she said.

For Laura, becoming a farmer has an interesting learning curve and its own rewards.

“It is nice to learn new things. I’ve never been around cows,” she said. The family raises beef cattle.

And she has had new things in her home, like a calf in her bathtub, she said. To lose a calf is one of her saddest moments on the farm, she said.

It is all in a day’s work, she said. In the meantime, she slides a loom in front of her and relaxes as she watches the yarn tighten and, much to her satisfaction, produce the correct pattern for her next piece.