A man and his loom

Mission | February 3, 2016

His family bought the wooden loom for his grandfather when Jim Case was 5 or 6 years old.

His grandpa had emphysema. Back then, one of the treatments for the disease was to periodically place people in isolation. Since the Case family couldn’t go to see him, they got grandpa the loom to help the days go by faster. Jim’s grandfather would throw finished hats from the windows of the isolation unit to his family down below.

After his time in isolation, Jim’s grandfather then taught Jim how to use that loom.

Jim made hats in elementary school, junior high, and high school. As the years went by, he would pick up a loom and make hats for friends and family – bright orange and camouflage for hunters, school color hats for college sports fans, kid hats for grandkids and doll hats for their dolls.

“If I can figure it out, anyone can figure it out,” he said.

Late last year, Jim was at a St. Paul Mission Board meeting when a fellow board member mentioned that families at Madison Elementary and J.B. Young K-8 could use some winter hats. That very night, Jim got out his loom. He uses a more modern plastic one now, but holds onto the old wooden loom – repaired with duct tape, surgical tap and a few nails – as a memento.


Since the middle of December, he’s made 30 hats.

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Jim watches for yarn sales (he just spent $27 and got a lot of yarn at a two-for-the-price-of-one sale), and is not afraid to express his joy on the spot when he finds a new color of yarn in the aisle of local stores. He creates in the evenings, while spending time with his wife, Deb (she is a knitter, too – she makes scarves). A hat usually takes about two hours, Jim said, “depending on how good of a tv show is on.”

Making the hats, he said, is a stress reliever for him. “It gives me an opportunity to say a little prayer over each hat, too.”


5 Comments on “A man and his loom”

  • Kim Bush

    February 6, 2016 at 11:36 am

    Great job Jim!! What an awesome servant you are!! I agree with Sandi, I would love for you to share your talent. Looks like a fun ministry!

  • Jeff McManus

    February 5, 2016 at 4:02 am

    Wow. What a great talent. Jim it’s wonderful that you make these hats and share them with so many people. I never knew!!!!!!

  • Gayle and Dave

    February 4, 2016 at 8:31 pm

    Jim warms people’s hearts as much as that hat on their head! Thanks, Jim.

  • Vicki Felger

    February 4, 2016 at 3:48 pm

    What a wonderful service and no surprise coming from the heart of Jim Case

  • Sandi Wright

    February 4, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I wonder if this gentleman would be willing to share the use of the loom and pattern to make these hats. Perhaps others could participate in the effort to make hats/scarves to share in the community . . . . .I have a friend in New Hampshire who tells of a group that makes scarves, hats and mittens. They hang them on trees about the community with a little note saying they should help themselves if they are in need . . . .a gift from God. Knitting is difficult for me as is crochet since a failed surgical procedure on my hand a few years ago. I bet I could handle a loom! Sandi Wright (a frequent visitor at St. Paul’s). . . .God Bless your Hats!

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