The Squee Factor

When we show off something we’ve made, we get all sorts of reactions. People might gasp in wonder, sit back and whisper “wow,” or ask “how long did that take to make?”

And then there’s the squee factor, the little detail or special extra that makes viewers squeal with delight. Usually the squee factor applies to a little frill that might go unnoticed and is probably unnecessary but is so darn cute that people just react by going “squeeeeee”!

My latest squee love affair is with handwoven hanging tabs for the towels I’ve been making. Towels don’t really need hanging tabs and they certainly don’t need handwoven ones, made on a special separate loom that cost money and takes up floor space.

And yet, when I make them, with the same colors used in the towels, and I carefully sew them into the towels as I hem them, in my head, I’m saying “squeeeeee.”

I got this band loom, made by Glimakra, when I was at weaving school.

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It came with the world’s worst directions for assembly and no directions at all for use but my weaving friend got one, too, and, together, we managed to figure them out. We were helped immeasurably by this blog post by Karen Isenhower, which, serendipitously, came out the very day we purchased the looms (squeeee!)

So now I can weave ribbon.

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Why, yes. Yes, those are the toothmarks of a Satanic kitten in the paper quill.

I wander around my house, looking for places that need ribbons. My curtains could use tiebacks, I like to hang my small scissors around my neck when I sew, maybe my white button-down shirt could use a pretty placket of ribbon . . .

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And under my breath, I’m saying “squeeeee!”

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55 thoughts on “The Squee Factor

  1. Squeeeeeeee. Wonderful. Towels most certainly do need hanging tabs and hand woven ones are sublime. Better than the white tape I use. And you are so right about the squee factor. In my case I love little flower details!

    • I get a little jolt every time I catch a glimpse of one of these tabs! One of the women in my quilt group embroiders her quilt labels with little flower details–you’d love it!

  2. Of course towels need hanging tabs. How else do you keep them from falling on the floor. Have you noticed how those photos of $200k kitchens never, ever, show towels hanging up? And good luck with that kitten. If you were a garment sewer you could weave tape to line collars and cuffs with.

    • I spent a lot of money a few years ago for a big, fancy, tempered glass towel bar for the kitchen–I just thought it looked so good. But towels will NOT stay on the slippery thing! And tabs don’t help in this case. Nor does that kitten . . .

  3. You could make beautiful ribbon for button plackets on coats and sweaters. Trim for the tops of canvas bags. Hair ribbons. Hat ties. So many things! I love that you can do that, and don’t want to know how long it takes or how fussy it is, it is just plain amazing. 🙂 Squeeee-worthy for sure.

    • What good ideas you have! And, do you know, the actual weaving goes quite quickly. Setting up the loom is a big old pain but I’ve only done it twice so maybe it’ll get easier.

    • I’m usually very tight with money but I used one of these at weaving school and just said “I want one.” I can drag it outside on nice days and happily weave away in the sun!

    • It really is fun to use, once you get it put together. I keep intending to write to Glimakra and complain about the instructions. I’ve never used an inkle loom but the same bands could be produced on one of those, right? The nice thing about this loom is that it has the foot treadles so you can get quite a nice rhythm going!

  4. The hanging tabs give your towels a professional, polished look. Class! And your kitty is having such a nice time, too!

    • Thanks, Susan! That kitten can sniff this loom out wherever I put it and she snags the little bobbin and off she goes. I’ve never had a cat SO devoted to the fiber arts before!

  5. I took the band-weaving class our guild held recently and it was lots of fun. I’d managed to put it out of my mind, and now this post. I do not need another loom. I do not need another loom. I do not need another loom. 🙂

    p.s. love your towel tabs

    • Does your guild have one you could borrow? I don’t, honestly, know how much I’ll use mine but I love the idea that it’s so easy to take outside and use in the nice weather. And the weaving goes quite quickly, once you get into the rhythm.

      • Maybe. Or I can check the equipment for sale list. Probably not a good idea for right now or I’ll neglect other priorities.

    • Well, of course, you could make these, if you were really inclined to! Harrisville Designs offers weaving classes, over toward Keene! Thanks for stopping by!

  6. I love that you’re using the band loom and enjoying it!! I got my Glimakra loom set up this weekend and started weaving a batch of towels…they will have bands on them too! It’s just a cool thing to do 😉

  7. Sweet idea to put little hangy tabs on the towels! Maybe make a ribbon for naughty kitty to play with to keep it out of trouble..😄 Love the ribbon you did make.

  8. I can just imagine you and your friends laughing and cursing at the same time, in getting that little loom to work. Such delightful ribbon, a work of beauty and therefor justified. When you ask why you do things that could be done quicker or simply purchased cheap…well…indeed: squeeeeee! Xo Johanna

    • We did do a far amount of cursing, or at least I did! I cannot believe a well-known company would sell what is supposed to be an easy, beginner-type loom and offer nothing in support. And I combed the internet! Oh, well! We figured it out and are having fun now!

  9. Oh my, I LOVE the ribbons! What fun for you to add that perfect detail. I’m not very imaginative for using them. When I need a narrow strip of something for tying, I use a piece of selvage from the waste basket. But they are very pretty.

  10. This is awesome, Kerry! I love that you get so excited about what you’re doing. It’s obvious that you’re nuts about your weaving. I’m oodles impressed – would take such patience! Totally see the squee in those tags. Also an awwwwwww…. 🙂

    Need to THANK YOU for sending the towel to Anna. Photo to follow eventually. You are such a kind kind woman!

    • We all do things that take a lot of patience, Liz–we just have patience for different things, it seems. I’m glad you’re pleased with the towel–I think you’re the kind one, and Anna, too, to give it a loving home!

  11. Somehow I never thought about those little tabs, but I totally get why you wanted to make your own. and you didn’t just dream about it, you went out and bought the equipment to make them.
    You always impress me, Kerry!

    • Thanks, Laurie–you’re so kind. Truly, I never gave those tabs a second thought until I went to weaving school and we made them for our towels there. I was hooked!

  12. I love how you use the ribbons to create hanging tabs on the towels. It definitely has the squee factor. For anyone with longer hair the ribbons would be wonderful to beautifully tie up their hair.

  13. O, Kerry, I smiled the whole time while reading this. For how you express this. And for the joy I know you get from creating these handiworks. Hamging tabs are great. Squee!

  14. Pingback: Our Weaving Ways (Summer 2016) | Love Those "Hands at Home"

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