A Girl Having Fun, and a Giveaway

While the boy who lives here makes serious, complicated, heirloom pieces, the girl who shares the house (that would be me!) takes a different tack.

This girl just wants to have fun.

And I have been having such fun lately!

Quilting? Nah.

Embroidery? Uh uh.

Candy making? No way.

Exercise and healthy living? Fuggedaboutit!

I have been weaving, obsessively, on three different looms.

I made scarves for a special blog pal, a real patron of the crafts, but I will wait to tell about those. I will say that it was particular fun, and a little nervous-making, to know for whom I was doing that weaving.

My other projects, though, haven’t been as weighty. I’ve been playing and experimenting and learning as I go. How fun is that?!

I told you a while ago that I got a big new loom with 12 shafts, to allow more complicated weaving. I had used the loom but not to do anything fancy. I finally dove in and wove a set of towels using 8 shafts of my loom and a weave structure that was new to me, block twill.

These were endless fun because they could all look so different! And I didn’t make them all navy blue and white! I hope you’re proud of me for that . . .

I’ve also made another set of towels on my smaller loom that have tickled me no end!

I saw towels like this at weaving school, in the bathroom we all shared. Each student chose a different color towel and it was ours for the week. They all hung jauntily on hooks.

I’ve wanted to make these towels ever since!

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The hanging tab is integrated into the weaving, not sewed on after—how did that work?

IMG_6805I found something similar in a book and took notes but it still took me some time to figure out an approach.

I am inordinately pleased with how the towels turned out! I smile all the time.

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And I’ve been weaving on my small band loom. I got this little loom, used it a couple times, and then it languished, looking cute but gathering dust.

But for the last month or so, I have been using it regularly, making bands and ribbons.

And thinking about what to do with all the bands and ribbons!

I made myself a hippie belt.

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And a lanyard for my scissors and one for Don’s scissors.

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And a key fob.

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And I made another key fob that matches mine, to send to one of you!

If you would your name in a drawing for a handwoven key fob, just say so in a comment on this post. I’ll send it wherever the winner resides. I don’t think I’ll get around to choosing a winner until about April 19 so I’ll leave the contest open until then.

And may I just add—I hope you’re spending your days having at least half as much fun as I am!

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103 thoughts on “A Girl Having Fun, and a Giveaway

  1. Somehow I have managed to avoid the siren song of spinning and weaving until now. Your towels make me want to weave right this minute. I don’t know which color combination is the most beautiful but the hook is genius! I’d love to be in your giveaway:)
    Please post more about your weaving:)

    • I resisted weaving for a long time, too–and now I wish I’d given in sooner! I do love it and there’s so much to learn. I think we started we weaving just about 3 years ago now–I have done quite a few posts about it over the years and, of course, I’ll do more!

  2. Of COURSE I’d like to throw my hat into the ring for a keyfob, but mainly I’m writing to tell you how classy I think all the examples you’ve shown us today are. So restrained and elegant. And you should certainly be pleased with the towels+fob. I’ve just re-read this and it looks as if I am trying to ingratiate myself with you to increase my key-fob chances. Not so. I’d have written all gthis even without that first phrase.. ‘Chapeau’, as zey say en France.

  3. Kerry I adore those towels with the built-in fob – the kind of little thing in life that is disproportionately pleasing! All your projects are fabulous – I’m so pleased that you have been able to have such fun. Sometimes I think we can take our creating a bit too seriously, forgetting that we are doing it for pleasure, so it is great to step back and do stuff ‘just because’! 😀

    • Thanks, Liz! I have to give myself a talking to occasionally–I find myself getting stressed out about making more, doing it faster, etc. Not sure why I think fast and more are so important . . .

      • I think we get caught up in the external aspects of our life and can forget what is most important to us. That’s why it is so helpful to take stock, be mindful, and change our approaches from time to time. 🙂

  4. I clicked on your photo of the green towel (love that towel) and my tablet provided me an enlarged view and also indicated that I could comment on your post and attach the photo. This is something I had never seen before. So I commented and hit send and my comment disappeared. At least I think it disappeared…I don’t see it.

    Lovely work, Kerry. The hanging towels are so attractive and functional. Yes, please enter me in your drawing. Thanks!

  5. Just hearing the joy in this post is wonderful! I love towels 2, 3, and 5 and that yellow one is truly fabulous. And the tabs!! Cool. It is so fun to make things to use. I just spent the day yesterday with Alys and Boomdee and Laurie and we were talking about you!!! We want to meet even more bloggers we follow. I hope it’s warming up there on Champlain…

    • You were talking about me?? Cool! I thought my ears were ringing. The scarves I made mention of in this post were for Alys! I think it’s amazing you all got to meet up again–maybe some day I’ll be able to join in! And thanks for the kind words–I do like making very practical items but it nice if they end up pretty, too.

  6. Oh, I see my first comment now. If I open your post directly from my email and then hit the photo of the green towel, my first comment is there!

  7. naturally, I would love to win the key fob – it is adorable! But I love those towels – they are all so pretty – and I am proud of you branching out with new colors. 🙂

    • I’m finding it easier to try out different colors when I have a long warp on the loom and know I will be able to do multiple items. Plus, they’re towels so, even if a color combo is truly ugly, the towel will still dry dishes and clean up the counter!

  8. I have been wishing to learn to weave for over 20 years but either never had the time, the money, or a place to learn. What caught my eye the first time here was your picture of a simple loom (which I immediately took a picture of and sent to a woodworking friend). I now have a lovely rectangular simple loom and have been playing to my heart’s delight! AND it is because of you. Send the fob off to someone with no loom. It will make them either make a loom and play or buy one and still play..for THIS, this is ART. Not work at all.

    • You could be good, of course! I have devoted a lot of time to weaving in the three years since I started–I can because I’m retired. But that’s the only reason I’m progressing–if you put the time in, you’ll be weaving away before you know it!

      • I can’t sit up or move my arms around lots so I’ve always put weaving aside as something I’d never be able to manage. But those small ones you’ve used for laynards and key fobs look really great. Maybe I could look into that. What would I be looking at if I wanted to make something that size?

      • Small bands or ribbons can be made several ways–on something like a backstrap loom, on an inkle loom, or a band loom like I have. The backstrap looms can be made at home and you put the strap around your back and lean back a little, to create tension–Google it and you’ll get a sense of how it’s used. You might find you don’t need to sit up fully to use that kind of loom.

  9. So busy! Wow. And so many lovely things, again. How long are you going to hold out on us with the scarves? I feel like such a snail compared to you.

    • The secret is the long warp, Pia–I dress the loom once (the time consuming part!) and weave 5-6 towels. Plus I don’t have some of the other demands that you are dealing with! I’m holding out on the scarves because the recipient is a blogger and she mentioned she might do a post including them. Since they are hers now, I figure she gets first dibs on writing about them . . .

    • Thanks, Judy! I love, love, love when I can solve a problem and that’s how I felt about the tabs. A more experienced weaver would’ve had it all figured out fast but I was pretty proud of myself!

  10. Wow! they’re amazing, WI has some weaving workshops which have been tempting me, but half of me thinks I’ve got enough crafts on the go…and then I see yours 🙂
    I’d love to be part of your giveaway 🙂

    • “Enough crafts on the go”–that’s what I said for years before I started weaving! I really resisted it and now I just wish I’d started sooner. I don’t think weaving is for everyone–many people try it and aren’t smitten–but you’ll never never know unless you try!

  11. Yes ma’am I want in that drawing! Your towels are AMAZING! I love the twill and all the colors you tried, very brave of you, and well done. Any one of them will look fabulous in a variety of high viewing places. Are the towels made with 100% cotton, a combo? How is the absorbency, especially on glass ware?

    • Thank you, Kathy! The towels are made either of all cotton or a combination of cotton and cottolin, which is a cotton and linen blend. I think they’re very absorbent but, to be honest, I don’t do a lot of dish drying–I’ll need to be more observant and let you know!

  12. I am very proud of you! One day you will make a towel in my colour ways and I will SNAP it up! I love the tabs, they are genius and don’t the towels look classy hung like that – and don’t we all need a bit of class in our towel hanging area! I’m glad to hear you are putting all your looms to use and having such fun – I’m playing about with different arty-crafty forms on small pieces of paper now the big easel canvas is finished and having a joyful time! And of course I’d love to carry a tab made by you with my keys on 🙂

    • It’s odd that I haven’t done a towel in turquoise! I love that color, too–Don just made placemats in a dark, rich brown with stripes of bright turquoise and blue-green! Very striking! I bet it’s kind of fun for you to be working small after having done such an intense project with the painting!

      • You will one day 🙂 And yes, working small is a lovely relaxing affair – I’ve played with inks and glimmers and doodles on various papers, just to see what works best – all no bigger than A5 size.

  13. Your towels are great–the integrated tab is ingenious! (and yes, please do put my name in your drawing for the key fob!) It is so much fun to see how many variations we can tease out of one warp. (Somehow I missed that you now have a 12-shaft loom–how exciting! Congratulations!)

    • Isn’t the tab fun? The key is threading those tab threads like the rest of the warp but not beaming them on, just hanging them off the back with a lot of weight. But I imagine you already had that all figured out–it just took me a lot of pondering! And, yes, I have a 45-inch Leclerc Nilus with 12-shafts now–it’s a lot of loom!

  14. Those towels with tabs are neat.. why you could hang them in bathrooms ,kitchen,laundry , oh just where ever one wanted to hang it. Beautiful weaving,enjoyed seeing them all,but the best part was your happiness at your work! 😄

      • Hey, why not ,then your not turning around in circles in the kitchen trying to find where you last plopped that hand towel down.😀

  15. I can see the quality and technical expertise all the way to Texas!
    I don’t know how that towel tab works. Is it a band of warp weighted separately so you can pull it forward and weave part of it with an independent weft?
    I will not put my name in the ring because I keep my keys on a horse’s rein clip from a beloved horse, but I know whoever gets it will be happy!

    • Yes, that’s exactly right–threads that are on the loom like all the rest but weighted off the back. Weave it, pull it forward, pin it tightly, and then keep weaving the full width. See how clever you are?!

      • Also, I checked out Don’s work and it is wonderful, but I think your towels count as heirloom-quality too. I forgot to put that in this morning. 🙂

      • I know! When I go out and do a weaving demonstration at a craft fair, someone always says, “You know you can get those at Target,” and I say, “Not like these, you can’t!” I swear the handwoven ones are more absorbent. Plus I love coming into the kitchen and seeing the colors I chose myself. 🙂

  16. Your block twill towels are gorgeous, Kerry. I think my favourite is the red and white one, but it is a very difficult decision. I am blown away by how prolific you are. While I would love to weave I had always thought that each piece would take a long time. Yours don’t seem to. How long does it take you to make one?
    As for the giveaway…..yes please. My caravan keys would be thrilled to be hanging on the end of it! And thank you for your generosity. xxx

    • Thanks, Anne! I like that red and white towel, too–that’s a classic color combo for me! About the time it takes to weave: a LOT of the time involved comes with dressing the loom–setting it all up before you can start throwing the shuttle. That time is pretty much the same whether you put on a short warp–say to weave one towel–or a longer one, to weave 5-6 towels. People who make a living weaving might put on a warp to weave 25 towels and make them look different by changing the colors, etc! I did all 5 block twill towels on one warp and all 6 of the smaller towels on another. It’s very difficult to say how long a single one takes because there are so many steps in the process and so many variables. And, of course, you get faster as you gain experience.

  17. Yes, your crafts should bring you joy. What infinite variety of great effects you’re getting with that fancy loom. Are you tempted to do a really long warp so you can take maximum advantage of the treadling variations? Is your band loom also known as an inkle loom? I used to have one, but never produced anything as useful as a key fob. Please enter me in your drawing, though I fully expect someone else will become the fob’s delighted owner.

  18. You obviously love what you’re doing – it really comes through in your writing. I know absolutely nothing about looms or weaving at all but the results look delightful. I am intrigued about ‘weaving school’ – was it a workshop, a retreat or a full blown college course?
    It’s impossible to have too many keyfobs so I’d love to be in the draw. I wonder whether your bands wouldn’t make rather gorgeous dog collars – would they be strong enough?

  19. I am having such fun reading your post and admiring your beautiful work. A key chain fob…..I am in for it. Please and thank you. 🙂 The cat collar idea sounds great. Hope it works out.

  20. More than anything I love the joy that leaps off the screen as I read about your exploits and admire your handiwork. Beautiful work I might add – each with an added dose of fun in the making! How can I not ask to be included in such a giveaway! 🙂

  21. The hand towels are gorgeous, Kerry! It is easy to see how committed you are to your art, always exploring with color and new weaving techniques! It does make the spinner in me think….weaving, should I? No, I’ll stick to the crafts I know and just continue to thoroughly enjoy the ‘eye candy’ on your blog!! great work!!

  22. Carrie, yes it looks like you are having great fun weaving and that is what it should be about. The block weave towels are gorgeous like a candy store in all the colors. You can put my name in your drawing barbedesigns.com ( Barbara E.)

  23. Hippie belts! I had forgotten all about them. I had a couple during the 1970s, and I think I even made them, but I don’t remember how I did it. They weren’t woven. Must have been knitted or crocheted. Funny how memory is so unreliable. I would love to be entered into the contest for the key fob. Many thanks!

      • Oh, given the styles, I’m sure you were completely cool. It’s only when we look back that we laugh at what we wore. But at the time…

  24. You are so talented! I love all your weaving projects. There’s just something special about handmade things & gifts that I treasure. If I could, I’d be sewing, quilting, crocheting, embroidering, painting, . . . all the time, just making things for my children and their children, for friends and for family… I guess it’s because when my mother passed away many years ago, she left behind for us so many beautiful things she had made. Even her granddaughter and grandson (whom she never got to meet), and her great-grandchildren have enjoyed her handmade things… and yes, I still treasure them. So you never know how the simple things we put so much time & effort into, may some day be treasured by someone else. 😊

    • Thank you! And, yes, I also have things made by my grandparents and parents and I cherish them. I do hope some of my creations get passed on and treasured, too.

  25. Very nice and it is good to see you playing with color. I mean really, since you have an Etsy shop, you can sell the ones you don’t like. If you aren’t going to make a color gamp, then you should be playing because colors do such different and amazing things when they are woven. It’s entirely different from quilting, say, where the colors are next to each other. I do love the red and white one though and the cool green and blue one.
    I am looking forward to the special towels at the weaving school!
    And I would love to be in the running for the fob.

    • You’re right–the Etsy shop does give me license to play around with colors I wouldn’t want in my own house! And I’m often surprised with what buyers there like. Because I did quilting first, it’s been a struggle to learn the ways colors apply with the interlacement of weaving . . . I like Monk’s belt because the colors can stay pure and I think I’d like rep for the same reason. I forget–when do you go to Vavstuga? June?

  26. I so enjoyed reading this post not just because those towels of yours are very beautiful, and the key fob and the hippy belt, but because your enthusiasm and excitement are almost palpable and made me grin!

  27. Lovely work, Kerry, and yes, I AM PROUD of you for using other than navy and white!

    I have been busy, mostly having fun but with just a bit too much to do. My capability to read blog posts has been poor (mental capacity more than time, though both were limited.) Today is a little slower finally. And we have workers in the house replacing a couple of things. All my sew/quilt stuff is put away, and many things are covered for protection. They aren’t doing any plaster work but who needs the basic dust settling on machines and quilts? Aaaaaahh….. anyway, today is slower, enforced by having things put away. (And now I’m rambling…) Maybe tomorrow I’ll try writing a blog post, to re-enter the world that way, too. 🙂

    • Oh, you’ve been in a chaotic period! I hope things have calmed down now. We just got home from several days in Boston and I’m trying to get back on track, too!

  28. Oh my goodnesss…your towels are so beautiful. And your hang tabs?! Perfection! Out of curiosity are they made with a cotton thread?

    • Thank you! Yes, all the towels are partly or fully cotton–some of them are a blend of cotton and linen. Absorbent and easy to launder and keep looking nice!

    • We must be about the same age, Sheryl, because those belts were a big deal in my teenage years, too! I’m trying to decide if I can get away with wearing that belt now, as a 60-something!

  29. What perfect weaving. These towels , with said cool hang tab, are awesome! I laughed out loud about your weaving obsession. I’ve been maniacally quilting all weekend. I guess we just got to get all that creativity out. 😀
    ~Joanne

    • Thank you, Joanne! I am loving my time weaving and always wish I could fit more into each day. That blue quilt you made, with the bright pinwheels, is fabulous!

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