One Day, Weaving

There was a time, when I first retired, when the hours that stretched before me every day seemed endless. I was a little anxious about that—what would I do to fill my time? 

I started selling vintage linens on Etsy.

I started making candy.

I found unfinished quilts to work on and undertook new ones.

I began blogging.

I took up weaving.

My days were full and utterly my own.

Times have changed and I have some different responsibilities now. I embrace those responsibilities but they mean that I haven’t unlimited time for all those other things I did, and enjoyed. I gave some up and all get less of my full attention.

So, yesterday was super special—all I did was weave.

I didn’t do any of those other things and I didn’t work outdoors, either, because we had a day of welcome rain.

I worked on a warp that will become two scarves, pink and off-white. Not my colors at all but I had this yarn and wanted to use it. I have to change colors every 16 passes of the shuttle so the process is slowish. But the pattern is interesting, as I watch it develop.

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Then, when I’d had enough of that, I moved to the loom with the scrappy striped towels, and I finished the weaving of these! It’s actually going to end up being 4 towels and one longer runner and I’ll tell you more when they are completely finished. For a project that began as a way to empty some bobbins, I love the way these are turning out!

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And then I turned to my band loom. I need handing tabs for those striped towels and I love dragging the little loom outside when the sun shines. This time, though, I made a gazillion little mistakes and had to fuss and re-do and mess round some more, just to get this narrow, ultra-simple strip. 

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After that slog with the band loom, as an antidote, I played for awhile with a new loom. Actually, it represents the first weaving I ever did, as a child.

Did you have a potholder loom?

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A month ago or so, my blog pal, Debbie, who is a quilter and weaver, wrote about one of these looms and I knew immediately I needed one.

This is not your grandchild’s potholder loom! Unlike the ones you can buy now for children, which are plastic, small, and use nylon loops, this loom is sturdy metal, 12 inches across, and uses all-cotton loops.

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The end products are potholders or hot pads that are large (about 8 inches), thick and beefy, and can actually be used to handle hot dishes out of the oven without melting.

This silly loom has given me hours of fun lately. I sit on my deck with my big bag of loops. I dump the loops on the bench and root around to find colors I like. The cats come and root around, too. 

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My only complaint with this loom and its use is that the loops are expensive and come in bags that have a modest amount of a lot of colors, in one the three different colorways. One can choose either brights, pastels, or “designer” colors, which is what I chose. I ran out of the colors I liked early and have been challenged to find color combos that work with colors I like less or, in the case of this medium brown on the right, loath.*

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Today, it’s back to the other things that need to be done. The sun is shining, the weeds are growing, my mother’s summer place needs to be cleaned out and readied for sale. Our house needs to be spiffed up for company, errands must be run, chores must be checked off the list.

But, I had my day of weaving, and I know I’ll have more. And I’ll appreciate that time all the more, I suppose, because it is no longer unlimited. I hope you get a day, soon, to fully devote to something you love to do!


* The company, Harrisville Designs, does offer smaller bags of single colors but then the cost of the loops gets even more expensive.

70 thoughts on “One Day, Weaving

  1. Beautiful weaving. 🙂 I did have one of those plastic pot holder looms, and spent many a fun hour making lopsided rather unusable pot holders. But the ladies in my family I gave them to always showed appreciation. 🙂 Have a good breakfast because it sounds like you are going to be one busy woman.

    • I feel like one busy woman but aren’t we all?! I love the quality of this new potholder set up–I think people really would love these as a gift–but I’m going to keep ’em all!

  2. What is it about weaving? No matter what I’m doing, there’s a part of me that just wants to get weaving again … Rainy day? Woohoo!!! WEAVING!!!
    What is the scarf pattern? It’s very interesting (and would make gorgeous towels). The get-rid-of-the-scraps towels are really beautiful. But, I had to laugh to see the potholders. Made lots of those as a kid and have done them with the grandkids, but I can’t say that I want to go back to them now!

    I know well the other obligations that arise at our age. Seeing my mother through her last months last year was a challenge time-wise and emotionally draining. I had to cut out my volunteer work and pull back on other things. Spinning, for me, was a wonderful antidote … when there was time.

    • Yes, I find myself thinking, all I want to do is weave–I have so many things to learn and to try! The scarf pattern is one I found on Pinterest but I think it’s #248 in the Strickler book for 8-shafts. And, of course, it would make gorgeous towels!! Love towels best!

      My mother is still alive and kicking but in assisted living so I see her often and take her on outings. I’m honored to do so but it changes my free time dramatically!

  3. Love your potholders. I have four old ones that have been in my family for years that I use every day. But they’re not as spiffy as yours!

    Yes, the weeds and invasive vines are growing like crazy. Keeps me busy.

    • What I like about these potholders is how really big and thick and beefy they are–I wouldn’t worry about burning my hands at all. And they’re fun to put together.

      I’ve been thinking about you and your battle against the bittersweet . . .

  4. That scrappy towel gets me every time! I just love those colorful stripes with white in between. I have the children plastic loom , and some loops left from when the children were smaller, you just reminded me that some of the grands might like to try making one,if it’s not all cotton then they make lovely mug rugs. That last potholder is in style right now ,my one daughter in law would love it.

  5. How lovely to have an entire day for weaving. Last week I had an entire afternoon for myself. I am sorry to say I sat about like a ‘stunned mullet’ not quite sure what to do with myself. 😀 All the best with preparing your mother’s summer place for sale. Will you have family help with that task?

    • Maybe the “stunned mullet” just really needed a quiet do-nothing afternoon? You’re allowed! Yes, I’ll have some help with the cottage. In fact, my sister is coming for the weekend and we’ll see how far we can get, plus there’s always my trusty husband!

      • Excellent. All strength and peace for the task ahead. I have just helped a friend move to an apartment from her temporary abode at my place. And I am still trying to organize my daughter’s move from one residence to another in Cairns. Not easy trying to mastermind something like this via modern technology. I am sure I will need another
        ‘stunned mullet’ day very soon.

  6. What a terrific post! So lovely to see the fruits of your looms!!! The patterns are mesmerizing — and I love that you were able to move from project to project as the day unfolded. We have a few potholders like that made for us by a friend which I love to use. Hurrah for your rainy day of creativity. And blessings on you for cleaning out and readying your mother’s summer place for sale… Thank you for weaving and then blogging about your work!!!

    • The fruits of my looms–I *love* that! Why didn’t I think of it!?! I do think weaving is mesmerizing, whether it’s the simple potholder weaving or the more complicated stuff. Turning piles of string into fabric? Remember that fairy tale about spinning straw into gold? Same magic applies!

  7. All that warping you did has paid off as you can switch easily among looms. Do you have a loom room or are they scattered around different rooms? Yeah, I inflicted gift potholders on my relatives for a few years. I remember a hot pink and lime green combo. Now I understand how tactful my family members were.

    • I actually quite like the warping process–I know some people hate it but it’s all weaving to me. I wish we had one big loom room but we have 5 looms in 5 different rooms. And the tools are *always* in the wrong room!

  8. Lovely weaving and a terrific post! I am always so impressed with your weaving. And, yes, when time is limited because of other responsibilities, how precious a gift it is to spend a day doing exactly what you want.

  9. How refreshing to devote a day to doing what you love! All your projects look like fun, but I had to notice that cloth beam filled with toweling–isn’t it satisfying to see that fill up with the work of your hands!

    • I’ve seen other photos of the fabric on the cloth beam and just had to take my own–yes, it is a wonderful sight! One of the things I’ve loved best about my trips to Vavstuga is the luxury of several days with nothing to do but weave–that never happens at home!

    • And I love this pun!! Why didn’t I think of it, though?! Did you see WIll’s comment, where he talks about the fruits of my looms? I have such clever friends!

  10. It all looks great fun and most of it is good colourways – yay for a bit of rain and an unmarked calendar day! PS I have noticed that even when I don’t particularly like something I have made, someone will – there’s no accounting for our different tastes 🙂

    • It is great fun! I know I’m fairly easy to amuse but that potholder loom is just a hoot. And I know you’re right about other people’s differing tastes. I’m sure someone will end up buying my pink and white scarves . . .

  11. The potholder loom looks like great fun. The perfect thing to do lazing in the sun. It’s a shame about the expensive extras and lack of colours though

    • It is totally fun! They do offer a huge bag of only white loops and I suppose I could try dyeing my own . . . or maybe I’ll just say to heck with the cost and buy more colors I like!

  12. What a lovely day you had and you were so productive. Congratulations on your potholder loom! And thanks for mentioning me. I wondered why my blog stats were so high on Sunday since I haven’t written anything new in so long.
    I just bought 5 pounds of white loopers and did a little dyeing the other day. The colors didn’t turn out like I hoped… I did try another easy dye experiment that I think will be fun and a little different. More later when I get them woven.
    I need to weave as I have a new project that I want to get on the loom. But first up is figuring out what to quilt on a lone star quilt, which must get quilted sooner rather than later.
    And weeding… And mulching…

    • Your life sounds like mine–full of “I need to . . .” I love my potholder loom and am so glad you wrote about it! The women in my sewing group are all fascinated and a couple of them are buying the looms for grandchildren–you should get a kickback from Harrisville! I’ll look forward to seeing your experiment with dyeing the loopers.

  13. I love the pattern and the color of the red and white toweling. It’s not a go to color but your pattern makes it perfect. I had no idea there were so many different kinds of looms. I remember seeing those plastic looms when I was shopping for the last husbands grandchildren and great nieces, but never had one of my own. It’s interesting what draws our attention. I love rainy days just so I can do fun things inside. Whatever happened to those huge blocks of free time? Life, I guess.

    • Thanks, Marlene! I think one of the things I like so much about weaving is the variety–there would never be any reason to get bored. It’s also a frustration, though–SO many things to try and to learn!

  14. Weaving is a complete mystery to me so your beautiful work looks even more amazing to me because I don’t really understand how it’s done. I wish you lived round the corner so you could demonstrate in person.

  15. Kerry, what a lovely day for you! Your enjoyment just oozed from your writing and made me smile! I am embarking on two weeks with no students and while I know I’ll miss them, I am looking forward to days with no schedule, being in the garden and deciding which big projects I would like to tackle next. I will still be doing some prep and planning, but that sounds so relaxed compared to the old days! Hope you have plenty of happy weaving days this summer, as well as checking a few must dos off your list. Every day is such a gift!

    • It *was* a lovely day . . . and I haven’t gotten back to a loom since, I’m sad to say. But I will! And you enjoy your freer schedule–knowing you, you’ll finish 10 projects and start 10 new ones in that time!

      • Well, finishing is on the list, anyway! Outside chores will eat up an entire day, as will planning and practicing, but I am starting to line up what crafty things I want to finish up, or at least make a dent in. I seem to keep acquiring projects….

  16. Love the potholders! And all the new work. Funny how retirement at first is a bit scary with all that time seeming to stretch out straight to boredom. And then …

    • I’ve thought about making my own loops but I can’t quite figure it out. They are cut, I believe, from a long tube of knitted fabric. So, in theory, the sleeves of a knit shirt might work . . . but I’m not sure they’d be the right size for the loom. I may experiment. And I may end up deciding that the loops aren’t too expensive after all!

      • Candy is definitely a Christmas thing. Now that Minnesota has heat, the last thing I want to do is stand over a boiling pot of sugar syrup. Still remembering how awesome your chocolates were 😀

  17. Gorgeous weaving; beautiful words. I have just spent a very happy couple of hours sorting out a new palette of yarn colours for a crochet commission – can there be any better feeling than getting stuck in with one’s passions and delights? 🙂

  18. Free days are so few and far between that we must take advantage of them and have fun! I am so pleased you managed to weave all day and the scarf and tea towels and braid and pot holders all look marvellous!
    Best of luck with clearing your mother’s summer home. xx

  19. This post brought back wonderful memories of making potholders with a little medal loom when I was a child. I may just have to buy one of those looms and try my hand at making a few.

  20. Too busy with adventures, some of which have to dow ith quilts and antique furniture, to write recently. Lovely items you are making… except for the potholder that you loath. – Oscar

  21. Finally got time to read the blogs. Yes, we can all dream of endless days of only weaving, but then life gets in the way as you seem to know. Once you get the bug you’ll always look for some time at the loom creating. Beautiful weaving.

  22. Pingback: One Day, Weaving — Love Those "Hands at Home" — Cheryl Moreo

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