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.

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!”