Things I Have Learned from Weaving

You might remember that I have been relearning how to weave on my four-shaft loom–what I have learned, though, had more to do with me than the loom.

  1. Weaving makes you realize you aren’t the multi-tasker you thought you were. Turns out, I need complete silence to keep track of the pattern. Yeesh! This is when I realized how loud our house was (when did we get so many pets? And why are there birds inside it?)
  2. Weaving teaches you humility. Exactly how many times have I taken this weaving back?
  3. Weaving teaches you patience. See #2.
  4. Weaving teaches you about making good colour choices. Sure, blue and green reminds you of sea glass, but seeing the pattern as you weave is another thing entirely.
  5. Weaving is for pet-free homes.    
  6. Weaving takes a looong time. Don’t give up the day job just yet.
  7. Weaving is good for the soul, when all is said and done. 
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Well, it’s been a while…

Sorry, I have been out of touch. I had a spell of ill health, but things are looking up!

2016 is a year of new fibre challenges for me. I lucked into a barely-used Leclerc Dorothy 4-shaft table loom just before Christmas, which is the loom I learned on a number of years ago. The last two years I have devoted to weaving on a rigid heddle loom, so it is fun to expand into multi-shaft weaving again.

making the important cross

  

measuring the warp

 
My husband gave me a number of cones of beautiful fine merino yarn for Christmas and I have successfully wrangled the wool onto the loom (not without challenges!) and have begun to weave a scarf. It feels great to be weaving twill weaves again!
 

I can see a pattern!

 
Another challenge I have embraced is the new skills involved in knitting socks! I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would. Sure, it takes a lot longer to knit with such fine yarns, but I love the appearance of the fine stitches–and that squishy heel flap! I don’t think selling socks is economically feasible, due to the length of time it takes to knit them, but some family members might be getting a little surprise in their stockings.

  
So, with the prairie weather doing its cold bit, I foresee lots of time inside working on my new loves.

Until next time–stay warm!

Collette

Creating a life one stitch at a time

For many years I didn’t create anything. I didn’t write creatively, didn’t draw, knit or weave. I’m not sure why–maybe I was too busy living, working, playing. Or it didn’t seem cool.

I had forgotten what it felt like to watch a garment fill the space between the needles, hear the gentle click-click-click of metal on metal, feel the satisfaction in giving something handmade and well-made.

I had learned to knit as a young child by my English mother, who learned at a young age from her mother, and so on, back through our heritage. I returned to knitting in my twenties, sweaters mostly, given to friends, or, in major lapses of judgement, to boyfriends who never seemed to last as long as it took me to knit the sweater. Ahhh youth.

Mostly I stayed in my comfort zone, knitting sweaters, using the only yarn I had really been exposed to — acrylic — available everywhere you looked. I firmly believed I was allergic to wool, despite having never really worn anything else.  Then one day I wandered into a good wool shop and found a new world of yarn, wool, all types of wool. I wasn’t an instant convert, as good wool isn’t cheap, but I ventured into Icelandic sweaters, mohair and cashmere blends.

In my mid-twenties I had had the good fortune of meeting a new friend who owned her own four-shaft floor loom. I was entranced, and even had the opportunity to buy it but didn’t have the space. But a seed had been planted deep in my soul, and a few years later, I took a weaving course, and felt a whole new world open up to me: the rhythm of throwing the shuttle and beating the weft, cloth made from my own bare hands.

It was a few decades before I was to own my own four-shaft floor loom, a Lecelerc Fanny from Canada. I added to it two rigid heddle looms from New Zealand and a weaver was born.  I also found a new favourite wool shop that opened my eyes and hands to beautiful wool from all over the world; wool that I wasn’t actually allergic to, wool that slipped through the fingers like silk, soft, squishy and beautiful.

Now I knit. I weave. I pore over books and websites for new patterns and ideas. I stockpile yarn like there might be a shortage next week. And I sell what I make to keep the yarn coming.

And now I write. Please join me on my journey, creating a life one stitch, one thread, at a time.