Why Am I Weaving?

I have been gripped by weaver fever.

I talked a little bit in last months round up about how I was graciously loaned a tapestry loom by a new friend.

Not content to be limited to tapestry weaving, I watched this super helpful video from Ashford about getting started with rigid heddle weaving, and hacked a longer warp onto this wee loom.

Does it work to direct warp onto a salt canister that is not bolted to the table? Nope! Does it work to have your four year old hold the loom in lieu of a clamp? Nope! I learned the wrong way to make my own warp sticks, the wrong way to wind shuttles, and SO many ways to get uneven selvedges. It was awesome!

And so much else went oh-so-right. This whole hack only worked because the beams are on clamps that turn. And here’s a very weird thing: the funky little comb that D is holding in the pic above? It just appeared in my diaper bag one day. And it is the perfect tool for combing down tapestry wefts. WEIRD right?!

I have completely accepted that I’m going to buy a rigid heddle loom. I’m currently waffling between a couple possibilities, but Lord willing (and I mean that quite literally), I will have a 24” loom by this time next month.

I’ve been reflecting a lot about this new development. Why weaving? Why now? Am I just jumping on the bandwagon of popular crafts? Is it just the energy of the fall season? Am I just bored/anxious as we work through the slow process of getting established in a new community? Why is this my new obsession, spending hours looking at loom specs and choosing books and courses? Is it just acquisitiveness?

Well, I’m sure it is a little bit of all those things. But it’s more than that.

Weaving fits into the time I have right now. Time for lots of small, sometimes tedious steps, time for lots of planning and calculating and testing. It’s like sewing in that way, which I’m also contemplating. But it’s more than that.

Weaving has so much possibility. The more I look around, the more I see textiles in my house that I can’t knit, but I can totally weave. Bath mats, placemats, facecloths, pillow covers, curtains. But it’s definitely not just that.

I think the real deal is, weaving is somehow fitting a developmental stage I am in right now. Something involving taking intention and attention to detail to the next level. Something that doesn’t mind digging into the uncomfortable and tedious parts of a task and learning to enjoy it. Something that delights in being a beginner again. It’s a part of me that’s finding my voice as a mother and finding a way to be fulfilled and creative in a stage that’s mostly about serving my family.

My long warp turned into this series of mug rugs for my anaananguaq. The main yarn I have on hand is purple, which is her colour. Along with some leftover hand spun and some leftover purple fingering from my Northmavine sweater, I had enough to play.

I played some with texture:

Plain weave
Alternating rows of plain purple and handspun

Two rows of plain, one row of handspun
Two rows of thin purple, two of medium purple- I really like this one

And a little with tapestry techniques.

These are washed but still need ironing. My iron is in the sea can (good news, it should get here in a few more weeks). Turns out I can weave without the right kind of loom and sew without a sewing machine, but I can’t entirely do either without an iron. I’ll work up the guts to ask a neighbor to borrow one.

I wonder what cultural shift on a wider scale could be responsible for the increase in weaving’s popularity. How about you? Why do your crafts fit you, where you are in life right now? How are they helping you grow, or reflecting how you are growing?

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