Cacti Flowers and Danish Medallions

One of the many reasons I love living in New Mexico is for the beautiful spring. Right now it seems as if the whole world is covered in flowers and so long as the sun is shining and the wind isn’t blowing too hard, you can usually find me out of doors after work and on the weekends. Spring is when I get to plant my garden, pack up my sweaters, and perhaps best of all, start weaving outside once again. There really is nothing quite so wonderful as grabbing my rigid-heddle loom and wandering outside to weave in the sunshine and fresh air as I listen to the birds sing and watch the lizards as they dart from rock to rock.

Over the past few years I find that what I weave tends to follow the seasons fairly well. In the summertime I weave silky scarves that feel cool to the touch as I weave, while in the fall I am drawn to warm and woolly scarves as the weather gets chilly. In the winter I weave up dishtowels both for Christmas presents and to decorate my kitchen (where I spend much of my non-weaving time), and in the spring I turn to my rigid-heddle loom and weave anything that takes my fancy, so long as it can be done outside.

Most years I tend to gravitate towards fairly simple projects woven using variegated yarns or simple color-and-weave techniques. This year, however, I plan on taking my rigid-heddle weaving to the next level by incorporating more finger-manipulated techniques and even some fancy hemstitching—I’m thinking Danish medallions, leno, and Brooks bouquet. I might even play with some clasped weft designs in thick wool to create some weft-faced mug rugs.

I’m finding myself particularly inspired by the native flora of southern New Mexico. Right now the desert is full of life and color as the cacti bloom and wildflowers seem to appear overnight. I find myself particularly enamored with the flowers of the prickly pear cacti. While the fruit will turn a beautiful, deep purple when they ripen, the flower of the prickly pear is a bright sunny yellow. The particular variety currently blooming in my neck of the woods also has a vibrant red-orange center that makes the flower look like a sunrise. I know I need to make a project that reminds me of these flowers, and the warm colors in the new Natural Danish Medallion Towel Kit seem to fit. Perhaps I’ll weave up set of colorful towels this spring to remind me of those beautiful blooms during the cold winter months. 

On rainy or windy days you’ll find me inside with my weaving books, eBooks, and videos as I continue to plot and plan projects. Sometimes simply watching another weaver at work in a video or perusing themed projects in one of the Best of Handwoven eBooks can give me just the inspiration I need. If you are looking for some new projects to weave or sources of inspiration to help you design your own weaving for the rigid-heddle loom, check out the aptly titled Rigid Heddle Inspiration Pack which includes two video downloads, and three wonderful eBooks including the indispensable Weaver’s Idea Book by Jane Patrick. 

No matter what, I hope you all are finding inspiration in the signs of spring that appear in your area (and to those of you in the southern hemisphere, I hope that your autumn is just as inspiring).

Happy Weaving!




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