Freedom to Weave

Smith Creek at Silver Falls State Park
A peaceful view from our retreat setting  

As soon as I finish writing this, I’ll pack and head off to my weaving guild’s third annual retreat. It’s a fabulous thing. We bring weaving, spinning, knitting, beading, and other projects, plus books, hiking boots, and some treats to share. Then we migrate for a weekend to a conference center in some lovely natural setting, and we craft, share ideas and techniques, and kibitz to our collective hearts’ content while someone else does the cooking. There’s no workshop schedule, no structure, just freedom to weave, many wise heads to give advice, and the company of dear friends.


So here’s the rub, and I’ll bet you know this rub. I look forward to the guild retreat all year, and as spring approaches and I dash through my busy days, the back of my mind buzzes with plans of the projects I will take along when that magic weekend finally comes. By the time I get to my weekend of freedom, I have so many pent-up projects and ideas, I can’t stand the pressure of choosing what to bring!!!


   Fabric squares for cardmaking
  At the retreat, we use handwoven scraps to
make cards for our Guild sale

This year has been especially tough. I was going to take along the yarn that left me loomlorn, but the table loom I ordered for sampling is still in shipment. (You all convinced me that I need to sample with abandon, which was the perfect excuse to finally get a table loom so I don’t waste one precious strand. Bless you for that!) I was going to start my piece for our Weave-Along, but I’m doing taqueté, and I overheated a calculator convincing myself that 57 threading units of dense weft-faced weave would not fit on an 18-inch portable floor loom unless I wove with thread. So the taqueté begins next week when I return.


Exploring twill  
Twill in spring colors was just right for a
retreat weekend project

Finally, I settled on a twill exploration in preparation for the loomlorn yarn. My stash yielded some cones of Harrisville Highland in bright spring colors, and the warp is in the reed and ready to thread tonight. Shuttle, bobbins, weft, and notions are packed. Now all I have to do is choose books to bring for inspiration, which could be a hernia opportunity were we not living in the digital age. Fortunately, a few choice twills from Marguerite Davison are quickly scanned to my desktop for reference, I have some Handwoven e-Books on my computer, and Handwoven CD collections ready to tuck into my travel bag. Hernia averted, inspiration abundant and assured. So thank goodness for the old-fashioned joys of crafting hands and loving friends, and for the new-fangled conveniences that add to the experience. May freedom find you at your loom this spring.





P.S.: A big Weaving Today shout-out to the students from the Oregon College of Art and Craft, who recently joined our community. Welcome, weavers!

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