Spring Cleaning and Loom Maintenance

  Pattie's studio
  Pattie's less-than-tidy studio

The other day my neat-freak husband came into my studio and commented on the mess. It’s true, and that is just the way I work. This fact of my life became totally okay with me last October. During the Taos Wool Festival, I visited the studio of a remarkable weaver who had an untidy work space. I think I grew a few inches taller when I realized that I shared a similar style with such an extraordinary artisan. (Now, if I only had actual weaving skills in common with that individual!).

As weavers, we have different approaches and interests, and I strongly believe there is enough room for all of us within the community. Those of you with strong technical skills I respectfully name the MIT weavers, and I imagine that you are neat, organized, and understand the mechanics of your looms. I know folks who document everything and even take pictures of all that they weave. These days, I don’t even know what I’m going to weave when I put on a warp except that it will be overshot. I end up with bits and lengths of cloth that often get turned into fancy dish towels or adornments for my walls. Surely, I can’t be the only weaver who has cloth hanging throughout her home. One of these days, I’ll tap those wall decorations and sew them into real things.

Okay, back to that mess. I suppose that maybe it’s time for a little spring cleaning and loom maintenance. I can get out the Shop-Vac, make neater piles of books and papers, and even put some cones of yarn away, but, oh, that maintenance thing frightens this mechanically disinclined weaver. 

I wondered if maybe Tom Knisely’s DVD, The Loom Owner’s Companion, might help me. He was Handwoven’s Teacher of the Year, and before I left my job at the magazine, I got to read all of the outstanding comments and recommendations from his students. Well, I watched, and I am happy to tell you that I learned quite a bit about looms and weaving in general. Today, I plan on going to the hardware store with my list and put together my very own studio toolbox but, more importantly, I’m motivated to make space and clean things up because Tom gave me confidence to buy that countermarch loom I’ve been wanting! Anyone out there want to go loom shopping with me?

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