The Perfect Loom for Autumn
Sometimes it’s hard to believe that it’s already October. Now, this is probably because I live in southern New Mexico where the start of autumn weather means it only gets above 90 most–but not all–days of the week. It’s hard to think about sipping hot cider or bundling up in cozy sweaters when it’s still very much short sleeves and iced tea weather down south. Still, the evenings are getting cooler and the farmer’s market is filling up with winter squash and apples, a sure sign that while the weather isn’t quite there yet, autumn is indeed upon us.
I also notice a change in my weaving. In the heat of the summer I tend to be drawn to towels that can be woven on my floor loom in my air-conditioned studio. Towels are useful, they serve no season, and they make great gifts all year round. Now, though, as the weather dips from triple to double digits, and my shaded porch is perfectly pleasant all day long, I find myself called to enjoy the sunshine and cool evenings before everything gets cold. (And while you may not believe me, it does indeed get quite cold in the winter, thanks partially to the elevation of my desert town.)
In the spring I tend to favor my rigid-heddle loom because it benefits from short sleeves and free hands. In the autumn (especially when it gets properly chilly) I tend to gravitate more to the pin loom. Pin looms are compact and can be used while wearing sweaters and hoodies and long-sleeved garments of all sorts without loose sleeves getting in the way. Each square only takes about 10 to 20 minutes, so even if you can only stand weaving outside for half an hour, you can feel accomplished. And when it finally gets too cold, and you’re forced indoors to enjoy cocoa in (ideally) the warmest of wooly socks, you can join the little squares together to create something marvelous from table runners to shawls and even soft toys.
Of course, October also means it’s getting closer to gift and entertaining season (not to bring it up too early, but it’s something that’s certainly on my mind at the moment), which means hostess gifts, Christmas and other holiday presents, and table décor for the big dinners to come in the next few months. Pin looms are a great option if you, like me, enjoy gifting handwoven items or simply decorating your house with them. (Fun fact: my husband actually talked me into our current coffee table by pointing out that because of the removable glass top, I could display weaving underneath it that could be changed with the seasons and holidays. Touché, husband.)
To quote Anne of Green Gables, one of my favorite books as both an adult and a child, “I am so glad to live in a world where there are Octobers.”