The Pure Joy of Weaving

  Christina and the SampleIt
  Christina is overjoyed and the prospect of once
again having access to a loom.
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I am officially in the final throes of preparing to move. We currently have more items in boxes than not, we’ve found approximately $300 in change both in and under the sofas (as well as a variety of half chewed bits of rawhide), and the dogs are finally aware that something is happening and have started eyeing us with suspicion as we pack their little world.  

I'd been keeping sane by using the office pin loom during my lunches to weave up little squares, but has been recently confiscated so my coworkers could weave up flags to add to my bunting, and once again I have gone into weaving withdrawal. (On a related note I can't wait to take photos of the completed bunting once it's hung in my new office. With every new flag I'm in awe of how creative you can get when limited to a 4” x 4” square. I digress.)

While there are days or even full weeks where I do not weave during the year, in times of stress I find there are few things as comforting as weaving. When I weave I can turn off the nagging doubts and the little worrisome thoughts that wake me up in the middle of the night. I can focus entirely on the yarn and get completely, and blissfully lost in the moment. I’ve even grown to love warping; the meditative act of taking each individual end and placing it where it needs to go makes me forget all the worries of the world. Just thinking about the feeling of gently sliding my hand down a bundle of warp ends to make sure everything is even before I tie them to the apron rod helps to relax me for a moment or two.

As I am dealing with both finishing up the Jan/Feb 2015 issue and moving I miss my looms acutely, but I know that if I hadn't packed my studio I would have found every opportunity to sit at the loom and procrastinate packing for just six more inches, I promise. Then I'd be so close to the end of a bobbin I'd want to finish the yarn off, and then well, a newly filled bobbin is just too tempting not to weave a few picks more . . .you get the picture. (It's a bit like the children's book If You Give a Mouse A Cookie except I don't think If You Give a Procrastinating Weaving Editor A Loom When She Should Really Be Packing the Linen Closet would make nearly as interesting of a story. Once again, I digress.)

Fortunately for me, we recently received the office sample of the Weave Anywhere: Rigid-Heddle Loom Kit which includes a real live Ashford SampleIt Loom from Foxglove Fiber Arts. Huzzah! Just as the name of the kit implies, with this rigid-heddle loom I can weave pretty much anywhere including the office break room, at a conference table during a meeting (although if you don’t work for Interweave where such things are encouraged, you may not want to test this one), and outside at one of the work picnic tables. I bet I could even take it to the coffee shop down the way and weave there if I feel especially frivolous.

Given that I only have a few days left at the office, and only about 30 minutes a day where I can actually sit down and weave, I don’t think I’ll finish a “proper” project. Of course as most of you weavers know weaving a "thing" isn't really the point. Most of us don't weave because we have to, but because we love the act of weaving from the careful, contemplative warping to the gentle rhythm of the loom as the threads cross and yarn becomes cloth. I'm sure I'm not alone in giving away much of what I weave to family and friends for Christmas, birthdays, and "just because" so I have a reason to keep weaving. 

In less than a week I will be in my new home and my new studio space, and I will have access to all my looms and yarns once again. Until then I will spend my days writing and editing and my evenings packing—but, for a blissful half an hour around noon I’ll spend my time weaving. I won’t think about cancelling the milk delivery or which articles still need writing—I’ll be lost in the moment as I pass my shuttle back and forth and weave simply for the sake of weaving.

Happy Weaving!


Christina Garton

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