Weaving in Heavenly Peace

“For fast-acting relief try slowing down.” – Lily Tomlin

Scarf handwoven on a rigid heddle loom    





There's still time to weave a gift or two.      

The holidays are setting in, and for a change, I am not stressed. I can't guarantee that I will stay unstressed (a fact to which my husband is resigned), but right now, the season feels warm and cozy as a handwoven shawl. There are multiple reasons for the current pre-holiday calm. First and foremost, I have so much to be thankful for: family and friends, a home, and meaningful work. Second, having reached a certain age, I have finally relinquished the expectation of single-handedly creating a "perfect" Hanukkah and Christmas for my family (we celebrate both), and can focus on spending time with people and on activities that I love.


So this year, everyone will help wrap packages and decorate the tree, my visiting brother-in-law will cook a meal or two, husband and kids will make the Hanukkah latkes and light the menorah, and they may also be recruited to make breakfast on Christmas morning. I've baked the fruitcakes early, but I will likely be sending out the last holiday greetings shortly before Christmas. No matter. They'll arrive in good time, full of my sincere good wishes and honest cheer. And the time not spent chasing perfection will instead be spent on music, visiting, relaxing, and drinking in the season. 






Handwoven holiday table runner by Deborah Dobbs

This runner by Deborah Dobbs is an ideal

holiday project: bright, quick, and fun.

In previous years, my looms have stood empty during the holiday rush, but not this year. Weaving gives me peace, and that's the goal this year. The season started with a relaxing project. I took my trusty little rigid heddle loom along on Thanksgiving weekend, warped it, and wove most of a scarf in an evening. It was heavenly to focus my creative energies instead of giving in to the bustle. I may weave another scarf or two for gifts while watching my favorite Christmas movies. (Cary Grant in The Bishop's Wife. Best ever.) If I'm feeling inspired, I may work in a table runner or placemat set, just for something new to brighten the table. Maybe I'll warp up a floor loom and make a fancier scarf or shawl for a gift. But I'll weave with no deadlines, no pressures, only because the weather outside IS frightful, and the loom is so delightful.

If you have holiday weaving aspirations, here's some calming weaverly advice by Deborah Dobbs from the Handwoven Deck the Halls eBook:

• Simplify. Weave as many projects as you can on one warp. Consider “theme” gifts, such as scarves for all the men, shawls for all the women.
• Be realistic. Is it reasonable for you to weave an eight-foot long linen tablecloth with matching napkins for your parentsand your in-laws?
• Organize. Make a list of projects and a schedule of dates by which each is to be completed.
• Prioritize. What will need to “go” so that you can accomplish your Christmas weaving goals?
• Have fun. No one is making you do this! Remember, you like to weave and you are handcrafting your presents because you want to make something special for the friends and family you love.


So I wish for you, when the holiday candles are lit, that there will be a new bit of bright cloth on the table. When the gifts are opened, may there be newly woven warmth around someone's neck or shoulders. Nothing big, nothing fancy. Just gifts of time and yarn. But there will be joy in our hearts and handwoven cloth to give fibery voice to our peace, love, and joy. May you and your loom have many peaceful moments together this holiday season.


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