Why Don't We Do It On the Road: Tips for Traveling Weavers

Next best thing to a tardis?

Weavers love to weave, and we love to travel, which can be a source of frustration to those of us with busy lives who need to fit in  major weaving time on vacations. It would be lovely to be able to pack a floor loom in a suitcase (or travel by tardis, a vehicle bigger on the inside than the outside, à la Dr. Who), but truly portable weaving can yield plenty of pattern possibilities and weaverly satisfaction. For my upcoming vacation, I'm tucking my Zoom Loom into my knitting bag, along with odds and ends of favorite yarns from previous projects and a copy of Pin Loom Pathways on my new little iPad. (Thanks for the birthday present, hubby!) I can weave with it while watching my new grandson at the beach or by the evening campfire. For afternoons, I'm taking my 10-inch rigid-heddle loom, all warped up to make a pillow cover in a Norwegian inlay design.

Here are some weaving travel tips:

  • Save those zippered clear plastic cases that sheet sets and blankets are sold in. They're a compact way to carry yarns and weaving tools, and you can stuff it all in there because they're sturdy and it's easy to see what you're pulling out.
  • Make yourself a little notions kit for on the road with some small scissors, a cute tape measure, some T-pins, lashing string if you use it, and whatever else you use often. There are loads of cute little notion bags available in knitting and fabric stores, so treat yourself.
  • Buy some clear plastic page protectors for your patterns and notes. It keeps them flat and readable, and it's so sad to spill lemonade on your notes and be dealing with a sticky draft the rest of your vacation.

If you're looking for some ideas for portable summer weaving, here are my other recommendations:

  • Take a rigid-heddle loom, some fun yarn from your stash, and a copy of The Weaver's Idea Book by Jane Patrick. You can have lots of creative fun just looking at the pictures and choosing what to weave with your luscious yarn. (And if you don't want to haul a book along, download the eBook on your tablet. Perfect!)
  • If you want to just weave without having to think about design, download a copy of the Best of Handwoven: Rigid Heddle Pattern Book 1, and pick a project to weave on vacation. Perhaps Rio Grande placemats at the Rio Grande? Or you can take along some thrums and weave Betty Davenport's pretty pile pillow as a memory of your vacation.
  • If you have memories of braiding lanyards as a kid at at summer camp, take it a step further: you can weaving bands with an inkle loom or by card-weaving. Check out Anne Dixon's The Weaver's Inkle Pattern Directory or find a coffee shop with wi-fi and download John Mullarkey's video Tablet Weaving Made Easy.

Whatever you bring along to weave, you'll have fun because you'll also be weaving memories. See you on the road!

P.S. You can enjoy another great summer tradition if you buy your portable weaving books and videos at our virtual Summer Tent Sale. See the savings at bit.ly/I-Love-Weaving.

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