Creating a monster

Liam gets friendly with the loom

Behold: the power of craft. I got the borrowed loom out this Saturday so that I could hurry up and finish these blinkin’ scarves already. Look who decided that he really needed to take this machine for a spin.

“Where’s the on button, Mom,” he asks, tentatively touching the wood. So I showed him how to move the heddles up and down. He seemed really interested, so I let him move the heddles and run the shuttle back and forth. This went on for about half an hour, when the temptations of Grandpa in the Room overwhelmed the temptations of Crazy Machine with Many Levers.

The next day, Liam told me he wanted to weave again. So we packed off to the big box craft store for some supplies: Little plastic potholder loom? Check. While we’re at it: small knitting loom to make hats and scarves? Check. Wire and beads to make jewelry? Puff paint? Check. Check. He’s going to make lots of handmade gifts for Christmas.

He was ecstatic. Nay – delirious. He was so thrilled to have his own yarn (some bulky stuff for his knitting loom) that he got all giddy and started yanking zippers off the rack in the next aisle. “I need lots of these,” says he. “What for?” I ask. “For hiding in,” he says.

When we got home, we spent the next two hours making a pot holder and a necklace. He decided he couldn’t wait a month to give them away, so he immediately gifted them to his dad, who obligingly wore the necklace to work and used the potholder to pull his hot coffee out of the microwave. Gotta love these guys.

What’s the first craft project that you remember making?

Like knitting, only faster and with more apparatus

Kind of gives whole new meaning to “sticks and string,” doesn’t it? As part of my plan to become more of a well-rounded fiber artist, I took a twill weaving class last Monday at Hill Country Weavers, the largest of Austin’s local yarn stores.

The class was great. It was taught by the lovely, patient owner of the store, Susanne. She spent four hours with me and two other women, both of whom were more experienced than I was. Still, before the class was over, I managed to get all the warp strung up – a formidable task, I discovered – and did a few rows of the weft.

I’m using Blue Heron Soft Twist Rayon for the warp (that’s the rainbow-colored variegated you see run vertically) and Alchemy Bamboo for the weft (that’s the chartreuse-colored solid running horizontally).

I’m really pleased with how it looks so far. And it’s relatively fast, though not as fast as I thought it would be. (Might just be my novice-ness.) But I don’t think that weaving is going to intrude very far into my first love of knitting, because of the portability factor. I can pick up my knitting with very little fanfare or prep time. And I can take it with me. Weaving on a loom requires some commitment. I’m happy to give it that for now….