I think this always happens to me right before a holiday. I’m sitting at my desk and thinking about how much stuff I need to get done at home (everyone comes to my house for Thanksgiving) and can’t think of anything fun to do here. Don’t get me wrong – there’s lots of stuff I COULD be doing. I just don’t want to.
Did I tell you about this? It’s called a Weavette (actually, that’s a historical picture of a Weavette – mine has wood where the plastic pieces are in the photo). Nancy brought hers to SOAR and dared me to try it out. It was so much fun that I had to have one too. In a small box you get one 2×2 and one 4×4 size looms, 2 long needles, and a little instruction booklet. It’s from a place called Buxton Brooks Designs. Go, now, and buy one. They also have pattern books you can buy – I didn’t get one of those. I did buy a canvas bag to put all the stuff in (you can’t have too many canvas bags).
What am I going to do with all those little 2×2 squares I’m weaving? I’m glad you asked. I took a natural dying/spinning class when I was pregnant with Sassy (it only seems like 100 years ago). Every week for 12 weeks, we showed up at the class with 4 skeins of white wool and went home with 4 skeins of dyed wool. The instructor used 4 different kinds of mordant to show how different each color could be. For example, last night I wove 4 squares of Queen Anne’s lace dyed yarn. They were all slightly different because Beth had mordanted the skeins with alum, tin, iron, or copper sulfate (actually, I think the mordant was in the dyebath).
So, we’d show up with our skeins, stuff them into the dye pots and spend the next 2 hours trying out different kinds of spinning wheels. Beth and her husband had been collecting for YEARS. When we tried spinning on Great Wheels – each of us got one (probably 20 people in the class)! Once I had the opportunity to go down to Dave’s workshop – it was like a spinning wheel parts yard. They’d go to estate/garage/rummage sales and pick up old wheels. Sometimes, he could fix up the wheel and sometimes he just used it for parts- very cool.
Anyway, I’ve had these skeins kicking around my house and studio for the last 9 years. Rudy (my workshop instructor at SOAR) mentioned that he had taken a similar class some years ago and he couldn’t figure out what to do with all the skeins either. Then he bought a Weavette and made a wall hanging with them. The light went on in my head, so now I’m busily weaving little squares.
One interesting side note, I only heard about this natural dying workshop because a loud, crazy-haired woman in a weaving class talked about it and said it might be fun to have a go at natural dying. Extra points for anyone who can tell me who the crazy-haired woman was. I love it when life goes full-circle.