For years I have been fascinated by looms and weaving. It satisfies two aspects of my thinking, creative and mathematical.
After reading an essay about why some jobs can be dissatisfying, I decided to take a weaving class. The essay proposed that what humans really enjoy and find satisfying is a job completed from start to finish. An example would be growing food, cooking it, and serving it for dinner. Contrast this with many jobs where a person repeatedly completes a small part of a larger job over and over. Teaching third grade over and over for example might seem less satisfying than raising a child from birth to adulthood.
I have always been a sewer (sewist?), making cloths, curtains, bags, and quilts. So I thought it might be fun to explore other aspects of textile production. Working backwards I would learn to weave, then spin, then produce fiber (either grow cotton or raise sheep). So, twenty years ago I took a weaving class and bought a loom. Life can be complicated and busy. Getting around to learning to spin took a couple decades but finally last fall I returned to Sievers School of Fiber Arts on Washington Island in Door County WI and learned to spin. My wonderful instructor was Deb Jones, owner of the Fiber Garden. It was great fun.
This is a bobbin of gray, black, and white wool yarn that I spun but had not yet plied when I had to return home. I did purchase the spinning wheel and I intended to ply the yarn on itself or with some white yarn I was planning to spin because that was all I could think of to do with it.
Spinning is a lot of fun (did I mention that?), so when Deb, our instructor, mentioned that she was organizing a four day spinning retreat at Durwards Glen near Baraboo WI, I decided to attend. It was an eye opening experience. The spinners there knew no bounds. Anything was fair game; fancy yarns plied with fancy threads and beads and sparkles, thick and thin yarns. It was such an inspiration.
My little gray yarn got a new future. I decided to ply it with a sparkly silver thread.
It turned out beautifully! Then I had to think of something to make with it. It was too pretty to stash away! So I decided to make a scarf for my daughter.
I warped my Harrisville loom with a cotton sock yarn because that is what I had.
I have been trying to keep better record and actually plan my projects. I think this is especially important with hand-spun yarn since you can’t go out and “just buy more” if you run short.
Here is the plan sheet I used to design the project . The picture below is not me, but it shows the loom I have. This is how I like to imagine myself weaving; a quiet, well lit dedicated space with plenty of yarn and serenity.
It was still cold and snowy outside and we kept the bird feeders full. That morning I saw a downy woodpecker at the feeder. Its mottled feathers reminded me of my yarn and the tuft of red feathers on its head was so pretty I decided to accent the scarf with red stripes and extra red fringe.
This was my first project using my hand-spun yarn. I’m pretty happy with the way it turned out and my daughter likes it. She was the one who helped me design the stripes and suggested adding the red fringe. It matches her red coat and has just the right amount of sparkle.
I am way behind writing about my projects. I hope you like the scarf!
As always, your polite and helpful comments are welcome.