Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today's Effort

A little crooked, but it was fun to make. As Gary said, "Hey, you're only using a cardboard loom."

Today I started planning an insanely ambitious scarf, which is probably beyond the reach both of a cardboard loom and of my beginning weaving skills. Everything I've read says that to make a scarf on a cardboard loom, either the cardboard needs to be as long as the scarf, or you need to make the scarf in loom-sized sections and sew them together. Seems to me that if you have your warp on bobbins, and have a way to clamp the finished cloth to the bottom of the loom as the project advances, you should be able to weave a scarf in one piece on a workably-sized loom.

So today I ordered clothespins to use as bobbins and some kitchen clips -- the kind designed for bags of potato chips -- to use as clamps. Since we're talking about thirty bobbins, rewarping the thing whenever I need to weave a new section is going to be a hefty piece o' work. But looms with fancy rollers and whatnot cost approximately my annual salary (okay, that's a slight exaggeration), and I think cardboard and tapestry looms are better for freeform weaving, anyway.

So, the scarf: Longtime readers will recall that last July, my sister and Gary and I drove through Arizona's red rock country on our way from my cousin's funeral in Flagstaff back to our hotel in Phoenix, where he and his wife lived. We stopped in Sedona, where I bought some gorgeous orange laceweight yarn that reminded me of the color of the sandstone formations. I've since tried to knit with the stuff, but it's just too fine, and keeps defeating me.

But if I weave with it, especially in conjunction with other, thicker reddish-orange yarns, I think the results could be really pretty, and might even look something like the layers in the rock formations.

Or, I could just make a giant mess of expensive yarn. It's a toss up. But what's life without risk?

Tomorrow's the formal beginning of my sabbatical, and also the first day of my state-mandated paycut, and also the first day of our new, drastically unimproved health-insurance package, with its huge deductible.

I gotta say, I've been in better moods (although I'd feel infinitely worse without the sabbatical).

And on that note, back to work on the book.


  1. Adventures in weaving....
    Congrats on the beginning of your sabbatical.

  2. Anonymous6:53 AM

    is your sabbatical for the semester or the year?

    Also, if you look around on line, you could likely find either a used tapestry loom, or an enterprising person making perfectly usable ones out of less fancy materials (like pvc pipe) and start loom weaving at a discount. I know there are now several sources for spinning wheels made of pvc and bike wheel rims that are much less expensive and work fine, for example.

  3. Anonymous8:34 AM

    Dear Susan,

    Wishing you all the very best for a fabulous sabbatical in spite of the economic challenges that come with it. I hope it gives you lots of time and space for rewarding work and relaxing play.



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