“In my experience hobbies have a happy faculty of untying the many knots one accumulates during a busy day; they also provide wonderful insurance against old age.”
Speaking of hobbies and aging, for my latest birthday I got a loom! Ever since I took an introductory weaving course at the Textile Arts Center last summer, I’ve been more and more curious about handweaving. I read books like the wonderful You Can Weave (hand lettered in its entirety, as above). This book is as charming as it is informative, and its coauthor was none other than Mary E. Black. Black was a giant in the revival of arts and crafts in Nova Scotia. Her landmark collection of handwoven samples can be viewed online and is worth a visit for the tartans alone. Her co-author, Bessie R. Murray, was a weaving icon in her own right, and designed the Nova Scotia Dress Tartan.
In my weaving explorations, I joined the New York Guild of Handweavers, began lurking in some weaving-themed ravelry groups, started combing back issues of Handwoven, and marked my calendar for the first meeting of Lion Brand Yarn Studio’s Weft Club. And I researched looms. With my beginner status and my home’s limited space, I decided that the Schacht Cricket, a squat little rigid heddle loom, would be a good match. And that’s the loom I received. So far, I’ve made two scarves.
One for my husband (made following Lion Brand Yarn Co.’s Boyfriend Scarf Pattern using that company’s organic wool):
And this one for me (made with a warp of fine teal cotton and a weft of Cascade Magnum Super Bulky Wool):
I’m eager to learn more about playing with texture and color using my rigid heddle loom. Stitching and knitting turn up everywhere and have legions of ambassadors offering ideas for practitioners with entry level skills plenty of material to inspire. While weaving seems a more elusive craft at present, I’m glad to have embarked, I am determined to learn more, and I’m trying not to be too sheepish about being such a newcomer.
What handweaving resources would you recommend to a novice for information and inspiration?