have loom, will travel (oh, and yarn too)

I will admit it. I am a quirky lady. I do what makes sense to me. I do not always follow convention. I do what needs to get done and I have fun doing it. That said, here’s a little story about a pile of yarn that found a home across the pond.

So I launched this line of fiber arts and I wear a scarf I made nearly everyday. My aunt saw it, liked it, and asked for one she could hand deliver to their foreign exchange student Natalie they were going to visit over Christmas. What fun! I took some notes about color and size and got right down to business.

planning the scarf

This is the scarf in the very beginning stages- when it's just an idea and a pile of yarn lounging about. There are a few notes, a pencil sketch, and coffee. There's almost always coffee.

Next comes the most frustrating (in my opinion) and patience-trying part of the weaving process- warping the loom. Yarn goes everywhere, there is major disorder, everything must be tensioned evenly and if your hands are dry (thank you Colorado) there will be snags. I’d like to say that I am getting better at this part, I’ve got it down to less than an hour. And my husband gets involved- holding knots and pulling groups of yarn. But after wrestling with the warps to set up the loom, everything looks nice, tight and even like in these photos. The blue fabric scraps in the picture on the right are used to pack the yarn and evenly space each warp yarn out for the beginning of the weaving process. The white and black stripes in the warp will interact with the white, black and grey yarn I used in the weft to create a free-form plaid pattern. (see last photo)

And this is where I demonstrate my tendency toward the unconventional. I had a busy week with deadlines to meet, two long-distant trips on the agenda and thus a 6 hour car ride ahead of me. I finished my other obligations, we packed up the car, set the loom in the back and off we went. My husband at the wheel and me in the far back seat of our SUV, weaving away. It worked okay. I wouldn’t recommend it though, the roads were bumpy and it’s hard to have a decent conversation that far away in a car. I decided to finish up weaving at my destination.

weaving in car

Yep, it's true. Here I am weaving in the car.

Notice the two different shuttles, one with white yarn and one with black yarn. I was using a proper shuttle (read: purchased) borrowed from a friend, but after returning it, I needed to find/buy/make my own. Of course, I decided to make my own. One is corrugated cardboard, one is from a cereal box. Neither are terribly effective but they get the job done. I have since cut two out of pressed paper board (like the back of a sketchbook) and they work great!finished scarf

Here is the finished scarf with twisted and tied ends and a free-form plaid pattern. Everything that went into the making of this scarf is pictured here (sans Edna, my spinning wheel, and my coffee of course). What an adventure this pile of yarn had, and this was even before delivery to Nebraska. After delivery to Nebraska, this little scarf still had quite a trip ahead of it. More to come on that adventure, so stay tuned!

Here I am delivering the scarf to my cousin in Nebraska. Next up- a transatlantic flight for a European adventure...