Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Take Joy! -- Mad about Plaid and Puppies

It is the heart of winter here in Minnesota again, which means it's the perfect time to get back to my  loom! The holidays are over, the kids are all back where they need to be, and I am busy in my studio space with all shades of purple and grey. I am making a lupine bleu plaid blanket for the couch in my studio space. What a treat to weave something for me this time!

I have been weaving plaid for a few years now. The last plaid blanket that I made on the loom was 2 years ago. It was my dad's 75th birthday present- a patriotic red, white, and blue- and it turned out beautifully (if I do say so myself....) It seemed time to tackle another large piece of doubleweave to keep my skills sharp. This blanket will be about the same finished size as the last,  5 feet by 6 feet. Big enough to wrap myself in when I am knitting or reading or planning another weaving project in the future!

 I began winding the warp way back in September--and then put it away for a while-- so it was a bit of a challenge to put the warp threads on in the correct order. A few weeks of threading heddles and a few errors threading heddles later (which I DID fix ) and the project has finally begun to fly forward at a decent speed. I am weaving!

I love the rhythm of weaving, the movements of the foot treadles, the throwing of the shuttle, the breaking of the yarn to change color, and the magic of the pattern appearing in front of me! Though weaving is the fun part, it is by far the shortest section in a handwoven project. Winding yarn, warping the loom, threading the heddles, threading the reed, tensioning the threads, and weaving in waste yarn for fringe all have to be done before one can even begin to see the pattern. And don't forget the time finishing afterward-- securing the ends, making the fringe, fulling the yarn into a large piece of fabric. But today I am weaving.....

In the heart of winter I enjoy the change of light as it hits the yarn from morning, to afternoon, to evening. The cycle of advancing the warp here and there throughout the day gives me such a sense of accomplishment and joy! I am reminded of Tasha Tudor's love of the saying to Take Joy! when I am weaving.

 And there is another reason to Take Joy! in our house at the moment-- we have a new member of the family giving us a run for our money these days-- Mr. Bingley, our new Smooth Fox Terrier puppy  (who we were lucky enough to rescue through American Fox Terrier Rescue) has made things quite exciting! He reminds us of our beloved Smoothie, Louie,  who we lost a few years ago, but he is his own special boy. And our Corgi, Cora has decided he can stay too-- though she really wonders at his incredible, puppy energy.

So I am reminded of the many reasons to enjoy this cold season, before the spring arrives in May -- and I am thrust into the garden and a crazy baseball schedule and slathering sunscreen on each morning becomes the norm. Winters aren't cold in Minnesota-- they are perfect-- perfect for Taking Joy! in weaving and yarn projects and cozy new puppies too!

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