Saturday, February 25, 2006

What I've been up to...



Not much cooking happening 'round here lately...

What I have been doing is starting my first weaving project in over six years. Weaving is a hobby I took up about ten years ago after visiting New Mexico. It seemed that weaving shops and weaving demos were at every turn on that trip. I loved watching those demos, but could not imagine actually purchasing a loom. Even so, I had caught the weaving bug and returned home with a weaving book and instructions for building a simple lap loom.

I drooled over the book and an issue of Handwoven magazine that I had purchased. None of this escaped my parents' notice. Before I got around to building that lap loom, they were telling me about a weaving class at a shop just outside Baltimore and making me an offer I couldn't refuse... take the class and they would buy me a loom after I completed the class.

The class was fantastic. I have trouble remembering the details now, but I believe there were six classses over six weeks, during which time we completed four or five weaving projects. The shop loaned each student a table loom for the duration of the class, so much of the weaving was done at home.

I don't know how so much time has passed without any weaving... I've been blaming it on Leo (my cat), but my dry spell started a year or so before he came along. I've missed it, though, and I'm starting back in again. I'm finding it slow going - I've forgotten so much. Fortunately, I do remember the basics - even though it has required some effort to recollect.

So here's the thing... I'm going to break the number one rule of blogging by changing the focus of my blog somewhat. I plan to expand the scope of my little kitchen to include weaving and possibly even other needlework projects. I realize not everyone will be interested in these posts, so in the future I will always make it clear in the title what the subject of the post will be.

My current project is dish towels and I'll be telling you all about it soon. Maybe I'll find out there are one or two other weavers among you or maybe you'll catch the weaving bug too!

17 comments:

Santos said...

OHMYGOD! when you said you weaved, i was imagining something bigger than a lap loom, but not that behemoth!!!!! *wow*. i'm really interested in seeing your dish towels.

Cathy said...

Yeah, it's big (36" weaving width) - which has been part of my problem. The only place I had where I could open it up to weave was my bedroom. I did some rearranging last weekend and created a permanent home for it. I plan to leave it opened up now and I can close Leo out of the room when necessary. I'm really psyched now - I have a weaving/sewing/craft room!

Stephanie said...

Well, not a weaver, but Matt's grandmother had two big ones, and a number of small ones! She's had to give all that up now, but it was a big part of Matt's life.

Cathy said...

Oh you should have hung on to one! It's really such a great hobby - you don't need to know too much to get started, but you could spend a lifetime learning the details. Best of all it's a fantastic creative outlet... gee, sounds a lot like cooking!

chuckless said...

Cathy, I am so glad that you're weaving again...it is so exciting to create, whether it is in "my little kitchen" or on the loom! Enjoy.

Rosa said...

Congrats on getting back to something you love to do. I know how you feel. I do Ukrainian Easter eggs (pysanky) and I gave it up for about 5 years. I think the hardest part is getting everything out and and set up to do. Once it's in-your-face, you're more likely to "do" it. I can't wait to see your projects. I love old-fashioned woven textiles. Take a look here:

http://www.brahmsmount.com/about.htm

They have beautiful pieces that you may be able to get some ideas from. Will keep an eye on your postings!! Enjoy!

Stephanie said...

I'd have loved to 'inherit' one of them, but all her possessions were being divied up while we were in Oakland, and she lived in Connecticut (Matt's grandfather taught at Yale). I'm not even sure who ended up with them...which, yes, is a pity.

Nupur said...

I love your loom, Cathy! Very professional-looking indeed :) Can't wait to see those lovely dishtowels.
I'm excited that "My Little Kitchen" is going to talk about crafts too...I love doing little embroidery projects myself.

Cathy said...

Hi Chuck! I'm estatic - especially about having that room back for sewing and now weaving. Leo seems to be adjusting to his new quarters too!

Rosa - I agree - having everything set up and ready to go lets you fit in shorter sessions too. That link looks wonderful - thanks so much!

Stephanie - oh, too bad. Hope they stayed in the family.

Nupur - Thanks - I'm glad to know you'll be interested in my off-topic posts! I haven't done any embroidery other than cross stich in eons - I'd enjoy seeing your projects!

J said...

hi cathy, how awesome! your very own craft room. like santos, i am really keen on checking out those dish towels!

Grommie said...

No noooo!! No more bugs for me to catch, PUHLEEZE. With baking, jewelry making, quilting, painting and gardening my husband and my bank account cringe every time I get another catalog in the mail.

Can't wait to see some of your dishtowels though!!

Cathy said...

Hi Jocelyn - I'm glad! I hope to be posting my first installment (yes, installment, more than you ever wanted to know probably!) in the next day or two.

Hi Grommie - these bugs do seem to come in packs don't they? :-)

sailu said...

Cathy,that is such a great hobby.I work with the local weavers of our state of Andhra Pradesh in India and myself do designing and embroidery too.So I can relate to this post a lot.
I felt good on reading this post..:)

Sailu's Food

Cathy said...

Hi Sailu - I'm glad you enjoyed it! I'd love to hear about your experience with local weavers!

Lawrene said...

I am thrilled I stumbled upon your site! I inherited the 48" floor loom and boxes of thread of a friend, and borrowed some books, and have been making beautiful dresser scarves non-stop since Sept. Except that I really don't know what I'm doing. I put the warp onto the loom in, I'm sure, the clumsiest way possible, and spend much time untangling thread and skinning my knuckles. Your photos and engaging explanations are, thus, fascinating to me. Thanks so much for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I saw your post while I was searching the web for a weaving class around the DC or Baltimore area. Would you happen to know the name of the shop where you took weaving classes? Thanks- M.

Cathy said...

Hi Lawrene - wow, lucky you! That's really impressive that you've managed to teach yourself too. I finished up these towels in June and would you believe I haven't started another project yet? I hope to very soon!

Hi M - the shop where I took my weaving class has since changed hands and is no longer focused on weaving, but the Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore (WGGB) offers what I think is a very similar class at the Bloomsbury Community Center in Catonsville. Here's the link. The class is structured much the same and includes a loaner table loom. Good luck!