Monday, July 8, 2013

Knitting and Weaving

I learned to weave in 2007, and got my loom in January 2008.  I quickly became obsessed with weaving.  I bought yarn, planned projects, read books, and wove until my shoulders hurt.  I loved the process of creating fabric, seeing it come to shape in just the way I imagined, and then starting my next project.  For three years my loom hardly saw any rest.  I wove and wove and wove.  And loved every single minute of it.

One of the problems with weaving, though, is that it isn't very portable.  Also, with my loom set up in a separate room, I couldn't watch tv or hang out with the family when I wanted to do both.  It was solitary, and while I don't mind solitary most of the time, every now and again I do want to be around folks.

Also, we had several trips lined up and I wanted projects I could take in the car with me, so I dabbled in knitting.  It took a while for it to "click" for me, but when it did, I became as obsessed with knitting as I previously was with weaving.  In the past two years, I have completed countless projects, taken on more and more challenging ideas, and knitted so much that my thumbs hurt.


I realized on Thursday morning, that if I keep up knitting like this I'm going to have serious issues with my thumbs and not be able to knit any  more.  That scared me, so I started deliberately stitching slower (I find that I'm more relaxed and feel the tension in my thumbs a lot less IF I knit slower).  I also started taking breaks and weaving on my cricket loom.  I bought it so that I could weave in the car (not thinking, of course, that weaving a scarf takes approximately 2 hours or less (after the loom is set up)...which won't get me too far in an 8 hour car-ride).  I had a project on the cricket that had been there since August of last year, and it really needed to be completed.

So, I knitted, wove, knitted, wove and so on throughout the rest of the weekend.


I'm happy to report that my thumb is feeling better, and that I've completed 2 scarves (woven) and that I've knitted on my square a day blanket, the baby sweater for my cousin, and a new blanket from yarn that David gave me in my 4th of July present. (yea!)

The pic below is of a gorgeous silk and mohair scarf woven at just the right tension to make this a light and airy piece.  I'll definitely enjoy wearing it often!

I've started a second scarf out of this same yarn in a slightly different pattern, using the mohair and the silk alternating in the warp.  I think it's going to be absolutely lovely, too.  That one I'll sell.

All of this is to get to my point for today.  I used to be obsessed by weaving and now I'm obsessed by knitting.  I have projects that I want to weave, but I'm not compelled to go in the studio.  I don't know if it's because it's so hot (weaving is pretty sweaty business even in winter), or if my love affair with weaving has diminished.  I'm also curious whether it's the isolation of it that's my problem. I  could bring the loom into the living room to work on while David's reading or watching tv, but there's the problem with the noise (weaving isn't quiet), distraction (weaving does require some concentration from time to time), and the cats (who would tear my yarns to smithereens before I finished with the warping).  This has led me to consider getting a table top loom that is smaller that I could set up in the living room and work on in there...

In the meantime, though, I'll continue to enjoy knitting and weave when I feel like it.  I don't know if there'll be another new craft in my future (I'm am pretty sure I can't afford it unless it has something to do with yarn...I have lots of yarn).  I'll also continue to ponder why I'm not weaving as much as I think I should, and why it bothers me that I'm not.

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