Risqué Loom Dressing

December 24, 2008


I put that pesky warp for the Summer and Winter samples on the loom.  I may never weave the baby blankets, and it may be wasted effort, but at least it is short.  One might even say ridiculously brief.  At around 57″ it is the equivalent of dressing my loom in a 9″ mini skirt.


So, I have been asking myself: if I love the snow this much, how come I live somewhere that usually doesn’t have a winter, just a cold-ish season between the two squelchy ones?  Good question!

I never thought view from my kitchen window would be able to compete with Jane’s for wintriness, but here are my dead sunflowers wearing little conical hats!


I have only two problems with this weather.  The first is a phenomenon that has been mentioned by a lot of other Pacific Northwestern bloggers, but which bears repeating because it is just so weird.  There are no routines to deal with snow here.  Instead, white stuff falling from the sky prompts an immediate crisis mentality–and not the kind of crisis where people pull together, but the kind where they peek out of their windows at the burning house across the street.  I doubt the city or county even owns a snow plow.  (If they do, we haven’t seen it.)  There isn’t even any guy-with-a-truck-who-will-take-your-money plowing going on!  Taking a cue from the city streets and local businesses, nobody shovels their sidewalk.  Come on, it’s been out there nearly a week!  The School For the Blind shoveled, but that’s about it.  People stay inside Hoping It Will Just Go Away until they can’t stand it anymore or run out of Keystone Light, then rush out to drive like absolute doofuses on the slick, uncleared roads.

This makes great conversation for everyone who has lived in the mountains or in New England.  We get to shake our heads over the wimpiness of the infrastructure and the supposed “outdoorsiness” of the natives.

My other problem is the quality of the snow.  Because of the strange mix of weather systems in play where we live, heavy snow is almost always followed by freezing rain.  This is cruel to the temperate zone trees and shrubs, and has mostly (along with the doofussy drivers and lack of shoveling) kept me indoors.  With layers of ice like frosting between the layers of a cake,  it’s not the kind of snow it’s fun to play in.

But none of this is really a complaint.  Ever since I woke up yesterday morning and thought, “I get to thread today!” I have been wondering why snowy weather is the perfect weather for weaving.  Obviously loom dressing and weaving lend themselves really well to large chunks of time without distractions, and you can set those aside without any guilt when the weather has you housebound.  But I have also noticed that the reflected light from the snow has filled my normally dark apartment with a clear, diffuse light.  Point-source light casts confusing shadows when I am dealing with ranks of Texsolv cords and heddles.  Crawling under the loom and threading were so much easier with the snow-light!

Another thing I noticed was that I was moving my whole body getting around the loom.  Warping takes about the same degree and variety of effort as gardening.  I don’t know of any other way to get that sort of physical activity indoors.  It’s the perfect antidote to the “I have been sitting in this chair too long and I am not up to cleaning the bathroom” syndrome.  Especially since, as with gardening, I get the satisfaction of making something.

No wonder weaving as has persisted so strongly as a home craft in the Nordic countries, where the winters are long and snowy and the traditional houses tend to be short on windows.

Yesterday afternoon I was trying to finish threading before the daylight disappeared.  I just made it!


Now I am going to go sley.



7 Responses to “Risqué Loom Dressing”

  1. Holly Says:

    We’ve still got about a foot of snow and we have the only snow shovel in the neighborhood. We lend it freely — and usually who ever borrows it will shovel a little of our snow when they return it. We are lucky that our little town (south of Seattle) believes in using salt and sand on the roads instead of just sand — so we could get off of our hill if we could only get out to the road! 🙂

    Wishing for rain!

  2. Cally Says:

    Snow-paralysis is a feature of English winters too, and even happens in the milder parts of Scotland. Everyone gets outraged at the way roads aren’t cleared quickly and so on, but I feel ever so sorry for the local authorities who would get just as much flak if they spent thousands of pounds on snow ploughs that only got used once in ten years… Better just stay in bed – or at the loom – and wait for the spring I reckon.

  3. Jane Says:

    She wore an itsy bitsy teeny weeny warp with little stripes of greenie. . . . OK, I couldn’t help myself!!

    Every time I see a photo of your loom, I’m struck by it’s beauty. It is so solid, and has such a wonderful patina.

    We still have snow on the ground but the sun shines over 300 days a year here so even though it’s cold, it’s rarely gloomy. I love that.

    It was so cool to see your ‘sisters’ scarves all finished. I love them! How did the recipients like them? The fact that they each so matched the personalities of the giftees is something that I really appreciate.

    Tell all!

    Who is wishing you a splended 2009 filled with lots of weaving, no tangled warps, and many many more creations coming from your loom.

  4. Our 20″ of snow has finally melted into muddy mounds away from any driving area. I wondered about the guy-with-a-snowplow as well, having never seen one in the Pacific NW, then read (Seattle Times) that there was **one** — in Bremerton!

    Getting out of the house for the first time 3 days after the snowstorm, I found that beyond restocking the groceries, I was much happier at home with the looms. Somehow, having weaving to do warded off any cabin fever I may otherwise have felt.

    Your Green Man looks very content on his perch!

  5. deborahbee Says:

    No snow down here in the south of England but there has been hard frost over Christmas. Our 2 bedroom house has been bursting with sons, wives and 7 grand children. I slept in my weaving’hut’ or ‘hutch’ as kids have named it. makes me feel like a rabbit. Great to see your warp going on, love the weighted mugs. I will try that.Having family here all admiring loom and weaving has produced many requests which provided the rationale for all this years production.
    I am interested in your Summer and Winter as i want to try it myself…though have got to get the other 4 shafts threaded up first

  6. Taueret Says:

    ha, we are melting in the heat. Come on down anytime. the green man looks lovely in his crown.

  7. trapunto Says:

    Thanks, Jane. I would repeat your compliment to my loom, but that might not be good for its character; it tends to rely overly much on it’s physical charms. I just heard from Auntie Perfectionist–a great one for thank-you notes. I was a little embarrassed by her gratitude. Mom liked hers as well.

    What a crowd, Deborah! I am impressed! I hope they helped with the cooking in return for exiling you to your “hutch.” It’s fun to show the pretty tools, isn’t it?

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