A Day in the Life of Looms

January 1, 2011

Oh, what the hey . . .

Table loom:  Modified, tweaked, tweaked some more, and finally at the end of its cottolin towel warp, with a Christmas kumihimo kit lying where I left it after unwrapping it.

Bergman countermarche and Spears rigid heddle:  Naked.  Folded and cupboarded, respectively.

2010 was a hard year on my body and spirit.  For much of it a gardening injury (yes, gardening injury) held sway.  Weaving was minimal, blogging was beside the point, and yet, oddly enough, the glacially slow towel warp was my life-line last month.  Like a Sisyphus making friends with his boulder, once I had tricked my third-hand home-made table loom into weaving linen, I found myself becoming attached to the plaguey thing.  Who else would have gone to so much trouble over a simple dead weight?  If I sell my boulder now, I will be putting a low price on my ingenuity.  No one else will know its former foibles.  No one else will know what they’ve got.  And it stood by me when I needed it: all 100 pounds of 8-shaft Awkward.

As for me on January 1, 2011, I’m more like my inkle loom, poised and empty between sample warp and project.  After a prolonged, helpless presence at my grandmother’s hospital deathbed (I’m her only living descendent), and the visiting and worry of her final illness before that, for the past week I’ve fond myself back at home, waiting and sorting and taking care of business in a sort of vacuum before the funeral.

My inkle sample was successful and informative.  The project is for a friend.  I’ll get to it, am in fact looking forward to it, but right now all I really want to do is this:

. . . and may not do much more than that for a while after the service.  It’s funny the way our cat has started tucking himself up in the rocking chair over the last few days.  Usually even his head’s curled in, so all I see is an alarming featureless lump–like an oblong fur cushion.  The sheepskin on the back of the chair is a New Zealand Merino I’ve had for years, but the one on the seat is an IKEA cheapie the cat used to loathe.  When it was new he would get into fights with it, attacking the edges, tearing it off the chair as fast as I put it back on.  At last he managed to rip off a good-sized chunk from the corner in a final conquering frenzy.  After that he ignored it, and the chair too.  Now it’s Mother Cat.  He kneads it for a half-hour at a time before going to sleep.