Fraidy Cat

I have generally tried to cultivate an optimistic attitude of “what’s the worst that could happen?” in weaving and in life.  Having had a pretty stable, secure upbringing and young life, it was an easy attitude to maintain across the board. As I move into my sixth decade I realize that “the worst” in life can be very bad, but the great thing about weaving is that the “worst” is a wasted warp and little more.  So, what’s there to be afraid of?  Nothing . . . .

except Drawlooms!!

Somehow the Drawloom “loomed” in my imagination as a scary, layered network of complicated heddles and pulleys and potential disasters . . . yikes! Well recently I was given an opportunity to conquer my fears in the absolutely best way possible.  Becky Ashendon gives drawloom classes at her family home in one of the most lovely settings in New England.  The looms fill every room of half the house, and they are PRE-WARPED!!! So Becky has pre-slain (ha!) the drawloom dragon for you.  You can select a loom – all are warped using a different technique featured here:

And all that is required of you the weaver, is to design and weave.  The options are amazing, and after a failed-ish idea for a design (I wanted to weave graphic depictions of weave structures – I think it might still be a good idea – more thought about how to design them).  I wove this:

busy bees queen beeBecky has a million books of motifs to refer to for design ideas, and after weaving a few wee bees from a book, I graphed out my own queen bee. It was so much fun and all the daunting aspects of working on a drawloom have been very compassionately done for the fraidy cat. Highly recommended!

In sewing news (I always felt that there should be a crafts equivalent of all the sports news. Wouldn’t it be great is you turned on the radio and heard, “Today in the wide world of weaving . . .) I have been putting some of the yardage for the “Shifting Threads” class I will be teaching in September into use:

Bags! Batch Pad Pillow Cute Case 2 Cute Case

The idea is to have nice projects for small amounts of yardage (should less than a yard be called footage?) I am still working on the “potential” pillows below. . . more inkling needed. . .

pillow possible Potential pillows

And on a final note – Goodbye Doc Anjelou – the world will miss you mightily.

Listen to yourself and in that quietude you might hear the voice of God. Maya Anjelou



15 thoughts on “Fraidy Cat

  1. Hi Lisa…
    What fun with the bees! Is there a draw loom in your future?

    You know that my favorites are the pillow tops…still loving that draft and its versatility.

    Bag patterns….there are some cute patterns at Craft Passion:

    And these little pyramid bags can be made bigger to hold spindles, sock knitting, or small weaving paraphernalia:

    And there’s this triangle bag on Make:

    fun stuff…

    • OMG! I love the bags . . . wish I asked you for patterns first!!! That triangle bag is in my immediate future – handwoven or store bought fabric – either/both! As to the drawloom – no way (my husband looks skeptical) – not when I have drawloom heaven down the road . . . the key is-Becky warps them . . .

  2. Hi Lisa!
    Beautiful work and I admire your attempts with the drawloom. I’m so envious of your proximity to Becky’s. Maybe someday……

    I love how you use your inkle bands in your pieces. I’m considering purchasing an inkle loom, and was wondering which one you use? Thank you!

    • Hi Laurie,
      I am a fairly recent inkle convert – and really love it. I inkle at night when my brain is taking a break:) I really like the Schacht because the weaving area is large so I can use sticky yarns and still open a shed. I also (don’t tell that I don’t make my own!) like to use texsolv tapestry heddles as my heddles because they are so strong and rarely grab fuzz the way my homemade ones did. If you become an inkler, send pics to share!

  3. I laughed when I read there is nothing to be afraid of… except drawlooms!

    When I purchased my Glimakra I had the opportunity to buy a drawloom but didn’t – as a new weaver it didn’t seem wise lol. I know where it is and I might just buy it when I’m ready. Which might not be for some time considering my current enjoyment of plain weave!

    I really love your little projects – attention to detail can really elevate a project and you are right on the money I think!

    • Thanks Claire,
      I just saw Natcheva’s drawloom towels on Flickr Her work and my new-found “familiarity” with the drawloom makes me think . . . well . . . (my husband is looking panicky). In any case, more power to plain weave! I’m in Portland, Maine about to teach an aprons class, and I visited a super nice housewares shop – gorgeous textiles – towels, pillows, blankets, bags – all plain weave!

  4. HI yes again I am envious, but we have Waltraud 10 shaft & 72 shaft damask looms, as well as a shaft switching loom, it is just at the moment there is not time to go and weave at her studio maybe next year. Your work is beautiful

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