Whoa Life!

Avedic Text:

“As all of the universe is woven warp and woof in the waters in what then are the waters woven? The Wind!”   Brhadaranyaka Upanisad

Weaving is, even at its most efficient, a slow methodical process. This can be a great relief from the frantic pace of modern life or a great frustration depending on what you’re trying to achieve. I feel like I am swinging wildly between the meditative balm and frustration with the pace, i.e. so much to weave, so little time . . .

In the midst of work for Handwoven and Vav Stuga and WEBS, my kids had their 25th, 22nd and 15th birthdays, all in January, my best friend ( we raised our kids together) sold her house in town and is packing up, my grandmother was admitted to a rehab facility, and we had a massive fire in our tobacco barn (on Superbowl Sunday – poor firefighters!). Fortunately no one was hurt, but a good friend who used the barn to store his tractors and years of beautiful milled lumber is devastated – total loss.DSC00198 DSC00199

Whoa life!! Please slow to a weaverly pace so I can untangle my emotions.

But the cloth keeps rolling off the looms . . .

I just finished a design for WEBS to help promote their Jaggerspun Heather line of yarn – beautiful, muted colors. I had to weave two small blankets before I reached a design I liked:

Heather for WEBS

And I have been working on samples for an upcoming class at Va Stuga called “The Swedish Kitchen.”  The idea is to create as many kitchen textiles as one can on a single warp so that the items are all slightly different, but coordinated so that you have a cohesive look.  It has been a good challenge to try to create as many useful textiles as possible with as little resleying as possible. We have arrived at an 8-shaft double weave from which we were able to weave coordinating placemats, napkins, towels, hot pads and apron yardage and a 4-shaft straight draw that we wove into apron yardage, placemats in rep, napkins in plain weave, basket weave towels in tow linen, twill towels in plied linen, hot pads and little bags with the left over.  If I had had a little more warp I would have tried for kitchen curtains, oven mitts , tea cozy . . . All this was done on a bit of a deadline helped immensely with a couple of huge snowstorms that caused meetings to be cancelled and distractions to be minimized. There is a blue kitchen, a yellow kitchen and a “man in the kitchen” set so far.

blue kitchen

    Man in the kitchen1  Man in the kitchen3 Man in the kitchen4 Man in the kitchen5   yellow kitchen 2 yellow kitchen 3 yellow kitchen

As you can see I’ve sneaked a shuttle into the apron pocket. (more weaving, fewer dishes is my motto!) I have also become enamored with grommets – a statement I never thought I would make.

I cut the “maiden warp off the Toika, and even though it wasn’t intended to be anything but a sampler, I needed a laptop case, so here it is with straps in process. (notice the grommets . . .)

city laptop bag WIP

My husband is currently reading “The Origins of World Mythologies” by E.J. Michael Witzel.  And (way beyond me) it delves into linguistic archeology and theories about a common language from 15,000 years ago named “Nostratic” in which there is no distinction between wolf and dog, no names for domestic animals, no agricultural words, and the word for building comes from fastening or arranging so their theory is that homes were more “tent-like” structures. Anyway, there are words for, guess what . . . vessel and WEAVING!!!

So, in the warp and weft of life, the joy of kids and friends, the sadness and stress of loss we have the comforting knowledge that we are practicing an enduring craft whether we find it a balm, a vocation, an avocation (or at times, a big mess).Busy time

11 thoughts on “Whoa Life!

    • Thanks Dianne,
      I’ve had the fantasy of celebrating all holidays including birthdays at 5-year intervals. It would be perfect for those of us who find the years flying by, but possibly frustrating for the little’uns who feel that a week is eternal.

      Hope you find some peace and calm in your oh-so-busy life!!

  1. We are also having a mad year with Eduard’s 30th birthday party last weekend, a visitor for Switzerland, and friends for dinner this weekend, finishing my tea cloth order by the end of February should have been woven and delivered by July last year, but I work on five looms and had wedding gifts and stock to finish as well, that warp took longer time than I ever spend on that little loom on warps. I also had a friend downsizing and moving at the end of January, lost a good friend to cancer, and one of our Saturday group of weavers lost her mother. Willem is retiring end of March, and our exhibition is four months away with nothing finished, in between life I am weaving like mad, because it will be bad if I don’t have anything for the exhibition.

    I love the Swedish Kitchen’s weaving, and can’t believe it is samples it is good enough to sell!

    I just love the apron with a shuttle in the pocket!

    Marlene T.

  2. Wonderful, thoughtful post, Lisa. So sad about the loss of the barn and its contents.
    The blanket pattern is gorgeous!! It looks so cozy on this snowy day.
    And the kitchen items….also wonderful!!
    You are making a dent in the “so much to weave” column of life.

  3. Hey Valerie,
    I hope you are keeping warm up North! Wool blankets do have a special appeal at this time of year don’t they:)) Isn’t it funny how every time you sit at the loom to weave one thing, a million ideas for other things you want/need to weave come flooding in. Right now I have a series of poppana placemats on my schacht and all I can think about are designs for napkins:)) I think I need to “make friends with my brain” as my dear mother says!

  4. I couldn’t stop thinking about that ancient language all day. Weaving! We know so little about the past. I’m really interested in the old Scandinavian rune calendars, and how significance of the markings gradually disappears , and we have only our interpretations & imaginative speculation. I’m good with that.

    • Hey Susan,
      I love your rune obsession . . . the idea of imagining the significance and meaning of things from the past . . . like the Incan Quipu – those knotted cords that archeologists and historians believe were used to keep records and inventory, but might also have been used as “notes” for story tellers. It’s almost more exciting to imagine how one could “read” a bundle of knots than actually have the answer . . . although the answer would be pretty good too!

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