Dream weaver – my new rigid heddle loom

I had a rather unpleasant junior high school sewing instructor and because of that I img_20160626_224632resented sewing, yet was obviously drawn to it.

I made doll clothes and little pillows from collected scraps of fabric and yarn.

I was and still am fascinated by colour and texture.

I even collected art books about the textile arts.

My final year high school art project was to choose an image and depict it in four different media. I created my image in pastels, watercolours, as an etching, and I cut shapes in coloured denim and stitched them together to make a geometric representation of my image. I got an A+ and a special img_20161231_143219compliment on the innovative use of fabric in fine art.

For some reason even with that success, I dropped my pursuit of textile crafts. Until now, that is. Now, approaching 50 I have shaken off that bitter home economics experience and am diving headlong into my love of fabrics.

I’ve written about my cross stitching, embroidery and sewing. This blog is about learning to weave.

For Christmas my doting husband bought me a 24″ rigid heddle loom. To help me get going I ordered an img_20170117_151945instructional video from Craftsy.com.

I started weaving with some spare yarn I had left from a costume I made for my son a few years ago. Once I got the feel for the loom and managed to get my edges pretty straight I decided I would make placemats for my
dining room table.

img_20170118_144459I was going to do simple stripes, but one yarn lead to another and I ended up creating a plaid. The test mat turned out really nice. I love the way the colours work and they look great in my dining room – which has a paprika red feature wall behind the fireplace.

I plan to spend the next month or two slowly working on 12 place mats. I say over two months because I will be weaving in between cross stitching the table runner, my 365 day embroidery project, some paintings of my family, painting my upstairs hallway, painting the downstairs bathroom and some small sewing projects I have on the go.

Hopefully I get it done before early spring when I’ll want to move outside to work on some garden decoration projects. I’m pretty sure I’ll die with 20 unfinished craft projects. What a wonderful way to go.

 

Now playing – Shakespeare on vinyl

2012-12-19-17-34-29This is not about one of my projects, but it is about an add-on to the first home project my husband and I undertook in our house – our library.

We’re both bibliophiles, we both brought boxes of books with us, and we had purposefully bought a house with a room that could be converted to a library.

But in addition to my love of the printed word, I am a fan of theatre and music. My portion of the library includes several plays; and yes it does include the complete works of Shakespeare.

place-to-be-libraryWhen we had the carpenter build our library I made sure that one section was set aside for my stereo, turntable and record collection.

My music, literature and theatre had one home.

I have just acquired a finishing detail quite by accident.

A few weeks ago I got a message from an old friend. She had spotted something at a fundraiser that she believed would appeal to me. Among a lot of items donated to a fundraising rummage sale was a boxed set of LPs with complete readings of Shakespeare’s plays by actors like Richard Burton, Vivian Leigh, Peter Finch, Peter O’Toole, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, and Maggie Smith.

She was right about this being up my alley.

They are a fabulous find. They are in good shape. The sound is good, the boxes look worn in a stately way.

I’ve given them a home beside the treatable and above the leather bound set of Shakespeare’s plays that I bought in my early 20’s. I think this spot is their destiny.

now-playing