A couple weeks ago I innocently walked into Eugene Textile Center to grab a couple of new dye colors since I was in the neighborhood. I started talking to one of the employees and asked about this little weaving loom that was sitting on the table. We talked about it for a brief moment and I stared at it thinking, well that's just regular wool yarn that is on the loom and it is pretty small so doesn't take up a lot of room. Then I left.
Later that night I looked up rigid heddle looms, as I had learned that style of loom was called. They were affordable for that smaller size, right around $200 - which after being a handspinner seemed like a deal! I mentioned the loom to Mitch then asked my Mom a few questions about weaving as she is a weaver herself. Cool, now I know.
It took about 2 weeks before I finally broke. I just couldn't get that loom out of my head. I ran thru all the pros; It would afford me a chance to use up so much of the excess yarns I have, it is fairly quick to work up scarves and other small items I could then sell as finished products, and it was a great way to showcase Ewethful yarns. Cons? Well of course there were none! So back to ETC I went. I asked about that little loom and they grabbed it, took me to a side table and showed me the basics of weaving... and told me to hang out and play! They know what they are doing, wink wink. Actually they were amazing and so helpful. They took the time to answer my questions and when I hemmed and hawed about which one to order, they steered me in the right direction for me. I ordered a 16" Ashford SampleIt loom.
A couple days later the loom arrived, we put it together at home which was an easy task, and then it was time to "warp" the loom. I had been nervous about this part of the process, but between the instruction booklet that came with the loom and the youtube videos put out by Ashford it too was a piece of cake. Next I wound my working yarn onto the shuttle and off I went! Now of course there is a lot to learn. As with knitting and crocheting, you can keep weaving simple or you can go in deep making all sorts of different patterns, textiles and finished items. The possibilities are truly endless and it is so exciting to think all the potential.
How deep will I go into weaving? Time will tell. I do love that you can work up finished items fairly quickly which means I can go thru a lot of yarn! I also love how the colors work up so differently with each other vs. in knitting, and I love the new to me flat fabric weaving works up. I have heard countless times from knitters or crocheters that they are intrigued by learning a new craft but are worried it will take time away from their current craft. The truth is that yes it will if you love it. But if you love it wouldn't you rather know! That is how I feel about learning to weave. Yes it does take time away from my knitting and spinning, but that's ok! These are all hobbies and the point is to relax and enjoy the process in what time you want to give. Knowing multiple crafts also allows you to take breaks which are good for your mind and body as well.
So what's my point? If you are feeling that itch to learn a new craft... go for it! What's the worst that happens, you love it!!!
Take care everyone and stay healthy out here.
I am Kim Biegler, the owner and operator of Ewethful Fiber Farm & Mill. I create hand spinning fibers from locally sourced wool and teach others online how to hand spin their own yarn.