Thursday, February 12, 2009

Looming Disaster

This is my cousin and his wife. They are adorable. They drove up this weekend from Salinas to go to the Giants FanFest (fun!) and to help me learn all about....

This! This is the Big Surprise, the big impetous behind the Great Purge and Reorg of Aught Nine, the lovingly crafted Christmas present from my mom and dad. Kelly and Moose (see cousins, above) came up in December all stealth-like, and helped my parents turn a box of sticks, purchased off of Craig's List from some hippie in the Santa Cruz mountains, into this beautiful piece of practical art. And I love it. I love that they figured out how to put it together. I love that my dad then took it apart and spend every night for two weeks in his workshop, sanding it and staining it until it is barely recognizable from it's original form. He replaced all the pullies and levers. My favorite? A welded wrench as a crank. He might as well have spray painted "Dad" on the thing! A signature piece, indeed.

Does it look complicated? Don't worry. It is. Seriously! I learned so much from Kelly, who has multiple looms and even spins wool into yarn, and now I know not just how to work it, but also how it works. Truly a gift.

And here's my very first project! A sampler, where I'm just learning how to use the foot pedals to drop the shafts in creative ways to make different patterns in the weaving. It's changed a lot since I took this picture....did I mention the addictive quality of weaving? Oh my. This is the most basic pattern, using two pedals attached to four alternating counterbalanced shafts, and it's called "plain weave". I spent most of the weekend learning. I learned about things like "heddles" and "shuttles" and "warps" and "wefts". I learned how to read a pattern. I learned that I have a lot to learn! And I learned that if you sit at a loom? For like, four hours? It's going to take you a minute to unkink your back. Ouch.

Oh, I needed another fiber hobby like a hole in the head! But here we are, and I couldn't be happier. Prepare to be inundated with placemats, as, apparently, it's the beginning project of choice.


  1. Wow!! That's wonderful. How exciting for you. Send excess placemats my way! :-)

  2. ha ha hahahahaha looming disaster. I LOVE IT!

  3. Wow. That looks complicated..but fun!! And I thought I was being crafty with my little knitting looms... Your parents are so awesome. I love Jesus... (who was it in high school that used to call him that???)

  4. Kelly and I (Moose) had a fabulous time. One moment I will remember is when I was brushing my teeth before going to bed. Tommy asked, "What are you doing?" I said, "I'm brushing my teeth before I go to bed." He responded, "Are you staying the night?" "Yes", I said. He then ran up to me and gave me a hug. WOW!! Moose