It’s in my blood

My mother worked in a craft shop for years. She would spend days in my primary school teaching my class how to make beaded Christmas ornaments (starting with ones like this, which I taught my daughter to make this year). And she taught my how to knit.

But my family crafting history goes back farther, and when I was visiting family in July I got a chance to take a look at some of it. My paternal grandmother was a great crafter. When she died, This was what I ask for from her house,

granny quiltthe crochet quilt she kept on her sofa for as long as I can remember. When one square wore out, she replaced it from the box of yarn ends she kept beside the sofa. The second one is the one her sister made, it also passed to me when she died.

When I was visiting my uncle this year, I got to see her loom, which he’d set up in his workshop.

antique loomHe had no idea how it worked, or if it was complete, but he did know it was hand made by a distant relative, and that my grandmother had bought it from him at least 70 years ago. My whole reasoning for borrowing the guild loom earlier this year was to see if I could figure out my grandmother’s one. Unfortunately the heddles are missing/not assembled, and the reed is pretty rusted. But it’s repairable, and eventually useable. And beautiful, I think. Like this hand made boat shuttle.

boat shuttleThe counterbalances (it’s a counterbalance loom, hadn’t seen one like this before)

counterbalanceAnd the wheel at the end of the roller.

beamI hope eventually to get the loom up and running, but since it and I are thousands of miles apart, it will take a while. years probably! If I had more room in my home, I’d bring it here. But unfortunately it’s big, and my house isn’t.

As for my own weaving project, I did finish, and it was a great learning experience. I highly recommend giving it a try if you get a chance (and you do have a chance, you can rent the loom from the guild!)

woven scarf

Weave

It was only a matter of time before the Weave Spin Dye Guild got me on the last craft – weaving. It’s something I’d been interested in trying for a while, but I got some news which gave me a push to learn. My grandmother’s 80 year old hand made loom has been dug out of my uncles and assembled, and donated to the local museum. But no one there knows how to work it, so when I go there for a visit, I’m supposed to help them figure it out. A daunting task, but it gave me a push to rent the guild loom for a month.

The first step is the warping board. Round and round the yarn goes, 170 times in my case.

warping boardThen setting up the warp on the loom took quite a while, but I followed the directions and googled occasionally for tips, and got it done.warped loomOnce the loom is properly warped, the weaving part goes pretty quick.

weavingI’m still getting the hang of it, but I’m pretty happy with it so far. I’m doing the stripes a bit random, since I’m not sure how far my yarn will go.

Check out the guild rental page if you’d like to give it a try!