Two years and two weeks ago, I got an awesome new job. The next week I got my acceptance letter to grad school. Six months later, grad school started. Three months later, we moved. As I was telling people for a while, recent life events included: getting married, getting into grad school, starting a new job, my husband getting a new job, and moving. Then we moved again. Six months after the second move, we . . . got a second cat. And breathed. And settled in some more. And slowed things down a little. And suddenly it’s been two years and two weeks, and I have only posted once, and I’m not entirely sure where the time went. Sorry about that.
Will such long breaks between postings happen again? Oh, probably. I’m halfway through grad school, adore my challenging and complex and time-intensive job (the same one I got two years ago, but with promotions!), and would still like to go on dates with my husband, have lunch with my sister and parents, and see my friends. But this doesn’t mean I haven’t been making things. Oh, I have been making things. So perhaps I’ll spend several posts on catching up on the fiber projects of the last two years, tell some thrilling tales of life as a grad student (mostly the stories are of staying up late with lots of papers, canceling plans to do homework, and never reading for pleasure), and see how regularly I can keep this posting thing happening. Here goes, in no particular order.
When I was seventeen, my mother had a floor loom in her sewing room. Ah, I loved that thing. It was so much fun to make cloth, real cloth!, and so fast. I made only a few pieces on it, but I remember it very fondly.
One of the things I made was a rag rug. Warp the loom with some nice strong cotton twine, cut up a bunch of old t-shirts, jeans, tablecloths – anything that came to hand. And weave them in. That rug lived outside my bedroom door in that house, on the floor in several dorm rooms, in the living room of our first apartment, and in the main hall of the second apartment. About which time, being almost ten years old, some of the warp threads started snapping, the weft started catching on feet going over it, and the entire thing turned into a trip hazard.
I washed the rug and carefully folded it away, waiting until I had access to a loom again.
Last year, I made my own warping board, remade it, didn’t like it, made a warp and wove it, and still hated the warping board. The Woolery had a warping board for only $55! So I bought it. It showed up just after we got back from our holiday travels, and my mom suggested making a test rug first.
It worked! Just unraveling the first few inches of the rug gave me the rags very easily, and then I could weave them up again. So I made a longer warp, I strung my loom, and started weaving the rag rug again.
I had my tonsils out just after I finished stringing the loom, and two weeks at home gets a lot of weaving done. Also, in case any one was thinking about a tonsillectomy as an adult, make sure you have someone around who is expecting to spend a fair bit of time actually caring for you, not just roommates who will look in once in a while. Himself was marvelous – at 4 o’clock every morning for a week straight, he managed to get the ice cream and the pain meds and the hot packs all arranged, while I cried. And mine was, as far as I can tell, a fairly typical recovery, without anything exciting or scary. Just painful.
The one thing I did learn about my seventeen-year-old self was that for reasons that I no longer understand, I had decided to sew together all the stripes of rag. In other words, I apparently would weave until I reached close to the end of the stripe, and then I was SEW ON the new piece. Can you imagine what this did to unraveling the damned thing? I had one LONG piece of weft, instead of lots of nice short little stripes. No idea what I was thinking. On the plus side, after more than a decade, some of the rags had started to fall apart, so I could usually tear things when I wanted to. I ended up throwing out a fair bit of those pieces, because I wasn’t sure what another ten years would do to them. I also threw out pieces that I decided I didn’t like the color of any more, which made the entire thing somewhat shorter. However, it’s turned out pretty well, and doesn’t seem short at all.
And so far, neither of the cats have thrown up on it, which is always nice.