With the help of my fantastic BFF, I got my table loom warped, and a few months later (again with the help of my fantastic BFF) I started weaving. Andrew declared that I needed to finish five projects before I could invest in a bigger/better loom.
Once I started weaving, I was totally enamored of it. The problem was my loom. It wasn't in great shape when I bought it, and weaving on it wasn't quiet or soothing. There was actually quite a bit of banging and swearing involved.
KillerGuns Kelli picked up a Cricket Loom, and I watched her work on it. Quiet. Small. Light. Brilliant engineering. No swearing. In a podcast-related email to the amazing folks over at Schacht, I mentioned that I had seen a Cricket in person, and that I really needed to get my hands on one to play.
Jane, an incredible enabler herself, included one in my box so that I could give it a whirl. For love of fiber, podcast, and SCIENCE! it was built, I followed the brilliant directions on how to direct-warp, and I was warped and weaving in under an hour. In two evenings, I made this:
Rustic, yes. Definitely a first project, but Andrew strutted around the house wearing it, proud as a peacock.
But it was boring, plain tabby, and I felt like the little loom was limited, since all it could do was tabby. I was at Purlescence, where I mentioned being bored with Tabby, and needing more to do on my loom.
"You can do Houndstooth on your Cricket," Sandi told me, handing me a copy of The Handweaver's Pattern Directory.
Lo and behold! The options for my little loom were vast! I quickly wove up an incredible Houndstooth scarf for myself, out of cashmere I had in my stash.
I have never loved anything that I've finished as much as this. Proof:
Can you tell I'm in love? Book in hand, I dove into my stash for the next thing, Gingham.
This one had some problems.
See? I didn't catch it until I was pulling the scarf off the loom, and all I see is the error. I'll wear it, and I'll fix it when I learn how. But it bugs me.
I didn't let a few missed warp threads spoil my fun, so I dove into my stash, and made a retina-searing scarf in a 3 color tabby:
|Finished Project #4: A Verb for Keeping Warm, Creative base.|
There seems to be some sort of counter-intuitive-algebra-inspired thing at play here, where three retina-searing colors kind of wash each other out when combined. Very weird. I still love how cheerful it is.
In light of all the other projects I was finishing, I went back to the Slam-and-Swear table loom, and finally finished the project that I started first. This might have been partially inspired by Andrew promising to fix it's quirks once my weaving was off of it.
It has problems. Missed warp threads, mis-thrown passes, tension issues. The errors are many and glaring. While I was busy hating my poor handwork, Mom pointed out that it was technically a First.
"So WHAT if it isn't perfect?" Mom said, being totally reasonable, "It's a learning piece."
I still don't love it, but there is value to learning, and practice, and not being good at something right away, right? The best thing, other than having made a few beeeeeeautiful scarves, is that the concepts from the Cricket translate to larger looms! Once I had gotten a project or two under my belt on the Cricket, I could see the warping issues on my table loom and I could read my weaving (a little).
I'm not perfect at it, but you know what? I'm enjoying the process immensely.