Handdyed Fibers, Handspun Yarn & Handwovens

During the pandemic, our local art center – the Eastport Arts Center – has had to close.  The staff, volunteers, and community has shifted their skills and energy to online offerings.  I am honored to be a Board Member for the Center and was equally honored to be asked to do their first studio visit.  Given the current pandemic situation, it was a bit tricky for audio inside my actual studio with masks.  They were able to shoot some good pictures of it and some samples on my work table.  Sadly, the vibration of me beating on my floor loom did enough shaking of the camera that that footage couldn’t be used.

However, my little Louet Jane loom is highlighted as I moved her out onto our deck. It was a glorious summer day in Eastport and being outside and at least 6 feet away, the crew was able to do some filming of me discussing my work sans mask.  The focus of the visit with me was weaving, so they preferred I stay on that topic and not demonstrate any spinning or fiber blending.  Maybe I’ll have to get some courage and create my own videos of that!

Learning Pin Loom Weaving

I feel I could also have titled this post “Thank you, John Mullarkey”. I took his pocket loom weaving class at the DFW Fiber Festival, having no idea about these little pin looms. When I was little, I had one of the red plastic looms with evenly space pegs to make potholders. The zoom loom is completely different.

Getting started with a pin loom

My interest in this class and a “pocket” way to weave is that my fiber studio has to be portable, or most of it. Also, since we drive for hours across country with my husband doing most of the driving, the idea of having a very compact way to be productive was intriguing.

Pin loom weaving squares.

Stacks of pin loom squares in different color ways with purple in common.

Stacks of pin loom squares in different color ways with purple in common.[/caption]It has worked out as I’d hoped. I see the advantages of how the Zoom Loom was designed, but on a tight budget for new tools I opted to find an original weave-it from the 1940s on eBay. For $16, I had it in my hands in days. I practiced some when we were still in Austin and then on the road for the last few days driving to Connecticut to stay with my in-laws. Thus far I have a little over 30 squares. The current plan for these is a top or tunic where these are assembled on the bias. With the yarns I had, I’m heading towards some kind of ombré in purples mostly.

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