Closing the Circle
I spent a few hours this afternoon out with the looms and the wool stash and all the bits and pieces that weavers need in their business. Shuttles and heddles and ball winders and threaders, beaters and spindles and swifts and books. A goodly shelf of books, and a whole cupboard of Handwoven and Spin-Off magazines.
And the stash, - great huge see through containers and baskets and bags, all stuffed full of thin wool, thick wool, silks and cottons. Cones and thrums and pre-wound warps - and all of them speaking of a half a lifetime of weaving.
I was just past the first flush of family when I became passionate about weaving. The sheep we had were inspiring, and I tied fleeces willingly at shearing time in order to save the longest and finest and prettiest for my new spinning wheel and the dyepot that accompanied it.
I gathered dye materials from the hills and the garden and the grocery store. I experimented with mordents and was fascinated by the gorgeous and varied shades they produced.
I bought an Inkle loom and we made frame looms of different sizes, - I read everything I could get my hands on to learn the intricacies of more advanced weaving, and as I did so I shared the knowledge with others who were full of enthusiasm too. There were no local Weaving Guilds but for a few years there were others who were excited about weaving on primitive looms, and we shared what we knew.
Probably the flower children who worked in our orchard and the turnip field passed along more ways of doing things and more delightful ideas for what to weave and how to do it.
Finally I bought my first table loom, - a LeClerc Dorothy, and then a jack loom that opened the window wide on blankets and scarves and tablecloths and light rugs and I was in my glory....
After we moved from the farm to the village Charles and I bought an eight harness countermarche loom, and he became a very important part of the weaving studio with such wonderful inventiveness and practical wood working. He made sectional beams for both the floor looms and creels and the most ingenious tensioner and a counter for winding bobbins. We had as great room on the lower floor that accommodated both the floor looms and equipment, and a spare bedroom for the ever growing stash of wool.
Ah, now we come to the crux of the matter, - that enormous stash of wool that filled my dreams with plans for projects, - all sorts of intricate patterns and threadings and treadlings and all these yarns would eventually be woven into beautiful weavings.
Alas, time and energy seem to sometimes be at cross purposes with our dreams, and sometimes dreams turn into stress that lies unconscious under all our plans.
And so I have come to this time when I must face reality and share all the yarns (except for some lovely silk that I may take to the grave with me!) with younger, more energetic people who are knitters or weavers or crocheters, but who all cherish the passion for fabric or creating.
I have found an eager home for two table looms and all their accoutrement's. My knees outgrew the countermarche a few years ago when lying on the floor tying up heddles was no longer exciting, but almost impossible. Someone is coming to take away the rug wools and warps, and I know that shoppers at the Bargain Centre will be happy with my other yarn offerings.
I will keep my first Jack Loom - it is warped and anxious to have a lovely weft flying back and forth. And besides, Charles has not yet made that fly shuttle that he planned, just for the satisfaction of creating it....
The circle holds so many memories, and I will close it to where I first started, holding the memories safe and sure and secure within its lovely bounds.