Please, Someone, Save Me…

I’ve been looking for something to distract me from this winter… -20 below, nasty snow and ice, the tractor breaking and the woodsplitter breaking and the water hydrant freezing up so Melissa had to shovel snow into the troughs and let the water heaters melt it. (Tractor running again, woodsplitter needs new engine, so it will be an attractive bird perch for awhile, water hydrant thawed….Melissa’s been very busy.)

Anyway, what does a sheep farmer do in the winter to distract herself? I’ve already bragged about the yarn I spun, so I finally did something with it.

I’ve knitted (or is it ‘I knit’…? Could the past of the verb ‘knit’ be the same as the present?) two rectangles. Yes, it’s true….rectangles. Not octagons or triangles, but one of the most deceptively complicated of shapes, the rectangle (although in this photo they appear squarish…apparently I’ve knit squarish rectangles, no easy feat):


I’m thinking of turning them into wrist warmers. I’ll likely get this done around May, when I no longer need them.

Then last weekend I took a class in weaving. The floor looms (Baby Wolf for those of you in the know) were already prepared, so all we had to do was sit down and start learning to weave. I couldn’t believe it. In about three hours I actually wove fabric. The camera flash makes it look brighter than it is…but I made this scarf:

How cool is that? I loved weaving! I wanted to steal the Baby Wolf and take it home with me (a very odd thing for a shepherd to do with a wolf!)

During the class I looked through a book on hand dyeing roving to spin, and my knees went weak at all the color combinations and spinning possibilities. I began to hyperventilate while looking through books of weaving patterns.

Please, someone save me. I see where this is going and I need an intervention. Someone tell me I’ll get so deep into this fiber stuff that I’ll blow off writing and never be published again. Tell me I’ll fill every nook and cranny of my house with my yarn stash and empty my bank account at the same time. Tell me I’ll become so addicted to knitting that I’ll make a scene at Airport Security, determined to convince them that my Size 10 needles aren’t weapons.

Tell me that I can’t possibly get involved in knitting and spinning and weaving all at the same time and I should just stick with jigsaw puzzles in the winter. I’m going to need someone make sure I don’t become a fiber fanatic….oops, I mean fiber fan.



20 thoughts on “

  1. You made that beautiful scarf your first try at weaving? Are you April Foolin’ us? It’s BEAUTIFUL. I think you’ve discovered your field of expertise. (Other than writing, I mean.) And your knitted shapes (I’m not getting into squares or rectangles here) are lovely. Your yarn is gorgeous and your stitches look very even.

    I’ve never weaved (wove? wuve?) a thing but I know some of my best thinking comes when I’m knitting. I would imagine it would be the same when you’re sitting at a loom. Think of all the good story lines and plot ideas you could come up with as you’re weaving and knitting. Your next novel could revolve around knitters or weavers!

    Look forward to seeing more of your projects. Such fun! Thanks for sharing.

  2. As a knitter, spinner and weaver, I say — go with the weaving. While warping on your loom can be a big pain in the butt, the actual weaving is fast. So get your self a loom. My favorite place for finding good loom deals is Craigs List. This tool http://www.craigshelper.com/ will help you search lots of different lists.

    PS Your scarf is lovely! You must have the weaver gene.

  3. Your scarf is awesome!! And your knitted squares are pretty neat, too. Love the colors! Go ahead, add another interest, especially after the horrible winter this has been! You’ll enjoy it, and eventually the newness will wear off a little, and you can once again accomplish other tasks. Working with your hands is always a good thing!
    I totally sympathize with Melissa, this bitter cold has really been rough on everything and everyone. I’ve been bucketing water (from the house) to a cow and calf for a few weeks since their fountain sprung a leak the hubby can’t fix it until Spring. The radiator just went out on the plow truck, hopefully no big snowfalls until that gets fixed. It’s always something!
    I must tell you thank you for your previous post about the boot warmer- I did get one for my birthday, and I can’t imagine surviving this winter without it!!! It’s so wonderful to slip into warm boots in the morning, and warm slippers upon my return. Just feels so nice!!!
    Have fun with your new hobby!!!!

  4. Well, look on the bright side. At least you have a nice supply of the necessary raw materials to support the addiction. Some of us are not so lucky. 🙂 You may need to talk to Melissa about expanding the herd, though…

  5. What exuberant colors for wintertime weaving! And if you make up a new tartan, there’s the added fun of naming… “MacMoon”? It actually reminds me of the Northern Lights. They’re called “Fhir Chlis” (not sure if I have the spelling right) or “The Merry Dancers” in Scotland.

    On a totally different note, I was roped into watching the Superbowl at a friend’s house, and all I could think about was that line in “Compassionate Carnivore” about the increase in 300-pound football players. And so many of the ads were for Bud Lite…hmmm.

  6. LostinColor….there’s gotta be a shape geek in every bunch…sheesh!

    Holly…the weaver gene? Hmmm. I like that. Turns out a friend has, stashed away in her home, a Baby Wolf loom that has a few operational issues. If we can get it going, we’ll borrow hers. I’m thinking even Melissa will get into the weaving. She tried spinning, but her hands are so rough in the winter from chores that the yarn stuck to her hands!

    CarolB—yea to boot warmers! Although Melissa’s boots are back on the warmer, which is okay, ’cause that means I get to stay inside more.

    MaineCelt….MacMoon! I love that! We have a fridge magnet that’s in the shape of bagpipes that plays a jaunty tune when you push on it. (It’s our favorite souvenir from Scotland.) But it’s so @#$% dry in this house that this afternoon I touched the fridge door and the resulting spark set off the bagpipes. God, that was startling. There is nothing more disconcerting than having your fridge start to play music when you touch it.

    Annie, that’s what I was afraid of. You fiber people are going to be no help at all…I must appeal to my writing friends. They’ll slap some sense into me…

    You guys are all the best, you know that?

  7. oh yeah, you’ve definitely become a fiber fanatic–way past the point where intervention is going to help, so just enjoy it. Your woven scarf is lovely and I love the colors of your (soon-to-be-completed) wrist warmers.
    (I’m just thankful for living in Minnesota where it gets cold enough and the winters are long enough to justify the time and effort spent on creating all these wonderful and warm fiber treasures!)

  8. Weaving *is* addictive, isn’t it? Grab hold of that loom and have fun. Knitting is nice and portable, but of all my fiber interests, it is weaving that I dream about.

    Your scarf is smashing and very nice for your first project. Beautiful colors.

  9. OMG, that scarf is amazing! I was going to try my hand at homespun, but this looks much more exciting! Which would be warmer, a knitted sweater, blanket, scarf, or a woven one? Interesting experiment. Since our heater broke this day, I’m kind of focused on the subject, all of a sudden.

    Greetings from chilly Holland.

  10. Thanks for all the kind comments about the scarf…but you should really stop ’cause they’re going to my head. (Maybe that’s the dark side Mama Llama talked about 🙂

    Estella, great question. Which is warmer—knitted or woven? Wouldn’t it be knitted because there would be more spaces for body heat to be trapped? Or maybe I’m just full of it…

  11. Gorgeous scarf!

    Keep some of your funds stashed for new fiction to keep you going– nothing makes me want to write more than reading a GREAT new book by a new author.

  12. Just throw caution to the wind and go for it. A little over a year ago my partner took up knitting while we were quitting smoking. Next thing I knew I learn to spin and bought a Schact Matchless DT. For my partners BDay a few months later we found ourselves in a weaving shop and I bought her a baby wolf 8 shaft. Now I have a second wheel (a year later) Ashford Traveller. We also have a Ashofd table loom and a gorgeous Northwest Looms 8 inch 8 shaft table top loom. Oh and my better half has now been bitten by the spinning bug as evidenced by this years BDay present (shhhh she doesn’t know) a Lendrum DT. AH well there are worse vices in this world. All of our families, friends presents for the last year and half have all been handmade by us in one form or fashion. Enjoy the weaving and spinning its a great connection to times gone by. You could always write about your experiences in Fiber fasination. LOL Weaving and spinning always make me introspective and contemplative (is there such a word??) just the rhythmic nature of both are so soothing and relaxing. Good Luck to you!!!

  13. See, this is what I’m afraid of! Kcbrat, you’ve slid down that slippery slope…Holy frijoles. Three spinning wheels, three looms? Where does it end? Once I start, how will I stop myself? Might as well stick my head in the oven now and save myself a great deal of money… 🙂

    As Cat said in an earlier comment: “Worried about becoming a fiber addict? Um..too late..”

    #$)*#$

    She may be right. It’s CLEARLY too late for you, Kcbrat!

  14. Catherine,
    I just read the list of finalists for the MN Book Awards. Have been hiding your light under a bushel? I didn’t see you share your good news with us on your blog.
    Many hearty congratulations on your recent nomination for Compassionate Carnivore…which by the way, I thought was great!
    Mary Ann
    http://www.bearcreekacres.com

  15. What’s the status on the Baby Wolf? It’s a awesome loom!

    I confess that I have added three looms to my studio this year, in addition to the big ol’ Fireside loom already there. At least now there is almost always a loom warped. I did resist getting another wheel. Weaving is good for the soul in these wacko times!

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