Putting the Pope’s call for world peace at Christmas aside for just a moment, I am rejoicing in the wonderful gifts I received this year. I was given a spool holder, a custom built weaving bench, and two books; The Weaver’s Companion and Simple Weaves.
The bench is exactly the right height for me and has a removable lid for storage. The seat is varnished and the sides are stained in a beautiful woodland green. The rag rug in the photos was woven by my late grandmother. It is only now that I am able to fully appreciate her mastery.
I was allowed to test the spool holder before Christmas and I found it to be a very handy tool, especially as I was attempting the notionally more efficient warping method where you hold more than one pass in your hand as you traverse the warping board. I have yet to master that technique but one of my books told me to start perfecting it right away, so I did. My cross was pretty messy but that was the fault of the operator (me) not the tool, which delivered the yearn very smoothly. The spool holder also disassembles for storage or delivery.
I must confess I had something to do with the selection of Simple Weaves by Birgitta Bengtson Björk and Tina Ignell. This book is 100% right for where I’m at on my weaving journey. The projects are doable and aesthetically very pleasing. They include cushion covers, towels and rugs and all but a couple can be completed on a four shaft loom.
The Weaver’s Companion, presented by Handwoven Magazine is a handy spiral bound reference designed to travel with you to class and out and about. It has a convenient sett chart and useful sections on threading errors and standard drafts. My only complaint is that it uses pounds and inches, where Simple Weaves thoughtfully specifies metric and non-metric measurements.
When I wasn’t busy eating, doing dishes or unwrapping parcels over the last few days I took the chance to weave a few picks on my chevron scarf, which is now ready for wet finishing.