Thursday, January 3, 2013

How to Start the New Year Out Wrong

I had every intention of writing bog entries frequently in December, and even more frequently in 2013.  But I’ve let a few minor issues stymie me.

Mostly, I’m having trouble taking good pictures of the things I want to write about.  I have a crappy camera that really only takes good pictures with lots of natural light.  And at this time of year, the sky is grey grey grey.  And the house where I currently live is an old house, built around 1900.  It’s a charming house, but it gets very little light.

So, I’ve been waiting for the sun to come out.  That could be awhile…..

(In addition to the lighting issue, I’ve been spending rather a lot of my time lately cooking and baking.  Delicious, but not part of my fiber work.)

Excuses, excuses.  My friend, Sylvia VM, finally called me up yesterday and told me she was sick of seeing that picture of the broken bowl on my blog.  And she called me this morning too to further chastise me for not blogging.

So I swore to her that I would write today.  And I took pictures.  They are not good, but they’re the best I can do for now.  Here goes.

A few days ago, I got the urge to finish a project that had been lingering on my rigid heddle loom for months.  I had started making “mug rugs”.  I put a 4-inch wide warp (linen thread) on my loom at 10 dents per inch.  Since this was my first try at weft-faced fabric, I used a rather short warp, only enough length for 2 or 3 mug rugs.  I used a wool-linen blend yarn for the weft.

I got inspired to try this technique by Jane Patrick’s book, The Weavers Idea Book.  I can always use more mug rugs.

I’d finished the first 2 mug rugs a few months ago.  How nice, I thought, to finish this project as the old year ends and a new year begins!  How nice, indeed….

While weaving the 3rd and final mug rug, as I beat the weft into place, there was a sharp snap and the warp went flying.  The rear warp stick – to which the warp threads were tied – cracked in half!  I broke my loom!  Not an auspicious beginning to the new year.

Here’s the break:

And here are the 2 mug rugs I actually finished.  I like them, but at what cost?

I will try to glue the piece together.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll try to get a replacement piece.  And, I will likely never try to weave weft-faced fabric on this loom again.


  1. So glad Sylvia got you back on the blog. Actually, I was worried about you and wondering why the lack of new blogs. If there had not been a new one today, I was going to call and check up on you. Re your camera: I have always been super impressed with your beautiful photos. I would never have guessed your camera was not one of the best! I hope you can easily get a replacement warp stick. If your loom company doesn't sell them, I'm sure someone can make you a new one.

    Judy (have to sign off, as I need to choose anonymous in order to post here)

    1. You are not going to believe this: just a couple hours after I posted this blog entry, a package arrived for me. My brother John sent me one of his older digital SLR cameras, a Pentax. It may take me some time to learn how to use it, but then I'll have no more excuses.

  2. so sorry for your break - hope your year goes better.

    1. The year can only go better than it started!

  3. Ugh! Tragedy to start the new year! Is that an Ashford loom? The good news is you can likely get a new apron rod without spending too much. But still! Hopefully this is the worse thing that happens to you in 2013! Happy New Year!

    1. Hi Lisa, It would be totally awesome if this were the worst that happens. Yes, it's an Ashford, so I'm thinking that a replacement piece shouldn't be too hard to get.