Friday, January 8, 2010


It's hard to believe that two years today I started my blog. I was really nervous about beginning this 'journal'. Would I be able to keep this up? What would I write about? Would there be anyone out there reading it? I knew I wanted it to be all about weaving with a smattering of personal. Trust me, my personal life would have you all bored to sobs in no time :)

One year ago meant that I had reached a personal goal, but now two years means this blog has 'legs'. I have met (cyberly and for real) some of you out there and there is a real sense of belonging to a larger community.
I have a lot of neat new friends in our on line guild. Some of you regularly comment (thank you for that) Some of you are shy and I only know that you have been here by the little cyber trail you leave behind (thanks for coming back).

So lets ~*celebrate*~ a bit and have a little party. I have some cotton chenille that will be gifted to new homes... will it be yours? What I would like you to do is to write in the comment section what brought you to weaving and keeps you coming back to your shuttles. What weaving does for you personally. This is a bit flexible but I think you get my drift. Be sure to leave a name because I'm writing each one on a slip of paper and (very scientifically) placing them in a hat, shake well and have my hubby choose two names on January 16th. The draw ends midnight on the 15th..... I'll announce the winners and have you contact me with your addresses.
So, lets look at the loot:

These are all full 1/2 pound cones of cotton chenille. These two above are a deep sage green and a lilac.

While these two cones are a tawny peach and a rust / terracotta. These two work nicely together.

On the home front:
I have been spinning quite a bit at night while we watch TV. Okay, I listen to the TV ... and occasionally glance up. I have also been hand hemming the tea towels taken off the loom before Christmas. I was going to machine the hems but it just looks so much nicer with no deep obvious line from the stitching.
The kitchen renovation will be starting soon. This is the calm before the storm! I'm gathering boxes to pack up the contents of the cupboards and wondering 'who bought all this stuff?" So its a good time to make some hard decisions. ( This downsizing and de-cluttering will be an on going theme around here right through to spring)

So how are you starting off the new 2010 fibre year? The winter (for us up here in the northern hemisphere that is) is the prime weaving season after all!

Be sure to enter the contest! A big thank you from me for following my weaving journal. I'm looking forward to sharing Year 3 with you.


Susan B. said...

I can't believe I am first! I can never pass up a contest.
Hmmmm what brought me to weaving - I needed something to occupy my mind besides TV, crosswords, and even reading!
What does it do for me? So much it is hard to capture. But when I do weave it centers me, thus the name of my blog - centerweave!
Thanks for this fun!
Susan Babb aka Centerweave

Life Looms Large said...

Congrats on year 2!!! I'm so glad you started blogging - and that you continue!! I've already learned a lot from you and look forward to learning more!

I started weaving because I asked someone about her beautiful handwoven scarf and then wanted to make something like that myself.

I keep coming back to weaving because of the combination of analytical and creative thinking involved in creating something original and beautiful. I also like the self-expression piece of the puzzle. And that it's such a broad topic with so many things to learn and new things to try.

Congrats again on two years!! (And thanks for being my very first commenter!!)


Theresa said...

Happy 2 year blog-aversary! It's such a nice one too.
We're all happy you stuck with it!
Why do I weave, I love fiber. It gives me the opportunity to create visually and through touch in a wonderful medium. I also love the workings of the loom. I am enchanted by the tools themselves.

Michelle said...

My husband dragged me, kicking and screaming, to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival several years ago. I had no idea why he wanted to go, I only knew that I didn't want to spend the day with a bunch of sheep. The very first thing we saw was the Sheep to Shawl competition in progress. I took one look at the weavers and said "I want to learn to do THAT."

Weaving has given me a whole new way to be creative. I love that the possibilities are literally endless.

And oh, how I love that the Internet has allowed me to see the beautiful things other people make!

Michelle Myers

Delighted Hands said...

I agree about the blog awe. It has been a life saver to me to be connected to other creative people that I couldn't have otherwise. As for weaving, it is something that I have needed to do for a long (35yrs) time and with the purchase of a used Harrisville floor loom last May, it has satisfied an 'itch' finally! I learn something every time I sit in front of the loom! Color, texture and how they interact is amazing and gratifying. Thanks for sharing so much information, it really helps and inspires.

Dorothy Lochmaben said...

Hi Susan - what an honour to be first to post a comment ! Many congratulations on two years of blogging. The site is amazing and all of your teaching material is outstanding, I have said before, you should put it all in a book !!
About 40 years ago when the children were very young we had holidays on the Isle of Harris. The lady we stayed with was a weaver and I was fascinated by the whole set up ! Life didn't lend itself to buying a huge loom at that time.
About six years ago we spent Christmas and New Year with friends in Vermont and I met a lady there who was weaving tea towels on a small floor loom. Well that was me for the holiday and in the end we drove to Harrisville in New Hampshire to buy me a loom. It was their holiday time but someone came in specially and put together a kit of their 36" 4 harness floor loom. We brought the packages back to Scotland with us and set up the loom in the living room. All I had was Deborah Chandlers book !!
I soon subscribed to Weaver's Craft and Handwoven and then I was all set ! I wove various scarves, tea towels and wraps and that kept me occupied and quite happy for some time. Then I began to think I would like to do some finer work and I think you know what happened after that ! I found you and snowflakes and Tencel and life took on a new meaning !!
I am so excited by the results I can now achieve that working on the loom is a delight, even twisting fringes !!
Must keep on weaving to keep my own blog alive !!
This has to be the best party I've been invited to for a long while !!
All the very best for the next two years !

Sue said...

I started weaving because I liked the idea of making "real" fabric, and because I wanted to learn a new skill (and I'm still learning, of course).

I keep it up because I love the look of twills, I love the tactile celebration of yarn in my hands, and the magic that happens when colors and fibers work together to create a woven pattern.

I really enjoy reading about your projects, and hope you keep writing! Thanks for two years!

Anonymous said...

hello, susan

congratulations on your blog-iversary!

thank you for sharing your weaving experience, projects and helpful tutorials in such a warm and friendly way. i always enjoy reading your blog!

i came to weaving by way of knitting - when i learned to knit at age 8, i was fascinated that one could take yarn and manipulate it into a fabric... later in college when i was introduced to weaving, it held the same fascination for me... and continues to do so!

best wishes with your renovations!
happy weaving,
janeen (in central maryland :-)

Lynn Majidimehr said...

Congratulations! I've learned so much from your blog. Thank you for sharing with us!

I've just begun weaving earlier this year (other than potholders and lace). Over the years I've learned various ways to work with fiber and textiles, but a couple years ago I learned to spin, and found myself spinning faster than knitting, so bought a Knitters Loom last year. I found that I loved weaving, purchased an inkle loom (so much fun), and started looking at table and floor looms. My husband surprised me with a Spring loom for Christmas, and I can't seem to keep my hands off the loom and shuttles! I'm already on my 5th project, some hand towels from "Winning Towels", in colors to coordinate with my new kitchen, and I have the next few projects waiting in the wings.

I'd love to try working with your lovely chenille yarn, because the ones I saw at a local guild show were so beautiful.

Thank you again,
Lynn Majidimehr

Cynthia A. said...

Happy Blogiversary, Susan!

Hmm...what brought me to weaving...I'd say inspiration of my local guild members who make the nicest things! I've not woven much, but do get lots of encouragement and help from my friends ;)

bspinner said...

Two years sure goes by fast. I've enjoyed every one of your blog posting. It's amazing how many people I've met through blogging from all over the world. I look forward every day to logging on and reading them even if I don't comment all the time.

Kitchen remodel. Have fun!! I've been through one of those and its not fun but the end results were sure worth it.

Karen said...

Congratulations, Susan! I'm so happy to be part of your journey, and to have "met" you and your generous heart!

What brought me to weaving was my husband's unprompted Christmas gift several years ago of a rigid heddle loom. I looked at him like he had 2 heads! WHAT was I supposed to do with that?? After making a few tabby towels, and seeing the wonder that is creating your own cloth, I was hooked. After getting a 4 shaft loom I am no closer to feeding my curiousity and creativity, although spinning seems to have suddenly come to the fore (yet another new hobby). I think I keep coming back to weaving, not only to get that satisfaction of creating cloth, but because doing so makes me feel part of a much larger community of weavers, all of whom have been so encouraging and generous with their advice. It's a very humbling experience.

Jenny said...

I came to weaving because I couldn't knit as much as I wanted to anymore. (because of arm pain) I mourned my hobby so much - the playing with yarn, reading new and old books, reading blogs, and shopping that I knew I had to find something to replace it. I had already tried quilting and while surfing the net I found a local weavers' guild. I uncharacteristicly showed up one day at a meeting and the rest is history! (only about 3 months of history, I am still a very new weaver.) I am so excited to have the passion back and especially to know that weaving with enchant me for a long time.

Silky said...

Ok so I will stop being shy. I started weaving because I saw a women in a yarn store wearing a jacket she had woven herself. I went up to her and stroked her arm which didn't seem to bother her one bit. Then retirement came and I got my chance. It sure keeps the brain in gear. The endless possiblities and fabric like no one else, unique like all the weavers I know.
Congratulations on 2 years

Jacquie McArthur Kamloops

Colleen Mary said...

I found a home made loom for $20 at the local Value Village last year. I bought it to play around a little. I have found I enjoy weaving more than anything else textile. I am usually more comfortable with wood and steel. I belong to a medieval society and this craft fits nicely within the group.

I am going out tonight to pick up a new used loom I have found on craigslist.

Just found your blog and am enjoying reading your posts.

Colleen Mary
Port Coquitlam, BC,

michellewrong said...

Congratulations on 2 years! I was nervous to begin my blog just a couple weeks ago, but after spending a couple of days reading through every weaving blog I could find, including your blog (from first post to current), I gave it a go, hopefully in 2 years in will still be around, and hopefully in 2 years you will be able to post that your blog has been alive and kicking for 4 years!

I wasn't expecting myself to like weaving. I had to take a intro class as a requirement for my major. Sometimes, when I have to do work for class weaving can be very stressful, but I find that as a hobby it is very soothing.

-Michelle Wright

barbara said...

Back about 30 years ago, I landed a job operating a supply center in a Crafts School. I sold supplies to the students, and the graduates. I sold weaving and spinning, pottery, jewellery, and wood supplies. There were studios for each of the areas. I knew nothing about crafts in those days, and nothing about the supplies, I learned on the job - I loved the fiber, and was interested in what the difference was between warp/weft materials, setts etc. I use to hang around the weaving studio. The instructor there, when I first started to work, ignored my comment that I would like to learn to weave. One year later, a former instructor returned to the school, I made the comment, "I would like to learn to weave" and voila by that afternoon I had a loom set up in my office!!! I took a night course, to learn some of the basics. I also worked with students on projects - so had wonderful exposure to weaving. I bought my first loom and set up a part-time business at home. I would weave in the evening, I enjoy the process of weaving and have always used it as a way to relax. My business pays for itself, plus a little extra. I don't have to earn my living from it (which is nice). I have friends that are weavers, and participate in the local Weaving Guild ..... and hopefully I will be weaving for many years to come.
Thank you for asking. Congratulations on your 2nd year celebration of having a blog - perhaps someday, I will venture into blogging - not at the moment.

I have learned a lot from your blog, and admire your weaving.

Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

Sunset Weaver said...

Congratulations on 2 years! This is my first comment, and I have been enjoying your blog.
I have always been drawn to weaving, and only a few years ago I discovered a project from kindergarten that I had woven for my mother. Now I finally understand how strong my need to weave really is.
Thanks for the great blog, and keep up the good work!

DebbieB said...

Happy Blogiversary! I'm really glad to have found your blog through Ravelry. I used your fringe twisting tutorial at Christmastime for a scarf I wove for my sister-in-law.

Weaving is such a joy for me. I love watching cloth emerge from the simple process of throwing the shuttle. As a new weaver, I am still at the "follow other people's patterns to the letter" stage, but hope one day to branch out and venture into more creativity.

Judy said...

Congrats on 2 years of successful blogging!

What brought me to weaving? I think it was watching a weaver at the MN Renaissance Festival and seeing the smallish loom at Creative Fibers in Minneapolis. It had a beautiful, rainbow gamp and it sparked the notion. After years of thinking about it, I finally had the money (and the room) to buy a floor loom. My "starter" loom is an 8-harness 48" loom. :)

What brings me back to my shuttles? I love watching the fabric appear as I work. The textures. The interplay of colors. That and it's taking up a huge chunk of my living room--I ought to keep it busy.

Thanks for the weaving insights (and the contest!).
Judy Fearn aka TorchSinger

Dawn said...

Susan, I couldn't resist the possibility of some cotton chenille!

As a person who has always worked with fabric (sewing) and yarn (knitting, embroidery),I added spinning in the 70's when yarn was awful. I always said that I would learn to weave when I retired. I signed up for a beginning weaving class at the Conference of Northen California Handweavers in April before my retirement in June.

My husband was diagnosed with throat cancer in April. He encouraged me to take the weaving class anyway and I ended coming home from the class with a Baby Wolf and warping mill. I haven't stopped since. It helps me to feel creative and productive, even if I can only do a bit of weaving each day. Saved my life when my husband was having chemo and radiation.

Cynthia said...

I have been knitting forever and spinning for about 15 years. In the last few years I have started weaving, mostly to make the sorts of fabric that knitting doesn't do well. I find the patterning and yarn interactions fascinating -- clearly there's just no end to what you can explore!

PattyAnne said...

I began weaving because I love spinning but cannot really knit!! Sooo weaving has been a teriffic way to use handspun. How am I starting out the new year?? I'm headed out in 1/2 hour to catch a plane (7 hour trip) to take a weaving class with Janet Dawson and her mom for a week !!!! Soooo exciting for this newbie!

Anonymous said...

Susan, Where do I begin? Your blog has inspired me so many times to stretch myself and try new things. Love to read what you are up to and what you have created, I often wish I was the person you have woven your lovely shawls for - the white bridal shawl is my all time favorite!
What brought me to weaving - I grew up living next door to a lovely Swedish lady who wove every day - she is and will always be my inspiration for creativity and weaving projects.

What does weaving do for me? - Weaving is my main creative quiet time... the place I am allowed to be myself. Without weaving I wouldn't be who I am. I am proud to be associated with such creative people and love the fact that each of us practice a traditional art, thus keeping it alive and going ever forward in the future.

Susan, thank you for your well written blog, keep up the great work, there are many of us who are inspired by your creations.

Happy weaving, Martha

Suz said...

Weaving, for me, is a connectedness with the past. I've been a knitter since age 19 and the FEEL of textiles is seductive for me...weaving was a natural step that I finally jumped into a few years ago. Classes and online content keep me motivated, plus just the pure joy of weaving.

PattiHN said...

Congratulations on year 2, and thanks for all the insights (and wonderful pictures) in your blog! It's always wonderful to see what's on your looms!

I first wove in 4th grade on a little weave-it loom and loved it. Fast forward 30 years to 2002... I learned to weave on a 4-shaft loom, right before we adopted my daughter, so I had barely started learning when I lost a lot of my freetime! But I love weaving (and spinning and knitting), and I'd probably go crazy if I couldn't spend some time each day doing something with my hands.


bigevilgrape said...

nothing like a contest to keep me from lurking.

I started weaving because a family friend with MS couldn't weave anymore and was selling her loom. Since I already spun and knit I said why not.

I keep coming back because of the instant gratification once you finish warping. Something about the rhythm of everything and watching the pattern just appear is a bit more satisfying then watching my knitting inch along. Also I like my handspun better for weaving then knitting.

What it does for me? I think that it helps channel all my nervouse energy into something productive. It also makes me feel like I've accomplished something. And when you're a 26 year part time student inching away at a program you need to feel like you accomplished something. With weaving I can do a project fairly quickly. I can warp my loom in a day, and I can crank out the majority of a project in a day.

Robin said...

Happy 2nd blogiversary! Everyone's stories on how they were brought to weaving are great. I am a very new weaver, but have been interested in quite a while. My mum used to weave in the late 70's and 80's, and I have taken up knitting and spinning in the last 6 years - weaving, to me, is a natural evolution of these two crafts.

charlotte said...

Congratulations! I always love to read your posts!

Theresa said...

Congratulations on the 2 year mark. I just started weaving. I've been thinking about it for years. I also knit, sew and crochet and I've begun learning to needle tat. If there is fiber involved I want to be there. I love the rhythm of moving the shuttle back and forth and that there is so much to learn, but you can start with just a little knowledge and still have something pretty and useful.

kathy said...

I really enjoy your site. Where would I be without the fabulous things I learn about weaving from reading blogs???
I started weaving because I got a free loom from a friend. Not knowing what to do with it I left it in pieces in my Mother's basement. One day my Aunt came by and asked me when I was going to start weaving? I told her I didn't even know how to put the loom together, let alone weave on it. She then began to help me assemble the loom. Mind you she was about 78 at the time. While we were putting it together she told me that my Grandmother and her wove most of their clothing, all their sheets, towels, and coverlets. The loom they used was owned by the village co-operative. This was in Lefki, Ithica, Greece in about the 1920's - 30's. I stored all this information away because I had four children and two jobs - much too much to do and hardly any free time. Fast forward to four years ago. My Aunt died at the age of 98 but left me with the need to connect with my ancestors, a need to know my heritage.
My husband has a chronic heart problem and slight dementia so I don't leave him alone at home. Being home bound can be depressing but I am spending lots of time studying weave structures and weaving. I made 10 overshot rugs in December for Christmas gifts to my children and friends. My goal for this year is to spin some beautiful wool and make overshot coverlets for my children. Perhaps my grandchildren will catch the weaving bug!

Cindy said...

What a nice way to celebrate your blog-versary! I started weaving a few months ago as an out growth of my love of knitting and spinning. I enjoy working with fiber and weaving seemed the next area to explore. Now I am also trying to learn how to sew so I can make items of clothing out of the fabric I am creating.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Susan!
I started weaving in 2007. I told a friend I thought this would be something I would like to do if I had the chance. Why? May be because it looked complicated and I also like textiles and old crafts. So, she offered to introduce me to a group she knew... I now have two looms. I never have woven with chenille, so I would love to win.
Jacqueline Legendre
Gatineau, Québec

Anonymous said...

denim blankets brought me to weaving... how is that? I didn't want to throw away denim that was solid but stained, so i made it into strip balls. then it was tough to find someone to weave it into rugs, so when i found a loom at an auction sale i bought it. good thing it was good for rugs, i got lucky there. I would love to try to make a scarf, so this giveaway would be a great way for me to get started? I like weaving because it recycles what some would call garbage - and it stays done, unlike housework!

Louisa said...

Happy Second Blogiversary, Susan!

Well, I learned to weave so long ago that I forget why I started. Though it probably had something to do with a desire to try everything within the wide realm of textiles! Unfortunately I haven't woven much in the last few years because of physical problems. But my looms are patient and I have lots of yarn in the stash, so now that I'm in much better shape I'm promising to get cracking soon. Besides, all the old stuff is wearing out. I need replacements!

Big hugs,
Louisa (aka damselfly)

Denice said...

Hello Susan, I am often inspired by your posts and am thankful for your tutorials! I love the process of creating my own gifts, household items etc. I especially like natural fibers. Have a terrific 2010! Denice

Sarah said...

Congrats on the two years, Susan!

What brought me to weaving? The gateway drugs of knitting and spinning... and a never-ending love of textiles. I've always been fascinated with rugs, tea towels, and more... and finally realized I could try making my own. I still haven't been truly bitten. The loom is sadly naked (even after last Saturday's pep talk)... (but the handknit, handspun vest is moving along at a great clip!)... but I still love what weaving can bring me.