Weaving with Tori

We’ve had some whirlwind times since we returned from New Bedford — ten days on the West Coast, a week at home, and now a few days in Baltimore with our granddaughter.

Tori is quite interested in the Harrisville Potholder Pro loom that arrived in the mail just before we drove down here.  I decided to bring it with me.


She likes the colors and running her hand across the warp.  I think she’s got potential! Meanwhile, Bob is not so enthusiastic.  He burst out laughing when he saw the box.


The first words out of his mouth were, “Potholder PRO??? Is it possible to be a ‘pro’ at potholder making? Does it come with a wheelchair?”  Funny guy.  I have no idea why I’m attracted to this thing, but if it will give me some pleasure onboard or while visiting family, that’s no joke!  I’ve been wondering how I’d ever bring a loom to either of our son’s houses.  Well, this is a start!  I’m making one a bit like the one shown on the box, since it came with the purple, aqua, and lime green loopers.  I also bought a gigantic bag of loopers in ‘designer’ colors.  There’s a lot of potholder possibilities in those looper bags!

Anyway, before I went down this path, I had 10 days in San Francisco and points north with our younger son.  In San Francisco I visited two terrific shops– ImagiKnit and Britex Fabrics.  I can’t think of a more creative name for a knitting shop than ImagiKnit!  Their summer window display lived up to their name.  There were knitted ice cream bars on sticks, knitted cupcakes with elaborate frosting decorations, and a box of knitted donuts!  There was too much afternoon glare on the windows for me to get good photos, but you get the idea.


It’s a big store, with two long rooms divided by fiber.  One room holds yarns made from animal fiber and the other yarns made from plants fibers.  They’ve been around for about 15 years, and it looks like a successful venture!

Then there’s Britex in Union Square, another shop that is not to be missed on any trip to San Francisco!

Can you say ribbons and notions?  Oh my!

To say nothing of floors of fabric!  They have downsized a little (I think) since the last time I visited, more than 10 years ago.  They are downsizing more in November, when they will move to a smaller building, although they will still be in the Union Square area, and you can add on a visit to the Apple store while there.

I got lovely white linen for Tori’s christening gown that will be accented with the two bobbin laces I’ve made.  I also got a fine white cotton batiste for the inner slip and some tiny buttons for the back of her gown.  Sewing will commence soon….


During the week in between visiting the West Coast and now visiting Maryland, the first meeting of the year took place for the Connecticut guild.  The featured  speaker was Anastasia Azure.  I was lucky to get one of the last spots in her morning mini-workshop on weaving with paper.  She is known for her woven jewelry and larger woven pieces that are sculptural.  It turns out she knows how to have a lot of fun with paper too.  Check out the difference between her two renditions of the photograph below.



We had a great time making our own small paper weavings that can be mounted on a greeting card.  Anastasia’s afternoon presentation was about her jewelry and sculptural work.  You can learn a bit about her here.  I remembered her name from someplace, and by the end of our morning workshop, I realized she had been the juror for HGA’s gallery exhibition when Convergence was in Providence, where Anastasia now lives.  She was the juror who accepted my tapestry of “Sunset on Wilson Cove” into that show.

On the home front…. organization continues to be one my biggest struggles.  I am just not good at it.  I always have to rely on others to spark ideas for how I can organize my own space.  Recently I got just that when I visited a friend from both the weaving guild and lace guild.  Clare’s looms sit out in one of her living spaces, enhancing the room.  That could never happen in my house.  I asked her where all the ‘stuff’ was that you’d expect to be right near the loom.  She said she has converted one of her bedrooms into a stash room.  She then gave me a tour of the cabinets and shelving she uses to organize her stash.  Bingo!  I went right home and told Bob.  My stash is not yet under control but it’s a LOT closer!

First, I got rid of the bins in my stash room and bought a wall shelf unit from Ikea.  These two walls had floor to ceiling mismatched, plastic bins that were quite an eyesore.  And even worse, whatever I wanted to access always seemed to be in the bottom bin, so I had to UNstack everything to get what I needed.


Here are just a few of those bins piled up in the studio, waiting for the wall unit to be built!  You know the saying that to make things neater, you have to endure a much bigger mess.


Ikea packages everything so concisely.  It’s to imagine that there is wall of shelving in those two boxes.  Actually, it was four boxes.


Bob finished building this wall unit in less than an hour.  By the end of the day I had all the blue canvas baskets full of my stash.  I now have 25 canvas containers holding all the stash of wool, silk, cotton and novelty yarns that used to be in mismatched bins stacked to the ceiling.  My next purchase is going to be a flat file for all my shuttles and bobbins.  Thank you Clare for getting me motivated!


Well, I want to get back to that potholder!  Tori has had a nap and an afternoon outing, so it’s time for both of us to get back to it!



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