Crazy as a Loom

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Let enough be enough

We had a photo shoot at the studio today. You can tell I am under the weather. I am wandering. No focus to speak of. Not myself. But I have decided not to fight it.
Yesterday I was home by noon, and on the couch for the rest of the day. Surrender. Too sick to keep on keeping on. Fever, cough.
So this morning, though I got to the studio OK, I knew I wasn't going to be very productive.
Miss Puss was in rare form. She loves the attention, and with each click of the camera she reposes. I really think she has what it takes. She is not the least interested in anybody's opinion, she flips herself around and preens simply for the joy of it. That girl knows how to work the camera.
I took about 13 shots of her, and every one was a different pose, showing her teeth, laying on her back, licking her paws, gazing intently back at me. Maybe being sick is what I need to make me slow down and notice the finer things in life.

I did finally settle in front of a loom. I had no real idea what I felt like weaving, and no inclination to figure it out. So I decided, since I have been on the subject of old rugs (and old faces), I would just weave a hit and miss rug out of the plastic tote full of old fabric rolled into balls. They came to me with the Union Special, when I bought it out near Utica, NY. The lady I bought it from asked me if I wanted these "boxes" of old poor husband about choked.....he knew I would say "of course", and he pictured the worst.
So I worked on this rug, in a sunny window, and while I was weaving it, I was struck by the work that went into these balls of fabric. Someone who loved their craft, like I do, cut all this fabric into thin strips, and sewed it all together, and then wound it into tight balls. Then I realized the difference in how I recycle fabric, and how it was done years ago.
I use mill ends, left over from the mills. It comes in lots of different widths, so I have to cut it.
But these balls of vintage fabrics are cut from old clothing, everything imaginable. What? An argyle sock? Tee shirts, flannel shirts, knit pants, cotton sheets, you name it.
And it struck me, that certainly there is something here for us to learn. The "use it up" mentality, the frugality of the person that did this is just too amazing for words. I can envision the many hours it must have taken just to make enough for one rug.
The two harness loom I wove on today is simplicity in action. One harness up, one down. Step on the treadles, and the reverse occurs.
I know that there are weavers out there who do much more complicated weaving than I do, but with colorful weft like this, it seems to me that plain weave is just fine.
I may not have accomplished a lot today, but maybe I did just enough.


Life Looms Large said...

You wove a rug in a day!! On a day when you're sick.....

That's definitely more than enough!!

It is really cool to think about some one cutting up old worn out clothes and recycling them into a rug. Or they were cutting them up so that you could weave this rug today.

The rug looks great by the way!

Hope you feel better soon!


PS: Can you tell I'm a dog person? I know there were beautiful pictures of a stunning cat in this post too, weren't there?!

Hilary said...

I am a dog person too.....but when I "saved" Kismet, I got Miss Puss to keep him company, and they have won me over I have a dog at home, and cats at the studio. The best of both worlds!

Hilary said...

I recently helped someone clean out the house of his deceased relative. She was as frugal as they come, outshone only by her creativity.

She saved and reused EVERYTHING. Old nylons used to hang her water colour art, containers of bread clips, nylon netting from onions, strawberry trays and countless other things that have since slipped my mind. A woman of the war years. Just amazing. She put me and my more wasteful ways to shame.

Lovely rug you made there, and that kitty has a finely woven coat too. ;)

Hilary said...

I can't take much credit for the rug.....I only wove what someone else put together.
I love old houses with treasures like that.....we are wasteful....wonder what it will take for us to change?
Food for thought, eh?

Anonymous said...

I just love your rugs.... and I'm so sorry you have been feeling sick... I have had the same crazy stuff for the past eleven days... Finally starting to see the light and getting my energy back. You get well soon, ok??

The Blue Ridge Gal

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