After my visit to the Bendigo Sheep & Wool Show I have become inspired about a new approach to my fibre arts, having spun for many years and recently begun weaving. Kaz Madigan the CuriousWeaver was demonstrating the Saori looms and saori philosophy, and I have found the loom I have been looking for. Mine is on the way, and I am so looking forward to weaving on it, and I find some of the features easy on the body. Meanwhile, I have been mindfully weaving on my rigid heddle loom using old clunky handspuns I found during my house move – these yarns are from my early days of spinning. I am planning to weave a blanket for each of my children using these handspun yarns which are not special in a technical sense, but were spun with much enjoyment and peace while my children were very young, even while I was in early labour with one of them! Their little hands helped me make these yarns; I spun while I watched and listened to them play, talking with them and having them snuggle into me while I spun. Now two of my children are young adults, and fairly recently they told me they love the sound of the spinning wheel being treadled; it brings a sense of comfort to them. How many children over centuries and centuries have found that same sense of comfort as their mother spun, I wonder?
I have also been spinning – this is from a fleece of one of our Kambah poll merino stud rams, tested at 16 microns, wonderfully soft and very elastic. I spun a bobbin-ful on my Hansen minispinner, then chain plied it and random dyed the skein. At the moment I’m enjoying squishing it whenever I walk past, but it will no doubt be woven into some project on my saori loom to come.
I have also been repairing an 8 shaft table loom I acquired, feeling very clever at the moment remaking the shaft frames and in the process am learning how it all works.
Wendy, you have a most beautiful blog! I am very jealous of your chickens. The Saori loom will be right at home in your productive farm. Nice, what your children remember about your spinning. I recently sold my Ashford spinning wheel that I had when my children were little and they were a bit sad about it leaving the house. Kaz
Thanks Kaz. I can’t wait for the loom to arrive! It’s special that the kids have nice memories of our spinning, I think. At this stage I’ve had to hang on to my first wheel, also an Ashford, as my youngest child isn’t ready to part with it yet 🙂