A couple of months ago, a beginning weaving workshop was offered through the local weavers' guild. It took place over the weekend and finally convinced me to dig out the little table loom I acquired years ago, but never worked out how to rewarp after the last existent warp disintegrated. My friend, Liz, joined me and over the weekend, we wove plain and twill samples, learned how to decide how much yarn is needed for a specific project and how to dress our looms to make a narrow bit of cloth. Sunday reached its end and I came home, but continued to weave into the night, watching the cloth grow quickly before me, and enjoying the created rhythm in throwing the shuttle, beating the threads and changing the shafts. I went to bed with the clack of wood and jangle of metal heddles in my mind.
I woke in the morning to the loom brilliantly lit by morning light, and continued weaving all morning. Then continued still later, when friends called me over to visit, taking the loom with me and worked there, chatting with them as they carried about on their own making. Soon enough the warp ended and I whipstitched the edge to ward off fraying and cut it loose. The length would wear well as a scarf if the grey wool used for weft didn't itch my neck quite so much. Instead I'll opt to make a messenger bag. Once I'm able, I'll redress the loom for a narrow strap and stitch it all together when I'm done.
Meanwhile, the Florida wool I was given last spring is still being processed one bathtub load at a time. The Hamilton flock from Williston is finished but the UF stock is only a quarter done. One five gallon bucket stuffed to the brim with dirty wool often takes two days to pick through and wash. Other fleece, especially those that have been coated don't take quite as much time, though it costs more and I'm thankful to those who were so generous to me. Fortunately other small tasks can be accomplished while the wool soaks in hot water, but it's a practiced juggle. Once finished with the washing, ideally I'd get my hands on a picker, a vicious looking tool to help fluff and filter out the remaining sand and begin the next stage of preparation. Little of the Florida will be used for spinning as it's not as soft and regular as I'd like (though some of it is quite sweet and I'll sort it out for spinning and perhaps weaving). But ultimately most of it will be used to felt with.