05 April 2006

closing the circle

As many readers know, I'm a weaver and have been for about ten years, so when I planned my move here, the only thing I knew I had to bring was my loom. It was my high school graduation gift, chosen for its portability (a folding loom! how awesome is that?) and versatility- I can weave something a yard wide, and have the design flexibility for almost anything. My loom came with me to college, it moved with me to Martha's Vineyard after school, it moved to Boston when I started working there. My designs have evolved from disco thread (silver filament) and black chenille in everything, to materials collected from all over the world in patterns that reflect accumulated views and ideas. The loom has been a sporadic source of income too- I never marketed, but word got around and friends and family of friends ordered scarves through the years, enough to support the habit and hobby.

Last year, when I was packing up my apartment, I sent the loom in to storage since I couldn't bring it over until I had a job and a home. It finally came in November, and when I opened it, still chilly from its days in the Eimskip warehouse awaiting customs clearance, I discovered that the sea journey had not been kind to it. Two of the most essential pieces were broken, rendering it so structurally unsound I was unable to weave it.

That was a strange day, opening all those boxes that seemed full of the energy of those strangely hot days in April last year when I packed my supplies, uncertain of when, or even where I'd see them again. Also, this one thing I had most wanted to survive had not come through unscathed. J reminded me gently that it was fixable, and that I did have insurance to pay for the parts. I called the store I'd ordered the loom from, the best fiber supplier in the East, who assured me they'd be able to send the leg and other parts I needed. I sent them a picture with the pieces I needed circled, and hoped for the best. When the pieces finally did arrive in the middle of March, they had sent the leg for the other side of the loom.

True to their awesome customer service, they sent the correct part the next day to J's brother, who gamely humped a huge box with the correct leg through Icelandair, cradled in his hiking socks and t-shirts. Last Sunday J and I finally put it back together, and my loom, after travelling so far, was finally ready to go.

I'd been planning for this for months, so I'd set aside a pile of yarn, a combination of hand-dyed wool from my weaving teacher in Vermont and skeins from the Faroe Islands, another gift. I spent the rest of the afternoon in a pile of color, textile design, and weaving pattern books, thinking of color combinations, imagining how the colors could be combined in different patterns, and looking out at the sun lighting up Akrafjall. I started winding the warp later with the warping board propped against the sun-filtered windowpane, settling back in to the familiar hand motions as the ravens sailed by outside.

Ship sighting: nothing much exciting due in today, but this morning was a nice drive past the harbor. Eldborg is still getting fixed up in the slip, the research boat is in the prime central spot, and there was a scattering of boats in the more inner part of the harbor, below Esja, shrouded in clouds and covered in snow.


JB said...

I'm really happy to have the loom fully "armed" and operational. It was a sad day indeed when we unwrapped it and E's baby was cracked and unworkable. But now the loom is sturdy and strong once again and ready to fire off a scarf or two. Sometimes there's nothing so rewarding as fixing something that needs fixin', bringing it back to ship-shape again, ready for a new life.

tsduff said...

settling back in to the familiar hand motions as the ravens sailed by outside

E, I absolutely love your poetic way with words, as you describe each scene. I also love that you mention ravens frequently - as they are one of my favorite and most admired birds. I have followed your saga of the loom, and am happy for you that it is finally ship shape and ready for your magic.

Angel said...

Glad that good ol' WEBS could set you up E-

I've been getting better with the spinning wheel- I'll send you some of my handspun sometime and maybe you can weave yourself something neat- one thing though- what weight yarn do you usually use for weaving- its finer then your typical worsted or DK knitting yarn right?

I am so glad that your loom is now okay though....

sb said...

you've got your loom up and running,
you've got the view to inspire,
you've got a nice man to cuddle up with,
you've got the long dark nights of winter just behind you,
you've got the early signs of spring

I wonder when you'll possibly complete the scene with the sound of little feet running around :D

I'm so happy for you and your loom. I remember in Boston how passionate you are about your weaving. It takes love to make the things you make. And they are beautiful!

'Housje, Boompje, Beestje' is a saying in Holland when the young people start new lives together.

Professor Batty said...

...being married to a weaver (and called upon for loom repair duties), I enjoyed your tale of a "looming" catastrophe- now you just need two or three more...