Things to Recommend doing when You Aren't Knitting
weaving! last time that I touched my loom was sometime in 2005. This project has been on the loom so long that it actually had cat, hmm, furballs from my cat Satoko, who died at least two years ago. In two places. (One of those things that you walk by every once in a while and think, jeez, I should really do something about that, and then you keep walking.) Two other signs of how long it's been: I was working on a 50th birthday present for a friend who's now somewhere around 53, and before I could start to weave, I had to unravel 15 rows to figure out the pattern. Then I wrote it on the backside of a library slip (1516 3536, with arrows to remind me which way I'm moving) and taped it to the loom bench so in another five years, I can just pick up where I stopped.
But it's great to be weaving again. The good thing about weaving, compared to knitting, is that it goes fast (once you've gotten past the behemoth that is the designing-measuring-threading the loom part): ten inches equaled the second half of the Knit Picks' podcast plus one disc of Children of the Storm. And you get to keep advancing the warp (moving more empty thread to the front of the loom, for you non-crafters) every 5 minutes and cranking it tight again and switching the empty bobbin in the shuttle to a full-of-thread new bobbin and winding more bobbins when you've used up the four full ones (in only two hours).
Here's the view from my weaving bench. The project: handwoven pillowcases in a natural color of cotton. Unmercerized cotton, which becomes softer with each washing. The kind of fiber they would've used in ye olden days, before chemicals and mercerizing and color. I'd done two sets of these in the far-distant past, before I was romanced by knitting and the ability to actually carry your project with you around and out of the house (it's hard to fit the loom in the front seat for driving vacations or waiting in a doctor's office).
Very utilitarian as well as handmade: my favorite type of project. The only downside is that I'm still using my elbows. But there's banana bread with chocolate chips and almonds cooling in the kitchen and a new Jane Lawless mystery to read, and not much ice on the sidewalk.