Monday, August 8, 2011

In the Good Old Summer Time

In the good old summer time fiber arts tend to take a back seat to gardening, vacations or guests. Spinning slows down and that big loom doesn't fit in your camper. We need little projects that can be completed with simple portable tools.
This is where knitting and crochet have the advantage. You can knit on the beach, at the campsite or in the back of a mobile home. Drop spindles also have their day when the nice weather draws us outside or away from home. It may be a slower but you can spin with a drop spindle anywhere. In this case slow and steady can still produce enough yarn for that fall project you have in mind.
Weavers have a slightly more difficult time keeping those fingers busy but there are always inkle looms or back strap looms to make bands for those bags you intend to make this winter. If you are travelling in a camper then you can alway find room for a small tapestry loom even a rigid heddle loom. The latter is very versatile and often neglected. Maybe the summer is the right time to become familiar with a rigid heddle loom. Our guild has one that members can have on loan.
If you need something even smaller try needle weaving on a cardboard loom.
I like to have small projects that can be completed while on a ferry. My needle woven bags are a "2 ferry ride" project. Half the project gets me to my destination and the other half gets me home again. For equipment, all I need is a piece of stiff cardboard wound with cotton yarn for warp, bits and bobs of material for a weft and a large bodkin.
You might also consider basketry if you are looking for a portable project. This pine needle coaster might just be the start of a pine needle basket or it can be complete as is.
Here is hoping that your fingers have been busy creating small masterpieces all summer. With that in mind, we are planning a show of minature fiber arts for the month of October. The show will take place at the Public Library in Parksville.