Before Christmas I went on a "bag" kick and wove a batch of small 5" handbags with long hand-twisted handles. I used a variety of yarns for weft on an all cotton dark warp. Yarns included colored 8/2 cotton, rayon chenille and a blended yarn of linen/cotton/rayon. I also used some colorful cotton thrums to make a couple of "rustic" bags. I used a shiny gold rayon yarn for the handles and twisted the strands using an S hook and my spinning wheel. The method involves overtwisting several strands of yarn; then the twisted strand is folded in half and twists back on itself. Voila!
The greatest pleasure in making the small bags occurred while I sat in bed evenings watching TV hand sewing the bags together. I added beads, some glass, some wooden. For some reason the intricate, small stitches were very satisfying.
My project at hand, as I've said earlier in my blog, is to weave a small blanket from wolf/dog hair. The spinning has been completed. Now I am plying strands together to make a strong warp. I may have to wait until the weekend to finish the plying. I'm having trouble making the time fit into my teaching schedule and domestic responsibilities during the week.
Sometimes, when I'm totally engrossed in a spinning/weaving project, I dream of having my own full-time weaving business. That would be nice, especially if I had a plethora of customers and a real roomy studio instead of my cramped little Pocatello Westside hovel, but my 100-year-old spaces have a certain charm to them. My friends and family don't mind sipping tea or wine amid a chaos of mannequins, looms, cones of yarn, books and grandkid toys.
And if that ever happened, I would probably miss the pleasure of class discussions with my students who keep me grounded in the real world.