At last, the day had come. May 3, 2022. The house was ours and we had the keys. Only discouraging news from the moving company could put a damper on our happiness. Broken truck, lack of parts, unknown delivery date, weeks away. Very anxious to exit the Hovel, we had already given notice so we could move as soon as we took possession of the house. To make it more interesting, my daughter was arriving from California that evening and my youngest kiddo was arriving from Indiana in three days. But now there was no telling when the looms, or the rest of our belongings, would come home.
The kids arrived and we all had a wonderful visit and fun camping out in the new house. Visits to thrift stores and the big box store on the island provided the basics to get us through. We could do basic cooking, had clean towels and bedding (if you count an air mattress and cheap sleeping bag as bedding), and we had the new counter stools and a couple of camp chairs, as well as the new washer/dryer and guest bed. I also had the two potholders a dear fiber friend in California dropped off the day before we left town.
Best of all was sharing our new home, the very first home without my kids in over 30 years, with my two awesome adult offspring. Finn was pretty happy to stretch out in the new house as well. It was a busy couple of days but a wonderful time to be together. Geography and busy lives have kept us apart more than this mother would like.
I could still spin and knit and daydream about weaving. And we had plenty to keep us busy as we attempted to have the interior painted before the furniture arrived. That didn’t turn out so well and it certainly complicated attempts to unpack once things did arrive but, in the end and long after we had hoped, the dull and depressing grey walls are now different colors. I chose a basic white for the loom room and my fiber/office room.
Being very moved by world events and a film I saw of a weaving family in Ukraine (Ukrainian Wool Blanket), I purchased a handwoven blanket from them via their Etsy store. We tracked the progress of the package across the world.
It took one month and the blanket arrived about a week after we started camping out in the new house. It is an amazing hand woven, hand washed (in a river), and hand brushed wool blanket and will certainly keep us warm during PNW winters.
Two weeks after the initial promised delivery, our goods were delivered. I was so happy to see my looms and to see that they were in fine shape. I found that it was a challenge to fit all things fiber into two rooms, especially coming from house as studio that had evolved organically over many years.
Things were not set up to function yet in my “studio” and we had company coming. So, Michael, Finn, and I spent our days making the kitchen functional, clearing living space of boxes, and getting ready for visits from friends from California. As always, puppy training and exercise and knitting and spinning continued. We had a wonderful time visiting with dear friends from California throughout June.
In between visitors, Michael and I arranged for Finn to have an overnight at a very nice resort for pups here on the island. We were lucky to get him a spot and it really is a deluxe resort with no crates or cages and lots of space to run and play. It is great to know that he did well and has a place to go, if needed. Meanwhile, the paw parents had our own night at a nice AirBnB in Seattle. Our intention was to visit the Nordic Museum and have a night on our own. We enjoyed a great meal and the museum
A highlight of the museum was the Margaret Bergman display. It was part of the display of individuals from Sweden having made an impact after arrival. She was the only woman mentioned and she was described as “A Weaving Innovator and Entrepreneur.”
The loom could have been much better displayed but what a joy to see the loom I had heard so much about. I intend to learn more about her three-tie unit weave.
I was finally able to start weaving in July. I used some of the handspun wool from our months in transition as pattern weft for an overshot dresser scarf. This was the Stricken Lonk from Edgewood Garden Studio that I wrote about in my last blog.
I had 16/2 linen in my stash and used that for warp and tabby. I decided to start with the Baby Wolf, otherwise known as Fiona. It was so wonderful to be weaving again! The scarf works well on an antique dresser that Michael had in his mountain home.
The loom room is a bright and beautiful place to weave. However, by the time I finished that project and was trying to warp towels on the Mighty Wolf, otherwise known as Wilhelmina, it was clear that the loom room could not accommodate everything that was in there. The Wolf PupLt, as yet unnamed, was already stationed in the family room. But there was just no way to be functional in such tight space that was the loom room at that point.
So, DH volunteered for duty and had some suggestions. We moved a cabinet with thread into the guest room (which already housed my knitting library, tabletop warping mill, mannequin, baskets of yarn as décor, and a closet full of sheep and an alpaca) and found a spot in the guest closet for my rack of reeds, temples, and warping sticks. It is still a very nice guest room with just a bit of fiber art spill over.
At last I had a fiber room/office with a work table and a loom room. Of course, we had not yet unpacked all the photos, wall art, and tchotchkes but now I could function and get a warp on both looms!
Meanwhile, Finn continues to grow and require lots of exercise, there are still many things to unpack in the garage, and we are still exploring our new island home
I am working on learning to be patient with myself. My solo days of being productively lost in fiber arts all day are long gone. Michael is home full time and I have a very large puppy who needs training and exercise. It will take me much longer to plan and warp a project than ever before. And there is nothing more important than being present in this moment with loved ones. So, I aim for balance as I move forward in our new home.
May all beings find balance. May it be so.