Healing Handcrafting

exploring process and healing through fiber arts and handcrafting


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Finally Finished Those Slitrya Blankets!

It’s been a weird period of time. Surprisingly busy and full in the midst of a pandemic. I’ve been working a lot in my multiple roles as a therapist, a teacher, a weaver and now, a writer. And I’ve been living a lot in my life as a partner, mom, sibling, daughter and friend, with varying degrees of presence. There are not enough hours to do all the things, and it’s a choice, always, what and what not to do. And frankly, like so many, my choosing button got busted with all of the micro and macro decisions that needed making due to pandemic day-to-day details. In the midst of that, I’ve gotten to do a bit of weaving- not much because for how time consuming it can be, projects have taken me so much longer to complete than I’d like, but I wanted to catch you up on what has come off the loom since I last wrote.

I did finish the Slitrya blankets! This was a process and it took me forever! Tying all those rya knots was no joke. I also keep meaning to go back and read the pattern again; I went wrong somewhere in my following of directions because I followed the pattern through and was supposed to be able to repeat it twice (I lengthened the warp to allow for that) but one time through and I had woven most of the warp (that was doubled!). I do know the yarn I used was thicker than it should have been, but something else went awry. So, I cut the length of fabric into parts and got two blankets that measured correctly, plus a little extra where I experimented with different yarns. I gave one of the blankets to my weaving teacher and friend, Lausanne, who was tickled! You know, lap blankets are rad! I used mine in my office that got a bit chilly over the winter with the door closed. Just enough warmth to make me comfortable.

My selvedges need work, but I love these things!

So, there is the completion of that project! I have more to update you on other makings, but I figured I’d wrap up that loose end first. I did love making this blanket, and truly, it’s so satisfying to look at and be warmed by. Here’s a good Handwoven article about slitrya and its history. There’s always an ancestral history to a weaving structure, which is probably what I love the most about it.

I hope that whatever you are doing, making, or bringing into fruition, it brings you contentment.


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New Project on the Loom- Trying My Hand at Making a Slitrya Blanket

Finally… a project is on my floor loom. Well, not entirely. Threading is still in the queue, but with the help of Lausanne, I got the close to four and half yard warp wound on without too much trouble. There was one moment when it seemed the whole thing might become a bit more cumbersome when the rod attached to the back beam was found to be uneven, but with some tinkering, it was straightened out. I also think I finally came to understand the relationship between the pattern width, the width of the raddle sections, and the numbers of threads in each bout of the warp. For some reason, the relationship between these things has never fully clicked. I was making my warp bout size more about the total number of ends and the way to split it up as evenly as possible without the bouts being too big. I never even considered the raddle. I remember when I had to take statistics in college… I was in the second semester of it, which meant that presumably, I understood all the stuff I learned in the first class. This one day, I just could not at all, in any way, grasp what the professor was saying. To this day, I remember more his glorious, curly hair that the Florida humidity had fun with, rather than the stats itself. Doing some homework after class, I slammed into a wall of confusion and had to get some space from the claustrophobia of my own limits. I sat on a bench outside of the library, that building in which I spent most of my time, other than my own apartment. I just let my mind drift and then the concept I was struggling with came to me, like a fresh breeze on a stifling hot day. I got it! I remember I jumped a little and wanted to yell to someone… anyone, “Did you see what just happened in my head!” I didn’t. I just went upstairs and completed my homework with ease, enjoying my newfound insight. I feel like that’s what happened yesterday, thanks to Lausanne (again!).

The pattern is called Lillebror Slitrya and is from the Handwoven Nov/Dec 2020 issue. I’m very excited about it. I’ll keep you posted on progress as I make my way towards actual weaving. With the extra warp, I’ll play, play and see what happens!