Is there such a thing as too many handbags, pocketbooks, tote bags, and purses? Of course not. Naturally, my favorite handbags are made from handwoven fabric. Linings made from remnants, handwoven bands used for shoulder straps, hidden zippers, and, of course pockets–these are the details that other people will seldom notice. Yet these are the details that make me smile every time I use one of these bags.
…You know that box of handwoven bits and pieces? Those weavings from the end of the warp, and the “scraps” from various projects? Hmm… looks like I might need to make another handbag or two.
Here is my collection of handwoven handbags, divided into a few categories. Plus, a short video just for the fun of it!
Some accessories are so useful they simply become an extension of the loom. That’s how my loom bench baskets are for me. I automatically place an emptied shuttle there without a second thought. It’s where extra shuttles go that are waiting their turn, or extra quills that have been wound, or a few fabric strips that are set aside for one section. For anything I need to drop or pick up–the baskets are always there.
This is the narrowest inkleband I have ever made! With thirteen ends of fine 16/2 cotton, I get a very skinny ribbon. I brought my inkle loom with me to the Texas Woodcarvers Guild Spring Round-Up. This gives me something to do at the “Conversation Table” while Steve attends wood carving classes. Some ladies have their crochet, some have their knitting, and I have my inkle.
The inkle loom is a conversation piece, to be sure. Inquiring people stop to look and ask questions. Many think it looks complicated. “It’s a lot simpler than carving a piece of wood,” I say with a smile.
Seek the Lord; seek His strength. Walk in the Lord’s strength. When this is your habit, your continual mindset, life’s struggles seem less complicated. Down shed – shuttle – up shed – shuttle. Repeat. Keep going to the end.
What do you do when you are away from your looms for a week? Portable weaving, of course. I thought about bringing my band loom, but fitting the band loom in the car turned out to be more of a hassle than it is worth. So the band loom stayed home.
I have my inkle loom with me instead, as well as my small tapestry frame. Steve is taking a woodcarving class from Dylan Goodson this week at the Texas Woodcarvers Guild Seminar; and while he is in class I am keeping my hands busy with portable weaving.
If I line up all my weaving shuttles, end to end, how far do you think they will reach? The accumulation started slowly, adding a shuttle here and there, as needed. My husband contributed to my collection by handcrafting some of the shuttles for me. “I could use a stick shuttle in such-and-such a size.”“Okay, dear,” he would say, before going out to the garage to whip up yet another yardstick shuttle for my rigid heddle loom.
Ski shuttles are for rag weaving. Boat shuttles are for almost everything else. Most of my boat shuttles are traditional Swedish shuttles. All these fascinating shuttles, such simple tools, work the wonder of weaving.