Friday, August 13, 2010

Why I Learned to Weave

In a previous post, I alluded to the fact that I was resistant to learning to use the loom I had been given by my grandmother.  I loved having it in my home, I just didn't particularly want to use it.  When we first got the loom, the only place it would fit was in the basement--not really a suitable place to use the loom.  Reprieve!!

When we moved a few years later, we planned to put the loom in the basement again--but it wouldn't fit down the stairs!  So it ended up in our daughter's bedroom.  We eventually built a little wall around it, so that our toddler daughter wouldn't get into it.

The next time we moved, the loom graced our dining room.  For the first time, I had room to use it.  Shortly after we moved, my grandmother had to move out of her house, and as the family member most into the fiber arts, I was in charge of pricing and selling her yarn and equipment stash.  As I priced the weaving tools and yarns, I became more and more aware of the gift I had been given.  Some ladies from the Handweaver's Guild came to our sale, and one of them plunked down $100 for a small table loom, after barely looking at it.  I was amazed--it seemed a fortune to me at the time!  And she said the loom was just a stopgap until she could afford the kind of loom she really wanted (undoubtedly a floor loom, perhaps much like the one in my dining room).

About this same time, the pastor of my church was doing a series of sermons on Stewardship.  In one of them, he pointed out that we are responsible for our stewardship, not only of money and abilities, but even of material things we have been blessed with.  It suddenly occurred to me that I had been provided with not only a loom, but virtually everything I needed in order to learn to weave (In addition to the loom, my grandmother had given me warping tools, shuttles, lots of weaving yarn, and even a few books on weaving)!  I became strongly convicted that God meant me to learn to use this valuable piece of equipment that He had given me.  I asked, "Why, Lord?  What possible eternal purpose could there be, in my learning to weave?"  I received no answer to this perplexing question, but I felt I must obey.

So I learned.  I had looked into weaving lessons, but felt that they would not work for me. My son was now a toddler, and it would be difficult for me to spend hours weaving at the weaving studio with a little one in tow.  My grandmother had shown me the basic operation of the loom, and I had read quite a bit about the weaving process in the books she had given me; but I had no materials which showed specifically how to warp my loom.  I followed the directions in my generic weaving books, and learned partly by trial and error, and partly by picking the brains of other weavers I met.  The first warp I put on had to be cut off after trying to weave a few inches, as I had threaded it through the loom the wrong way!  But I soon found that I enjoyed the process of weaving, and have never regretted having learned this skill that I avoided for so long.

So, why did God lead me to learn to weave??  Perhaps I will never know, this side of eternity.  But I have decided that, if there is no great eternal significance to this compulsion to weave, maybe God just gave me this gift to bring added joy and fulfilment to my life.  And that's ok with me!

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