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overwhelmed in the basement January 28, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Weaving.
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My weaving studio is located in the basement of the house my studio-apartment is hosed within. As studios go, it’s pretty basement-y and a little cold in winter. I threw my loom and everything in there last year and haven’t really considered the space much since. All through autumn I was too focused on producing at break-neck pace that I didn’t notice how cramped and inconvenient and, well, stark the space was.

So, this last week or two have been full of terrible things in the news and as much as I’ve been trying to keep informed and active, so much of it makes me want to get in bed and stay. But I have some weaving time scheduled and so instead of bed, I retreat to my basement studio to listen to music and focus on fiber.

I have some super friends who also know me better than I know myself. A couple of them have asked me if my weaving studio was a good space to be in, considering that I spend so much time in it. And I admitted, no, it wasn’t awesome. I couldn’t get sticky-tack or even command-hooks to stick to the painted cinder-block walls. It’s a shared space (laundry in the other room, storage all around) so I don’t wanna drill into anything. So, these wonderful friends sent me a care package with supplies to help me find a way to cover those sadly bare walls.

I spent some time Friday night and Saturday morning switching back and forth between weaving and trying different options for decorating and arranging. I now have a clock and a poster on one wall, next up, hanging a sheet over the other wall so I can pin pictures up in a gallery-wall type-thing.

Good luck out there everyone!

Here’s a soft thing:

bea napping


Silk and bamboo are very different January 21, 2017

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Research, Spinning, Weaving.
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This morning I’m drinking tea and gathering my strength for this weekend. I’ll be marching in my hometown with the Women’s March sister-march just after noon. Then hoping in the car to drive to Chicago for one night to see a fancy Broadway show about american history. You’ll never guess which one…

But as I am getting ready I found myself checking on my Etsy shop and thinking about how my ways of thinking about my weaving have evolved over the last ten years.


working on my Earlham weaving senior project. 2008

When I started in college I knew that I wanted to be conscious of the ways that I was doing a traditional craft. I wanted to deal with the fact that I was coming to this art-form as something to do as a hobby, an extra, something to study and learn just because I was interested in it, not because I needed the skills to survive.

My senior project looked at various ways that loom-shaped cloth had been used in societies and places where it was important not to waste any resources. Where woven cloth was precious and treated accordingly. Cut only sparingly, using every scrap, weaving to the exact dimensions needed to prevent any waste.

Senior Show with me

Me with my Senior Project, “Loom Shaped Clothing” in 2008

What I didn’t look at was the larger, zoomed-out picture. I wasn’t interested in how the yarn was produced, just how it worked in the piece. It has taken me years to grow my understanding, to appreciate the ethics of production, the toll of using materials that are mass-produced and harmful to ecosystems and the people making them.


Bamboo Scarf 2016


I am still learning, still trying to find my place in all this. Lately I have gravitated towards bamboo because it has the “green” label, but it is far from perfect. I don’t know how much water and energy it takes to turn the bamboo plant into yarn, and if the renewable-ness in any way balances out the negative effects on the planet. I know that most bamboo is grown in China and so I can’t be sure, from a human-rights view, if bamboo is ethical at all.

Wool is the only fiber I can work with straight from the source. But I can’t only weave, purchase, and wear wool from animals that I know.

Spinning two 5-8-11

I don’t have answers, but I’m doing the best I can to question, and keep questioning the choices I make as a creator.


Bamboo Scarf 2016


Hot Hot Wooly Heat June 26, 2014

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Weaving.
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Heddles and Treadles Weaving it is!

I changed my Etsy shop to Ionagiddingsweaving with the title Heddles and Treadles… I’m pretty happy with it. well. we’ll see. I still need some kind of logo or art for a banner and esp. business cards. People with better illustration skills are being commissioned so that should show up in the next couple of months! Yay! Exciting!

In other news  totally finished the blue blanket. It is all sewn and washed and fringed and ironed. So here is where I would normally post a picture… Guys, I don’t have a good camera. I’ve been using my fancy intelligent phone which has a pretty good camera for a phone… but it’s a phone, ya know?

Also I don’t have a good space with a neutral back drop and good lighting to take pictures in. I know, whine whine whine. but pictures make everything more compelling on the internets so that’s part of my excuse for not updating much…


I am moving next week! eek! moving with a loom is always an adventure. so. after I get settled in (this move is going to involve building a loft-thingy for my bed) I will start weaving again. til then!

So good to be back! January 27, 2014

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Weaving.
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After a long hiatus and much transition I am back weaving again! Yay!

I have just posted two new scarves on my Etsy site which I have already posted here.

The Redbird Scarf is one of two on that warp (the first one was a christmas/birthday present for my mom)

Redbird Scarf


and the plaid which I finally took some slightly better pictures of:

Red Plaid Scarf for Etsy


Next up: Houndstooth!

And no more red. I’m sick of it.

A change in the wind April 27, 2013

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Sewing, Weaving.
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The feeling of pulling a scarf off the loom could never be any more satisfying than when the warp has been difficult and the loom has broken down at least once. Four months is a long time to work on such an un-complicated weave pattern but I do have my excuses. I love the way plaids look but since I only have two shuttles and was using four colors I got frustrated with constantly switching bobbins in and out.

But it is finished.

pile of red plaid scarf

I have other reasons to have feelings about the end of this piece of weaving. I am moving, but not moving. I am packing all my earthly belongings and putting them in a storage unit for the summer. Taking only a backpack of essentials and embarking on my summer of adventures. I am being braver than I have been in a very long time.

These plaid pieces of fabric are the last things I will weave for at least another four months. For some reason that time seems even longer without my loom.

The first scarf has been washed and the second one has been turned into a patch.

Plaid scarf done2 Howling Patch 2

As I feared the different types of material shrunk at different rates causing some bits of the plaid to pull in and some to bubble out. But a hot iron really ironed out the problem. heh.

So now I am folding up the back beam of my loom and getting ready to send her off to the storage unit. Excited and nervous are playing tug of war and my heart is the flag tied to the center of the rope. If I can keep them balanced I might just be standing when the adventure starts.

Garden Before a Storm June 21, 2011

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic.
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The wind is strangely quiet as I write this.

A storm is coming.

The garden loves all the sunshine and rain that summer brings.

Sorry for the shaky photo, the clouds make the light awfully dim.

Something has gnawed on this tomato plant:

It still thrives tho.

No sun for the sunflowers this afternoon. Ah well.

I got some flowers for my birthday.

They keep the basil and tomatoes company.

I hope it rains tonight!

A storm would be the perfect excuse to work. I could sit next to the window and finish hem-stitching to the sound of droplets in the fireplace.

Curtains! (and other post-apocalyptic skills) January 10, 2010

Posted by ionagiddings in Post-Apocalyptic, Sewing, Spinning.
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My dining room has three walls with beautiful, large windows. I love the light that they let in but my housemates realized that we were oh-so visible at night.  So just before Thanksgiving I made some curtains. They are simple things made of lacy white cotton. I wanted to keep the room as light as possible during the day but give us a chance to be a little private when the sun goes down.

What I didn’t know was that our poor house does not have much in the way of insulation.  If I had picked a thicker material I might have stopped some of the drafts seeping in through our single-pane windows.

The storm windows were somewhere in our basement until last week. I found them and my housemate and I washed them and installed all but one (we have to move the birdhouse). It is amazing cozy the dining room is now.

Anyways, the curtains I made were certainly not energy saving, but they do look pretty against the sun and snow.

I know, in a post-apocalyptic world we probably wouldn’t even have windows. My hole-home would probably have curtain inside anyways, to give a sense of windows.

The real post apocalyptic skill I have been developing is spinning with a drop spindle.  Yesterday, while grooming her cat, my housemate made a joke about carding and spinning the ever growing pile of cat hair. So I did.

cat yarn

Hair from Bea Arthur:

I think I will knit Bea a Bea-sweater.