T-Shirt Rug #3: Chrismukkah Edition

As I mentioned before I joined the Lancaster Guild. They have a pretty large, active group and a newsletter called Woolgathering which has interviews with members, some informational articles, calendars and a bunch of other weaving and spinning updates. Some of the group has been growing and harvesting flax!

I noticed they are having a virtual holiday gathering and having a pot holder contest. There are three categories:

  • Made on a traditional potholder loom
  • Made on a traditional potholder loom with a holiday design
  • Your choice (quilted, continuous weave, braided, whatever)

My husband and I both had the same idea—make a novelty sized pot holder rug with my giant pot holder loom! I’m not sure if it was they had in mind but why not. Since my husband is Jewish, we celebrate both holidays so I thought it would be fun to make a Hanukkah themed one.

I went to a large Goodwill out in the county and really lucked out, they had 3 XL plain bright blue shirts, a bunch of white ones with minimal writing and some large blue shirts that basically matched. It was about $16 for 7 shirts. I cut them up (inside because it was cold!) and luckily the next day was sunny so I weaved them right up.

I was making an apple crumb cake and was able to weave the whole rug in the 55 minutes it took to bake. I think I’m going to do the cutting and weaving separately next time I make a rug again. Doing it in one day is very tempting but it’s actually pretty physical and tiring. It takes me a lot longer to cut out the strips than it does to weave. Weaving it is a lot of leaning over and stretching. I wish I had an easel I could prop the loom up on. It’s very large and heavy, I barely can balance it on our huge outdoor table.

I wove the rug alternating blue and white for the warp and alternating double rows of blue and white for the weft. Then to really make it look like a pot holder, I looped in the inner part of a plastic embroidery hoop like you would with a real pot holder to hang it up.

I think it’s super cute! I hope a novelty sized pot holder is okay as an entry. I don’t have to submit it until around Thanksgiving so I can always change my mind. I need to figure out how to photograph it so the scale is more obvious. Below it is fresh from the loom.

I even have some big loops left! I’ve also been saving all the cut up sleeves and smaller extra scraps from all the rugs and have the ton. I’m not sure what to do with them yet. They aren’t big enough for the rug unless I chain them together and I think that would be too lumpy. I have seen people weave rugs with pot holder loops with a floor loom so that might be worth looking into.

Landis Valley Museum Harvest Days

We visited the museum back in August and enjoyed it. I had checked out their events and class calendar (I wish we were a little closer, their classes all look great) and noted their biggest event was in October. Since it was nice weather this past weekend we thought we thought it was worth a drive.

We went to Flying Fibers and then drove about 25 more minutes to the museum. I wasn’t sure what to expect, the descriptions were a little vague—food, demonstrations, pumpkins—and it said it was family friendly. Family friendly is great but when you don’t have kids it can be a red flag—is it code for “this is really for toddlers”? We came up with some back up activities in nearby Ephrata and figured it was worth the risk.

I’m glad we went! It was actually a lot of fun. It was kid friendly and they had some small kid activities but it was largely groups of adults and older elementary or middle school aged children. One little girl was dressed in an old fashioned dress and bonnet with a cloth doll and seemed very excited to be there which was fun to see.

Neither of us were really expecting vendors but there were a lot of niche vendors what sold niche crafts and were showing off their goods. we bought a sassafras bowl/dipper from a cooper (who also teaches coopering at the museum at times!), some wool from a spinner, had a long chat with a woman who canes chairs (my husband now really wants to do this) and a woman who made jewelry out of human and horse hair like Victorian hair work. I think she might be a good speaker for my weaving guild next year! It was very interesting to see the weaving process. There were also farmers with pawpaws and different types of apples, potters and gourd artists. One table was selling tape looms (even fancier than the ones we had bought at the museum before with an extra decorative hole section), pot pie noodle rolling pins (I was tempted) and other wooden handcrafts.

The museum had a lot of artisans out doing cooking demos in the wood ovens, butchering and making scrapple over a wood fire, apple cider pressing and the Lancaster Weaving and Spinning Guild was there. They talked to us about their sheep to shawl competitions in the PA Farm show and we bought one of the shawls they made during practice runs. I never really thought about them practicing but it makes sense, it’s basically a relay race but with sheep and wool!

The woman we talked to suggested I join the guild because they have frequently talks with guest speakers and it’s all over Zoom. Apparently they have some members who live further out in PA and only make the big in person events so my hour or so away in MD isn’t that big of a deal. Honestly, it is quicker for me in Northern Baltimore City to get to the Lancaster area than it is to get to the area where the “Greater Baltimore” weaving guild meets/holds their shows heading down towards DC/Columbia.

I went ahead and joined. I can’t imagine I could come to too many in person activities but their offerings are plentiful and still largely online. The woman told us how having them via Zoom has been a boon because they don’t have to pay for travel and lodging for their guest speakers because people can remote in from anywhere. I love my current guild and of course will remain a member there but for $25, the membership benefits of the Lancaster guild are great. They even have a private YouTube channel with old classes on it.

I’m really glad we went! It was a beautiful day, everyone was so nice, we were so inspired and I even foraged some black walnuts to try to dye some yarn for my local guild’s dye challenge.