Weaving = a clean(er) house

OK, I admit it. Housekeeping is not my favourite (or even tenth favourite) activity. I can think of LOTS of things that I would rather do than clean or tidy.

But I do it a lot more frequently now that I weave.

When I sit down to design a warp, I first need to tidy off my desk.

Image of a desk covered with piles of papers and a whiteboard with writing on it in the background

Once that is done, I can put any sketches out, and I can stack up my sample cards and books to get the colours on the screen as close as possible to the colours that I will eventually order. (we all know the screen to real life comparison isn’t great, but I do my best).

Then I need to get my spreadsheet out, to see how much of which colours I have in stock, so I can work up a yarn order.

Once the order arrives, I need to clear the kitchen table, and move my laptop over there (cleaning off my desk AGAIN, because the laptop is generally in the middle of a pile of school papers and such) with my scale, so I can enter it all into my inventory. I also mark all the newly entered yarns, and all the “old” inventory yarns that will be used in the spreadsheet, and pull everything together in one box.

Then I go to the studio (which always needs tidying anyway), and I need to set up either the spool rack or the warping board, and the easel that it goes on. THAT means that I need to move the rolling table that holds my electric winder, shuttles, pirns/bobbins, etc. In order to move the rolling table, I need to tidy up the yarns that are on the floor, where I put them last week when I was in a creative mood, and was playing with colour combinations. So I put all the yarn away where it belongs, move the rolling table, and set up the measuring tool of the day. This step often reminds me of this toy that I LOVED playing with as a child.

Image of a sliding picture puzzle that shows a happy face puzzle that is completed and two versions of the same puzzle with the pieces out of order

Once I have the warp beamed, I usually get out the broom/dust mop/duster, and dust around and under the loom, and seeing as I have those tools out anyway, I usually keep going, and dust the whole studio. (This may seem impressive, but tends to lose its wow factor when one realises that my studio is approximately 300 sq. ft.. and 85% is filled with yarn that I cannot dust, which means that the extra dusting takes about 15 seconds).

I put all the measuring tools away then, and finish dressing the loom. Some time later, I have the warp finished.  In order to take it off the loom, I need to move the rolling table (again), clean the floor (again), so I don’t pick up any extra dust yarn bits with the fabric. (Did you know that handwoven scraps make AMAZING dust cloths??)

Then I bring the fabric back home, to the kitchen table, which has to be cleared, wiped down, and swept underneath (AGAIN), as this is where I do myInspections, measuring, repairs etc, then I serge the ends of the pieces, and go clean the bathtub.

Once the tub is clean, I soak the fabric in it for a few hours to make sure no dyes will run, and to minimize tracking.

Next step is to take it all in a freshly emptied laundry bin down to the basement, and put it through a wash and dry cycle.

When the fabric is still damp, I take it out of the dryer, put it into the laundry bin that was magically  filled up with kids’ clothes while the fabric was in the dryer, and bring back up to the kitchen table. 

a mint green laundry basket filled with clothing

The table is then subjected to MORE cleaning, because at this point, SOMEONE must have had a snack on it, left their homework and lunchbox on it, and probably used some glitter glue, which has been left on the table to dry. (By the way, please, for the love of whatever you hold dear, do NOT EVER send me glitter glue)

The fabric gets another inspection of both sides while damp, and is then moved over to the ironing board in the kitchen (which SURPRISE, has had the floor cleaned just before the fabric moves over there). I do another inspection, and final trimming of threads as I iron.

Then it all goes BACK to the (hopefully still clean) kitchen table for hemming, and marking with my mark, final measuring, photos, and packing.

The last step is a final clearing of my desk, so I can excavate my laptop, upload photos, and make notes about the project before it finds a new home.

So all in all, over the course of 2-3 weeks, my dining/kitchen areas get cleaned at least 3 times, my desk gets cleared a couple of times, the studio is tidied up twice, and the bathroom (or at least the tub) gets done once.

This is how weaving keeps my house clean.

How does weaving keep YOUR house clean?