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I’ve noticed a trend in how winter unfolds in my studio. Through the course of the summer and fall, one warp after another dresses each loom and the hemming basket always has something in it. There’s always another project in the planning stages. November stands out on the calendar as a finish line of sorts; items have to be finished by then to be ready for holiday sales.

Kitchen Towel in Cotton and Linen

Kitchen Towel in Cotton and Linen

In the past, when I had an outside job, any items I wanted to put in our guild’s holiday sale had to be made over summer when I had shortened hours. If they weren’t finished by September, they weren’t going to be in the show. Now that I’m just in the studio, I can weave into October for that event, but I also have other venues to cover. Stocking up is the order of the season. I have to have enough inventory finished to get through the holidays.

However, by the third week of November, the pace changes.  The finish line approaches. The towels are hemmed. The scarves are fringed. The runners and napkins are pressed. And I have to admit that the unfinished items – and there are always some of those! – will have to wait patiently for another week. It’s at this point that my mind shifts to home and hearth.

Working at home gives the impression to most people that the line is blurred between home life and studio life, and to a certain degree that’s true. But in order to keep growing as a weaver, I have to discipline my time. My studio is “the office.” I go to the studio in the morning and work until lunch. I return in the afternoons and continue with whatever I was working on in the morning. With the occasional “let the dog in, let the dog out, let the dog in…”

By December, while I do spend time in the studio, I’m also making cookies, creating gifts, and planning menus. As I write, soup is simmering on the stove and bread is rising. In another week, grandkids will be running down the halls and pulling out the old toys.

I’m already pondering what will go on the looms in the coming year, what weave structure I want to learn more about, what market trends are emerging. Winter is a good time for reviewing the past year and looking forward to the next. More on that next time. For now, the holidays are just around the corner and there are things to be finished.

May your holidays be filled with grace, peace, and good times!