My first weaving project that isn’t class related. I am making my first set of kitchen towels. They are made from unmercerized organic cotton using a “Waffle” weave pattern. Actually there will be four towels all threaded the same. The difference in texture will be in how the treadles are tied up. It’s all about which threads get lifted and in what order. Weaving isn’t just the back and forth of yarn that you are likely most accustomed to seeing. A good 80% is in the design, the warping process and then getting all those threads on the loom without turning it into a rat’s nest. These are just about ready to go. 493 threads all in their own individual heddles. This is such a fun hobby. I’m eager to keep going (Of course, tomorrow I’m going to be on the tractor mowing for 5 hours, so maybe I’ll get it all wound and tensioned). One thing for certain is that one does not rush the set up. It leads to mistakes, which leads to cussing, which leads to…..
You now, the word ‘hobby’ sort of got my attention, as if it is a word that I would not expect you to use. I suppose it is a hobby. I suppose that so much of what we incorporate into our lifestyles in order to live more simply could be classified as hobbies. Okay, perhaps ‘simply’ is an odd word as well. Weaving towels is not as simple as buying Chinese towels from Bed, Bath & Beyond. Now I am confusing myself.
It’s just a word but I get your point. I think there is a big difference between “Hobby Farming” and “Homesteading”. In Hobby Farming people will buy a chicken because they like it and it makes them happy. It is a pass time endeavor. Homesteaders work with a sense of urgency. They buy, hatch and raise chickens because it feeds them. Hobby Farmers might supplement their grocery bill with some home grown produce, Homesteaders grow food to preserve it, store it and live off of it.
My weaving is still sort of a hobby. It could become more. However, we are definitely homesteaders. We live with a sense of urgency about what we do.
It is an important difference. I live in a region where people pay others to develop wineries on the properties, but consider themselves to be farmers, as if they ever got their hands dirty. They are also instant experts on wine, I would not mind what others do so much, except that they moved in and displaced so much real agriculture that was actually useful for something. So much of what used to be a normal lifestyle is illegal here now. In town, it is illegal to hang laundry where it can be seen from the roadway out front. We can not repair vehicles within view. We can not cut down our own trees for firewood, and if we could, we can only burn the wood on designated ‘burn days’, and only if we have a fireplace that survived the earthquake and predates the ordinances that outlawed fireplaces.