My real birthday is coming up this week (I got my gift a few weeks ago, a brand new Nook e-reader, which I am enjoying a LOT. My dentist even commented on how neat it was.) so I treated myself to a new weaving book. It's an actual paper-in-your-hands book, not one for the Nook. You don't get many weaving e-books.
The title I got was "Woven Treasures", a book about weaving bags on a rigid-heddle loom. As you may have guessed, I am seriously neglecting my Kromski Harp loom, which was my birthday gift last year. My first project is still on it, untouched. Why? I did my usual thing and started too big too soon. I warped enough for six placemats long side to long side. While I enjoy the process of weaving, the stick shuttle provided with the 32" loom was as wide as the loom itself. I hated dealing with it. What I should have done was purchased, or fabricated, some smaller shuttles. And I should have started with a much smaller project, to gain confidence.
Besides, we don't have a dining table... when was I ever going to use placemats? :/
The woven treasures book not only shows simple 1x1 weaving, but has projects that use two heddles, plus some old-world techniques such as soumak, a kind of method where you twine the weft around pairs of warp threads as you go across, and piled weaving, such as is used in persian rugs. You're getting into bags that look like latch-hook at that point, but it was still neat to see an example of the technique.
Now I'm itching to try the beginner's bag, a small 3x6 woven bag with woven strap handle. My problem is that I only got one heddle with my Harp, and I would need to purchase a second heddle and a second heddle block. Add in a few smaller shuttles and you're talking about an investment of $85 on a device I've hardly used.
I'm going to have to think long and hard about this one.
The thing is, though, project bags are something I've always wanted to do on my Etsy shop, but my problem is that even commercial patterns like Butterick or Simplicity have end-user restrictions on whether the sewn items can be made for resale. Some of them are very explicit about it, some will say its okay, and some don't say one way or the other. If you really want to protect yourself from lawsuits, there's very few pattern options I'd feel completely comfortable using for the shop. And three guesses as to how many of them are even attractive or functional!
The solution of course, is to not use a pattern at all, or something so basic that no one can claim it. A woven, folded, and stitched rectangle fits that bill nicely. Add in some of my own designs for the decorative panels of fabric, and I'm golden.
But is the $85 investment a wise one?