The past few days have been mighty gloomy in southern New Mexico. Typically cold weather is to be expected in winter, but the past two weeks have been punctuated by gray clouds covering the sky and hiding the mountains, and cold, drizzly rain. While I know deep in my heart that more rain in winter means the possibility of poppies in the spring and more water in the reservoirs for irrigation (and perhaps the occasional tubing excursion down the Rio).
While cold and wet weather like this is the perfect excuse to curl up in the evenings and on the weekends and read a good book or three, it’s also a great reason to spend time (indoors) with friends eating too much and laughing away the gloom. Something about being with people you love and enjoy makes even the grayest of winter days seem better than the sunniest day in May. So throughout the coldest months we all find reasons to have potlucks, dinner parties, and get-togethers; excuses to keep the cabin fever at bay while we ignore the weather.
Part of the fun of having a group over to the house (at least for me) is putting out a grand spread of food and decorating my dining room to make it extra inviting. This means handwoven runners on the tables, handwoven napkins in a pile next to the plates, and generally a towel or two thrown around the kitchen for some more color. Of course, with the rain outside, I have a perfect reason to warp up the loom and get to weaving some new winter-inspired décor for future get-togethers.
Right now I have a variation on Pattie Graver’s overhost Bertha’s Towels on my table as a fanciful overshot runner, but I’m also looking at weaving up Lyn Lucas’s gorgeous Sparkling Snowflake Runner. I don’t have any lace-weight bamboo at the moment, but I do have some 10/2 cotton in a silvery blue that would probably do fine in a pinch—and it should work just fine in the hems as well. We don’t get much snow this far south, so having a few snowflakes on my table will be a nice reminder of the years spent in much snowier Colorado.
I’m also sorely tempted by Tracy Kaestner’s runner, it’s simple log cabin pattern in warm burgundy and rich gold that can be woven on just two shafts (always a benefit) in either 16/2 linen, 22/2 cottolin, or 8/2 cotton. I’m always a fan of log cabin—it’s such a simple structure but it packs a powerful visual punch.
Whatever I weave next, it will be a good reason to get back on the loom and create something beautiful to add a bit more color to contrast the brown and gray New Mexican winter days as we patiently wait for the first signs of spring.