Kittens and the Loom: A Cautionary Tale

I received a Gallinger loom as a gift from a dear friend and teacher. My mom and I assembled it in my attic, with help from a close friend’s engineer father (let’s be real, he probably undid everything we put together and reassembled it better).

No instructions, but can’t be that hard to put together, right?

I downloaded an online class about weaving on floor looms, and jumped into making something with both feet! I love learning new skills, and weaving has always fascinated me. I carefully measured out my warp, and wound it over and over and over on the warping board, or if you are talking to my partner “that wood square with the things sticking out of it.”

So orderly, so pretty!

I painstakingly threaded the heddles (seriously, it was tedious and painful sometimes – I was not prepared for the circus level of contortions I would need to do to get this done in the small space my loom is in. Put it somewhere else you say? My four-year-old says it best: No.) and attached the warp to the front apron dowel, aka the thing in the front of the loom.

This is exactly the amount of PITA as it looks.

And for two months, I would take any spare five, ten, sometimes even THIRTY minutes, and sneak upstairs to weave. It was lovely. It was glorious. I reveled in it. I finished fabric for two pillows and just needed to start a third, and then I could take off my First Woven Thing off of my loom for all to ooh and aah over.

Artsy AND functional!

But then …life happened. My napping baby turned into a non-napping toddler (I grieved for the loss of that nap. GRIEVED). Then I was pregnant with my second child and this time my body thought it would be fun to make up for all the lost morning sickness I didn’t get to enjoy with my first pregnancy. Getting out of bed to use the bathroom, much less up the stairs to do anything, was a monumental task. The loom waited.

And waited. And waited.

And then we got kittens. Sort of by accident. Really! I mean, I wanted to get another cat after we lost one of our older cats, and then these guys were feral babies in my brother and sister-in-law’s backyard, and they were just so cute and cuddly and fuzzy and feisty… it’s really their own fault. How dare you be adorable, kittens??!

I mean really, the cute is just out of control.

Because of logistics in our house, their first month of staying with us was spent confined to the attic. They were TERRORS. They found my stash of alpaca fiber and “redecorated;” they knocked over baskets of ribbon and unrolled every single one; they found a bin of tiny skeins of yarn I didn’t even know I had and I’m still finding those things in random corners. But they left my loom alone, phew. We let them out of their confinement a couple months ago, and they have integrated completely into our family pandemonium.

And then last week, I went upstairs on an innocent errand. And found THIS:


They have used it as trampoline, climbing wall, and scratching post. I’m sure if I looked closely, there are probably holes from tiny kitten teeth chewing on the edges. The fabric is TOAST. I will have to cut the warp and start again.

Moral of the story: kittens are cute so they survive. And nothing you love is safe from them. Accept it, as they are our adorable, fluffy overlords.

Surveying his new dominion.

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