I have the good fortune to belong to two great weaving guilds.
One is the NOBO Handweavers of Newburyport, MA. We formed just a little over a year ago and it blows me away how wonderful this group is.
The other group I belong to is the Weavers Guild Of Boston, the oldest guild in the country. Also a great group of weavers with the extra advantage of having most of the day devoted to our monthly meeting.
Starting at 10:00 AM there are morning workshops. Then there’s a lunch break (and a quick trip to their extensive library!), some business and finally a wonderful afternoon speaker.
Yesterday was the first meeting of the 2009/2010 season and I attended a class called “Wiggles, Squggles and Lines” presented by Marjie Thompson of Cumberland, ME.
It was a history lesson, plus detective work, of deciphering weaving drafts from the past. Reading pattern drafts is what I stumbled with the most when I first started weaving. Still do from time to time!
Marjie is an extraordinary scholar of weaving history. She explained to us that paper was a precious commodity in the past. So, weavers developed their own shorthand versions of writing down their drafts to economize on paper use. This was different for each person and that’s where the detective work comes in.
Here are a few of the examples Marjie shared with us:
Marjie explained what each draft represented, which is good because I couldn’t figure out any of them on my own.
It was quite an interesting subject and maybe someday I’ll be able to read these wiggly, squiggly drafts.
In the meantime, I’m thankful for our abundance of paper and standardization!
P.S. I brought the bag Benita made for me to the guild meeting. Lots of compliments and it held everything I needed perfectly.
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I suppose the place to start, in my weaving world, is to introduce my looms.
There are many forms of weaving and many types of looms.
I’ll start with my dream loom, my Swedish Glimarka.
I was quite lucky when a friend emailed me one day with the link to a Craigslist listing. She asked “Isn’t this your dream loom”?
No kidding! The price for this 135cm Glimarka Standard counter balance loom was excellent and it was within driving distance.
Don’t ask how I got it all home in my Civic…
Suffice it to say, part of it went on the roof and was tied down like a mummy.
The previous owner was moving to Florida and wanted her loom to go to a good home- it did!
Her son is an engineer and labeled every single part and where it went. Assembling it was flawless thanks to him.
This loom is the loom I never thought I’d find in my price range. Thanks to Theresa for tipping me off to it and to Jane for letting me adopt it.
I’ve named her Vivian, Viv for short. Vav is the Swedish word for weave and Vivian means life. I celebrate my life in so many ways but
“vaving” on my Viv is one of the best!
More looms to come…
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I recently had the good fortune to have been in a Weaver’s Swap that Dave Daniels (www.TheWeavingStudio.com)
and Benita Story (www.basicallybenita.com) created.
The challenge was as follows:
Weave a cotton fabric, choosing our own pattern draft and colors.
The fabric was to measure two yards by 12″ to 18″ wide.
Mail this fabric to our swap partners.
Each participant was to cut off a yard and keep it.
Just keep it for what ever we saw fit to use it for .
The other yard of hand woven fabric was to be fashioned into some type of bag- tote, knitting, overnight… you name it!
We were encouraged to add interesting lining fabric, buttons, pockets and even to weave straps.
Once done, the bag would be mailed back to the original weaver.
This is what I’d call a win-win swap.
My partner was the much talented weaver, Benita.
We had such a good time dropping emails back and forth.
I made a new weaving friend and received a beautiful bag back.
Here it is!
I love this bag!
Benita really nailed down exactly what kind of bag I needed and did a class act in putting it together.
I call it my “Goldilocks” bag because it’s just right.
Now that Benita’s received her bag I can share the photos of it here:
Benita’s lovely fabric really inspired me. My best “light bulb” moment was when I decided to make it reversible.
Here’s a link to Benita displaying the final product. The look on her face is priceless!
Check out Dave’s website to see all the participant’s finished bags:
This was such an enjoyable swap!
I can’t wait to see what next year’s challenge will be.
Than you so much Benita and Dave!
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Here’s my small contribution to the weaving world.
I’ve been very fortunate to finally learn how to weave and join a larger weaving community. It’s been a lifelong goal of mine and finally made possible because of a special place called Loom With A View.
Betsy Martin opened up her weaving haven in Newburyport, MA a little over two years ago and it was an answer to a prayer.
I learned to weave from Margaret Russell, a teacher at LWAV. Margaret is such a fabulous instructor and has such great insights. For example “there’s nothing that can’t be fixed” and “enjoy every step of the weaving process”.
The great part of discovering Loom With A View was discovering all the other amazing weavers in the area. In less than a year’s time, we had formed a vibrant weaving guild, NOBO Handweavers (www.nobohandweavers.com).
There’s so much talent in this group but it’s the character of our members that impresses me the most. Funny, kind and generous are just a few of the traits that come to mind.
I’m looking forward to sharing my weaving adventures along with my other adventures. I’m always finding fun and interesting things it seems!
Here’s a perfect example;
I discovered this while taking a hike on some trails one day.
Lady Slipper’s are my favorite woodland flower but I never expected to find this carved rock in the woods. It was quite old and had carvings on all four sides. It would appear to be from the 1700’s.
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