[Sorry, item discontinued or temporarily out of stock] offers some great projects for weavers at a range of skill levels, as well as helpful articles. This issue is especially helpful if you’re in the market for a new loom as it features a “Loom Buyer’s Guide,” and several expert articles, including “Choosing the Perfect Loom” by Deb Essen, and Tom Kniseley’s “Notes From the Fell: Notes on Looms”. This issue of Handwoven will help you select the right equipment for your weaving pursuits. (When in doubt you can always call us too – we’re happy to help with personalized recommendations!)
I especially enjoyed Cameron Taylor-Brown’s Spotlight article “Weaving on a Black Mountain Loom,” in which she discusses her experience of weaving at the UCLA Hammer Museum on a loom that was used by Anni Albers. The exhibit, Leap Before You Look: Balck Mountain College 1933-1957, sounds intriguing, and the weaving Taylor-Brown created is beautiful. The author points out that “At Black Mountain, the [Albers] continued to advocate the Bauhaus philosophy that all art media are of equal merit.” When I see the incredible passion, purpose, and expertise that go into many weavers’ craft I agree that it merits as substantial an appreciation as any fine art.
In the Traditions column Laverne Waddington shares her experiences in Bolivia. Her article, “Bandweaving in the Central Bolivian Highlands – A View to the Future,” is a fascinating glimpse into an ancient practice. From intricate decorative bands, to larger pieces woven on vertical looms that lean against a simple frame, the colors and patterns are truly beautiful. The author points out that while most of us are careful to create and protect our warp cross with ties and sticks of some kind, these weavers deftly manage their crosses with their fingers and often secure the warp to a simple peg or to their own toes. A truly portable and beautiful art that has been practiced for many generations, these backstrap weavers are training new weavers as well.
Although thousands of miles apart, the theme of balancing historical practices with modern culture, is similar to that shared by Navajo tapestry weaver Lynda Teller Pete at the talk we heard her give last week at NEWS. In a craft as old as weaving there is an inevitable tension between preserving cultural history, including languages and traditional designs, while also welcoming the energy and interests of the next generations. Weaving has always been a living craft, and it is inspiring to see where and how this tension between past and present sparks new dialogue and creativity.
For more about Laverne’s work, and great inspiration and instructions for backstrap weaving, check out her website here. Also, for more about Lynda Teller Pete and her sister Barbara Teller Ornelas, check out the video in Emily’s NEWS post!
Fall Weaving Projects
Finally, for those of you itching to get a new project onto your loom, this issue features 10 great ideas. Here are a few of our favorites, along with recommendations for the materials you’ll need to get underway!
If Laverne Waddington’s bandweaving piece piqued your interest, try these simple Andean Bands. They make a great cuff bracelet, key fob or decorative patch to stitch onto a bag – or make them longer and use as a bag handle or trim piece. Use 3/2 Pearl Cotton Yarn, in a dark, medium and light tone so that the design really pops. This is a great way to use small amounts of yarn leftover from other projects, or get affordable mini-cones in your choice of colors! Bands are woven on an inkle loom with 24 heddles. (Directions and materials listed will make a 1.25″ by 53″ finished band.)
Warp: approximately 64 yards of color A (border color), and 16 yards each of colors B and C.
Weft: approximately 23 more yards of color A, or another contrasting color.
David’s Towels, by Tracy Kaestner.
Woven in an easy and affordable unmercerized cotton, like Homestead 8/2 Cotton Yarn, these colorful and absorbent towels are named for the 8-shaft [Louet David loom] on which they were woven. You’ll need a loom with a 25″ weaving width, 12-dent reed, a shuttle, and four bobbins to weave these towels. The project makes four finished towels 20.5″ wide.
Color A (lime): 320 yds, Color B (turquoise): 1,090 yds, Color C (lilac): 440 yds, Color D (plum): 760 yds
Color B (turquoise): 55 yds, Color C (lilac): 737 yds, Color E (cream): 1,121 yds, Color F (iris) 506 yds.
Simply Swedish Shawl
This lightweight wool shawl, by Suzie Liles, is done in Swedish lace on a 4-shaft loom with a minimum 17″ weaving width and 10-dent reed. You’ll just need 1 shuttle and bobbin. The finished shawl is 15.5″ by 72″ plus a 5″ fringe at both ends. Weave this tonal shawl in two close colors of JaggerSpun Superfine Merino 2/18's Yarn for a soft and warm piece. Warp: 1,002 yds Color A. Weft: 798 yds Color B. (You’ll only need 2 mini cones of each color for the project.)
Try these combinations – or experiment with your own!
Remember: multi-shaft looms ship free at Halcyon Yarn. Call or email us anytime and we can help you select just the right loom and tools for all your weaving needs!