Ever since childhood fabrics have appealed to me especially the way they feel and how they drape on the body. For many years I worked in magazine publishing sales and was drawn to the home decorating magazines I represented Country Living, ELLE Decor, Home, House Beautiful and Metropolitan Home (sadly closed). The editorial features influenced my connection to home decor.
The craft of weaving enables me to take that appreciation of fabric and to handloom fine textiles for the person and the home. Watching the stands of warp and weft yarns turn into cloth is a never-ending source of delight and satisfaction.
I have an aesthetic preference for weaving patterns that produce clean and classic lines such as huck boxes and twill blocks. I predominantly turn to Marguerite Porter Davison’s book, A Handweavers Pattern Book for inspiration. Though it is out-of-print copies can still be found especially online.
When I choose a color a number of factors come into play. For the huck boxes table runners I select colors that let the pattern shine through and which coordinate with any decorating scheme. I cannot resist colors with rich tones for my winter scarves. For my very open lace scarves I want the colors to enhance the lightness of the pattern.
In many ways fiber is the driver in weaving. Cotton is lovely to work with in a table runner but it’s also excellent in scarves. So many customers have told me that they do not care for the scratchiness of most wools. Not only is cotton soft against the neck but it also has respectable insulating properties. Tencel is a revelation especially because the fibers imbue the scarf with a shimmer. Bamboo is just so skin friendly and the drape is exquisite. I have not banished wool from my repertoire. That’s why I have woven winter scarves with a yarn that 65% cotton and 35% angora – this is a marriage made in heaven.
As I continue on my weaving journey I make sure to set aside time to attend workshops, classes and presentations. Here are some of my favorite ones: Introduction to Rug Weaving – Jason Collingwood; Harrisville Design Center, Harrisville, NH; July 20 – July 24, 2015. Introduction to Lace Weaves, Block Weaves 101, and Eight Shafts…. Now What? – Dena Gartenstein Moses at New England Weavers Seminar; Northampton, MA; July 9 -10, 2015. Twined Rugs – Alice Kane; Florence, MA; March 25, 2015. Open Your Weaving Horizons – Deborah Kaplan; Florence, MA; November 19, 2014. Skip Twills – Ginny Bridge; Northampton, MA; November 11, 2014. Inspiration for the Color Challenged – Daryl Lancaster; Northampton, MA; October 15, 2014. Weave a Memory – Daryl Lancaster; Northampton, MA; October 14, 2014.