It’s all about the Details

Area 4 of the Connecticut Guild of Handweavers is setting up a monumental weaving display in Old Lyme, at the Historical Society on Lyme Street.  This location is the old grange building.

One of our members, Stephanie, has temporarily brought a large Clements loom to the building in order to demonstrate weaving traditional coverlets for the next few months or longer.  It is a behemoth of a loom, with a 9-foot weaving width!  It takes four people to weave:  two people sit on the bench and coordinate working the two sets of treadles, while another two people have to stand at the sides of the loom to throw the shuttle, catch it, and send it back.  This will be a challenging exercise in team work!  I can’t wait to try it!

Right now we are winding a 9-ft. wide sectional warp of moderately fine cotton.  We have 54  2″ sections to wind.

Photo by Jody Brewer

As you can see, it takes a few of use to beam the warp as well.  It will certainly be a project that involves all of us helping out in various ways.  Several members plan to weave coverlets for themselves, and the rest of us will be needed to stand in as the team of four weavers.

Jody got a photo of me at the other end of the loom.  The loom is on a stage so there is terrific lighting.

Photo by Jody Brewer

We are meeting on Tuesdays and Saturdays to work on this, and we plan to be weaving the first coverlet by the last week in July.  If you are in the area, stop by on one of those two days!

Meanwhile, at home, I have been working on an old Torchon lace project from a few years back.  I cut off about a yard of this lace a couple of years ago to embellish a linen tank top.  It’s a small lace edging that would be perfect on a baby garment. With the baby arriving in December, I need to churn out this lace, especially if I’m also making the garment to go with the it!

This has led me to time how long it takes me to make this little lace edging.  Two repeats of the pattern is one inch long.  I can do two repeats in about 25 minutes, give or take.  Hmmm… that amount of time sounded pretty discouraging to me until I then calculated that one yard of this edging would take about 15 hours to weave.  That sounds much better to me.  I’ve been working on it a couple of hours a day since Saturday at my monthly lace meeting.


When I cut it off for my linen top a few years back I only left about four inches attached to the pillow.  Today I measured it and found that my efforts here and there over the past few days have advanced the edging to 20″!!  That should mean that I have less than eight hours to go!

Last Friday, when I attended Kathi Spangler’s funeral mass, I met three very intriguing women in Kathi’s life:  her daughter, her sister, and her mother.  I was moved by how much they looked like her, how much of her I could feel emanating from each of them.  It was quite comforting to know how she lives on in each of her close relatives.  Of course she lives on in each of us, but it shows in her female relatives because you can see Kathi looking out from their eyes–young Kathi in her daughter’s eyes, a very familiar Kathi in her sister’s, and the Kathi we will never get to know in her mother’s eyes.  These three women were wearing scarves Kathi  had made for each of them, and the women of our guild had a good showing of Kathi-inspired ‘surprise’ scarves.  It was a moving celebration.

One day last week, two friends stopped by my house for a bit.  Jody returned my little container of limpet shells that I collected in the Bahamas, and we spread them out on the kitchen island to pick out a few buttons for the first baby sweater I’ve knitted.  Here they are!


The little limpets on the bonnet will be used to attach a ribbon on each side for tying.  I just need to find a good color of cream …or maybe one of the warm colors in the limpets…for the ribbon.

In my studio I have some yarns that Kathi shared with me that are waiting to become fabric.  I will enjoy thinking of her as I dress the loom and weave.  Right now I’m struggling to thread the pattern and wondering what has happened to my brain.  I’m making a LOT of mistakes in what should be a simple huck threading.  I’m hoping its just a temporary residual effect of anasthesia and not that I’m truly becoming feathery…


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