Friday, January 15, 2010

Slow Cloth

It wasn't my intent to adopt even slower methods of producing cloth, but it seems that's where I am right now.  Here's my everyday tapestry so far, with Jan. 15 still in progress:

The overall effect is kind of random and wonky, but I'm showing up each day and weaving just what speaks to me for the day.  Sorry about the muddy picture, but I'm weaving it in a room without windows.

And here we have a bit of Old Shale lace knitted with spindle spun yarn:

Back in October I ordered a Turkish Delight spindle from Jenkins Woodworking. Wanda tucked a sample of Optim fiber in the package with the spindle.  Here you see it spun up as 2 ply lace weight yarn and knitted into an 8" x 12" swatch.  It's an interesting fiber to work with, but I think prefer natural fibers that haven't been messed with.

So, tapestry weaving with butterflies and handpicked sheds and spindle spinning lace weight much slower can you get?

Well.....spending all your time leafing through reference books will tend to slow one down as well.  These are part of my Christmas and birthday haul of books.  Each one is a "Books fall open, you fall in" kind of experience.

The thing that blows my mind about these marvelous reference books is this:  
Bertha Gray Hayes and Irene Emery compiled the information in their books in the days before personal computers.  And Helen Bress had access to computers, but she started this book ~27 years ago, so not computers as we know them in the 21st century. 
Now that is truly the weaving equivalent of "in my day we walked to school which was 5 miles away, in the snow, up hill both ways."  These women are amazing and I am awed by their work.

Helene Bress' Coverlet Book(s) is well reviewed on Weavezine .  If you'd like me to review any of the others you see here, let me know.

Just one more book recommendation as we contemplate the earthquake disaster in Haiti.  If you want to know more about the complexities of delivering health care in Haiti read  Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. 


  1. nestra11:48 AM

    I'd love to hear your thoughts on the Primary structure of fabrics and the weaving designs book, particularly if you think they would be useful to a newbie weaver.

  2. I think it is lovely to slow down. The slower the better for me. Allows more time to appreciate and savor the goodness.

    Your spindle spun lace swatch is gorgeous.

    "Books fall open, you fall in"--they are the best kind....

  3. I have long been in awe of the amount of work and dedication that weaving book writers of old must have gone through. NOw it is so simple for us to whip up a draft on the computer.

  4. I see we are at one with the spindle spinning and slow weaving :). Lovely both them, thanks for sharing.

    It's probably a personality issue or the time of year, or both....

  5. Your tapestry is beautiful! I love the idea of working on something like that a little each day and just doing what seems appropriate in that moment.


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