If I believed in reincarnation, I would swear that I had been a weaver in another life. Of course, that wouldn’t have been much of a stretch since women (and some men) have been weaving for thousands of years. (If you doubt it, just see Women’s Work, the First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber.)
Unlike my weaving ancestors, I don’t weave as a practical necessity, but rather for the sheer pleasure of it.
As you look around this website you will quickly conclude—quite correctly—that I am something of a dilettante. I invite you to visit here from tie to time to see what has most recently captured my attention.
A number of years ago, we acquired a large collection of lace bobbins, many of them quite old, from the estate of a woman who was an avid collector of all things related to the fiber arts. We had no idea how they were used; we only knew they were beautiful.
In the back of my mind always was the thought that someday I should learn a little about lace-making so I could understand a little of how these lovely objects were used. Eventually, an opportunity presented itself and I took a weekend workshop in lace-making. I was immediately hooked, especially when I realized that bobbin lace is really a very sophisticated form of off-loom weaving: Each pair of bobbins, suspended from a pin and resting on a lace pillow, can work either as warp or as weft. By simply repeating two basic movements with two pairs of bobbins at a time, one can create the lovely bits of highly embellished cloth that we call lace.
After mastering a few of the basic techniques, it was a natural move to adapt the process to the weaving yarns I use most often and produce intricate looking edgings for the edges of the handwovens coming off my looms. At some point, I went from producing coordinated lace edgings for my handwovens to producing handwovens to set off the lace I was making.