In this month’s newsletter, you’ll find:
Charming vintage weaving advertisements
A new newsletter for weavers
Soap bags for everyone!
Pattern sneak peek
A Kaffiyah Study
I’ve just added this original cyanotype print on handmade paper to my online shop. I discovered it stashed in an envelope in my closet (alongside some x-rays…). I made it years ago as part of a series on plants that can be used for papermaking. It’s a cyanotype, one of the earliest methods of making photographs that only needs the sun to create the exposure. I also made the jute paper it’s printed on!
If you’d be interested in learning more about this limited edition, please visit my shop listing by clicking the button below.
Handweaver & Craftsman
I have a weaving fairy godmother who shuffles all sorts of interesting things my way; most recently a number of issues of the magazine Handweaver & Craftsman from the 1950’s. It’s very different than what I see in weaving magazines today — almost no drafts, lots of long form articles, including, in the Winter 1952-53 issue, an article by Lili Blumenau titled Textiles in the United Nations Buildings. A black and white image of a tapestry by Marianne Richter/Märta Måås-Fjetterström accompanied the article — I googled it to learn more and see better pictures, but quickly learned the sad ending through Anne Whidden’s wonderful The Swedish Rug Blog. It’s a strange to experience two presents at once: the present excitement in 1952/3 of the installation of this incredible piece, which took a whole year to weave*, and then reading today how it was destroyed by the application of a fire retardant (!!!) (*The Swedish Rug Blog says it took two years, though the article in H&C says one)
I always enjoy looking at old advertisements, a few of which I’ve collaged below for you to enjoy too. I love the typography, the funny logos, the prices — and weavers! So many weavers.
I’ve mentioned in the past that I’m signed up for both Megan Samms’ and Arianna Funk’s weaving/studio newsletters, and now my friend Christine Jablonski is offering one too! Christine’s newsletter will be published alongside weaving patterns and explore the many things she’s learned from her time as a weaver but also through her role as Gist Yarn’s Director of Operations. Sign up for it by clicking the button below.
Anita P. emailed me some pictures of some wonderful soap bags that she has adapted from my Soap Bag pattern. Anita started with my pattern and then continued to tweak and change it until it suited her needs and materials — I think it is such a compliment that my patterns inspire weavers to explore and learn more, and it’s definitely why I try to include a lot of extra information in them. Anita’s now selling her modified soap bags through her local soap maker (The Sudsy Cow). If you would like to see Anita’s other textiles, you can visit her on Instagram here.
I’ve been working on a number of different patterns that will be coming out in the latter half of this year. It’s meant that I just haven’t found the time (yet) to make any patterns for my own website, but I hope weavers will really like what I’ve been working — here’s a little peek at one that I’ve just finished.
A Kaffiyeh Study
There’s a thoughtful new weaving apprenticeship you may like to follow along with called Weaving to Reclaim - A Kaffiyeh Study. It’s between two artists, Fern and Fatme, located in Amiskwacîwâskahikan/Edmonton, who met in 2017 and have “developed a friendship rooted in a shared passion for community connection and a fascination with textiles.”
Fern, who is a weaver and runs Fern’s School of Craft, will be working together with Fatme to support her dream to hand weave a Kaffiyeh, a scarf that’s associated with and symbolizes Palestinian identity. Textile cultural heritage is something that personally really interests me and I can’t wait to learn alongside Fatme and Fern as they share their collaboration.
The first thing I think of is of course “who hand weaves keffiyeh??” which lead me to a short video on YouTube about a man who still runs a keffiyeh making workshop in Hebron. Fascinating!
I think I had better stop there — I’m sure I have more things that I’d like to share, like this incredible Peruvian string bridge that I saw on The Guardian this morning, but I need to draw the line somewhere…
Please hit reply or read the newsletter in your browser to leave a comment or let me know what you think about anything you read here. I’d be so grateful if you shared my newsletter with your weaving, craft, and textile-obsessed pals.
If you’re looking for good summer weaving projects, please visit my online shop and look at my weaving patterns — linen sure does behave nicely in the humidity of an Ontario summer, so I’m considering making up some more Linen Bread Bags in particular!