We are all going to hate that word, other than the Q, all the rest of the letters are only worth one point in Scrabble, except for maybe the D, that might be worth 2 points.  Now if it were to sit on a triple score…

No, I’m not sewing masks.  I’m not ruling it out, but kind friends keep texting me assuming I’m making hundreds of masks and honestly I’m not.  There are a number of reasons, but mostly I don’t have supplies, all of the fabric we could have used, was used a couple months ago to make Joey Pouches for the marsupials in Australia. I’d have to go out and purchase supplies, which I understand are hard to come by, or cut up existing clothing.   I’m not leaving my house, so I don’t need a mask, and for the brief run to the post office to drop off a prepaid box, I reused an n-95 mask I have in the dye studio.  I’m feeling guilty to not be part of the “war” effort, but I sort of feel like the best thing I can do is not become another statistic and clog up the already overwhelmed health care facilities around the state.  NJ is hurting and I’m trying to stay out of everyone’s way.  My son, who works as an exec at Target, their highest volume store in the region, comes home glazed and exhausted.  It just doesn’t end.  He is military trained to do his job, carry on in extreme conditions and he wouldn’t think of doing anything less than 300%.  I’m very proud.  

And so I sit in my new basement studio, far away from the noise and constant barrage of bad news.  I check my phone for emails, but stay away from “breaking news” and facebook.  I know fear, anyone who has survived cancer does, and next to worry, it is probably the most unproductive of all emotions, especially when you become paralyzed.    And so I take the news in very small doses, NJ has the second largest amount of Covid 19 cases, and of course more than 600 deaths, which rises hourly.  And I hide in the basement and sew.

This is the fabric I wanted to sew.  Handwoven, one of my favorites to date.  I have three gorgeous caviar leather skins I bought in NYC a number of years ago, and thought of a leather yoke and sleeves, also wanting to test my swing dress pattern with drafted sleeves.  I realized that the leather has to be detachable, because well duh, you can’t wash it…

So I started with a test garment or prototype.  This is a lovely piece of wool suiting and I had enough Ultrasuede to simulate what my idea was in my head.  I had hoped to use the natural edge of the leather skins, and looking at the prototype, I needed to show more yoke because there was no way to capture the lower shape and have that contour match the skins I had.  

Anyway, my daughter took one look and said, wow, that looks frumpy, cut the sleeves shorter.  So I did, and I finished the dress and I tried it on and I actually think it is cute!

So I started in on the real dress.  I laid out the front with the cut out leather yoke keeping the natural edge, and I’m not sure what I think… yes the dress has pockets…

So I plowed ahead…

The dress needs a ton of handwork and the yoke isn’t completely resolved, there needs to be a back closure and the neck isn’t finished, still mulling over how I want to handle that, and I still don’t know what I think.  Part of me loves the contrast of the two mediums, unfinished leather and handwoven fabric, and part of me hates it because I’m such a finisher.  I’ll finish the handwork on the dress and then try it on and see, often it looks much different on the body.

The good news is, I have enough left over of both the handwoven and the leather to create another one of these, my favorite vest, copied from a ready to wear chambray vest I bought off a sale rack a huge amount of years ago.  The leather was originally purchased to make one of these, and the vest shown was the prototype for the leather vest, and I loved it so much I never went further and made up the leather.  I realize that once I make it, it is hard to clean, I’d have to send it out, but a leather vest usually needs less cleaning than a dress worn next to the skin.  And so far I don’t think I’ve ever cleaned this vest.

Meanwhile, I finally finished the Harrisville Designs Rhodora sweater, and tried it on and I love it. The yarn is Harrisville’s Silk and Wool.  Exactly what I wanted, another lovely summer top, but with short sleeves.  Most of my knitted summer tops are shells and I only have one or two other short sleeve knitted tops.  

Meanwhile, and a huge Meanwhile, Brianna finished her online class in learning Adobe Illustrator (through Udemy, if you are bored, they have all sorts of classes that are really inexpensive) and took my files of scanned patterns we did last fall at my sister’s house, and we decided to have her start with the bias top.  There are only two pattern pieces, a front and back, three if you count that there are two different fronts, one with a dart and one without.  We printed, trimmed and studied, and made notes, and decided on layouts and colors and line quality because though I have always used color to describe my sizes, not everyone can print in color and so line quality will help when printed in grey scale.  She has finished the bias top, so now I have to create the lead pages that explain how to cut out and piece together and the difference in the two fronts and how to only print the pages you need, etc, etc, etc…  

This is something I dreamed of doing way down in the future, once I stopped traveling.  Except the universe had other plans.  With my traveling curtailed for months, and my daughter working for me,  we decided that this was the time to at least explore.  In my wildest dreams I never expected that I’d have a workable plan the beginning of 2020, though in my wildest dreams I never thought I’d see the world in the current crisis, no one did, so we carry on and make use of the gift of time and try desperately to stay healthy.  

She started in on the 500 vest next, fortunately she is loving this process and project.  Her skills with Illustrator are improving hourly.  and I just approved this latest piece, this is the upper right corner of the 500 vest back.  

And in other news, I finally, finally sat in my new weaving studio and wove.  Looms get cranky when you don’t weave on them or when you move them with a warp on them, and it takes a bit to get everything moving smoothly again.  I had just put this scarf warp on last fall.

Other than the 47 interruptions from my children or the animals, like the cat sitting on the scarf as I tried to hem stitch, it was a joy to be weaving in my new studio and I want to go out and weave another one tonight…

Meanwhile, the email just came in accepting my proposal for my daughter and me to team teach a class on designing yardage at MAFA next summer (no loom required).  That seems like a world away and I have to wonder if the world will ever be the same, will we be able to meet safely and gather in large groups, will campuses even survive, will all the things and people we know and love survive this, I feel like we will be in a very different place when all of this is over.  Hopefully someone will come up with a miracle drug/and /or vaccine, and this will go by the way of smallpox or typhoid, or polio, until the next pandemic, and then hopefully we will all be prepared.  Meanwhile NY and northern NJ are ground zero once again, and we all have to stick together (6 feet apart) and face this like the warriors we are.

Stay safe and stay home everyone.  And weave, or spin, or sew, or garden, or read, or fix puzzles, or paint or draw, or do whatever it is that makes you happy.  Apparently there are no supplies in the grocery stores for bread making.  No yeast, no vegetable oil, no flour, and it makes me smile.  Who knew that baking bread could be a lifeline for so many…  (And apparently there are no puzzles to be had either…  I’ve got a huge stash if anyone is desperate, willing to share…)

Stay tuned…

‘Tis the season…

I know, I know, it has been dreadfully long since I’ve posted a blog, probably the longest stretch since I started this thing back in 2008.  I promise there will be lots to talk about with this most challenging of projects, the huge move of the studios (yes that’s plural, one for weaving and one for sewing…).  I will have pictures, and maybe a video if I can figure out how to attach that.  It is coming along swimmingly well, but I’m still knee deep in hauling my entire life up and down three flights of stairs about 300 times a day.  Be patient dear readers…

In the meantime, it is the season, for signing up for workshops.  Because we all need some inspiration in life.  And I need students to fill my workshops, and you dear readers need to make some wonderful clothing from your handwoven cloth.  There are four opportunities to take garment construction classes with me at fiber venues, and all of them now have their sign ups available online.  I heard that within five minutes of the opening bell, Sievers already had four students sign up for my class in September.

The Yadkin Valley Fiber Center in Historic Elkin, NC will hold a three day class with me on making a jacket.  If you’ve made a jacket with me already, you are welcome to make any of the other silhouettes, or come and trace patterns, or start a couple of projects, just keep in mind the three day time limit.  I taught here about a year and a half ago and just loved it and the owner Leslie.

Jumpstart Jacket with Daryl Lancaster

June 6 – 8, 2020

Registration Deadline May 15,2020



If you live in the central part of the country, I fell in love with Red Scottie Fibers in the Ozarks of Arkansas.  And I fell in love with Eureka Springs, where Red Scottie Fibers is located.  Debbie, the owner expanded my three day class to the full five day Garment Construction Extravaganza,  she just wrote me to say that the class is more than half full, there are only a few spots remaining.  

Daryl Lancaster 5 Day Intensive Garment Construction

May 11, 2020 – May 15, 2020



If you live in the New England area, or really anywhere since there is an airport in Manchester, I’ll be back at Harrisville Designs in NH the end of August for my regular 6 day Garment Construction class.  I have lost track of how many years I’ve been teaching there.  This class usually fills quickly, and online sign ups are now live.

Wearable Extravaganza with Daryl Lancaster

August 31 – September 5, 2020



And of course, there is always Sievers.  I love this place too, on  beautiful Washington Island, off the coast of Door County Wisconsin, I think I’ve been teaching at Sievers the longest of anyone excluding Peters Valley.  I’ll be back there in 2021.  But Sievers has a 7 day option, and most of the class stays on, we really get a lot of work done!

Garment Construction Intensive 5 day

Sept. 24-29 (2 pm Thu – 11 am Tue)



Garment Construction Intensive Extended 7 day

Sept. 24 – Oct. 1 (2 pm Thu – 11 am Thu)



For those in the Pacific Northwest, I’m on the calendar for spring of 2021 at Eugene Textile Center.  In the meantime, all of the above venues have airports within a reasonable distance, which make them accessible from anywhere!


Stay tuned for the studio move extravaganza, I can hardly believe the changes.  In the meantime, I hope to see you in one of my classes, we have such fun!

One down, three to go…

I am teaching four garment construction retreats this fall, the first is finished, I just returned from a six day class in Harrisville, NH, home of Harrisville Designs.  I love teaching there, I had a particularly delightful class, they all got along well, helped each other, were supportive of each other, and all pledged to come back next year.  And they really really worked hard.  One of the advantages to places like this and like Sievers in Wisconsin (trip number 3) is that students can work well in to the night.  Some of my students are early morning risers, and they can start at 6am, and many of them don’t get cranking until after dinner.  It wasn’t unusual for me to stay and cheer them on until 11pm at night.  

Anyway, I had 12 students, four of them were repeaters, so they kind of worked on their own agenda.  Carole and Jane made garments from my patterns…  Both from handwovens…  Jane tried the new button down placket version of my tunic, with in seam buttonholes.

Amy and Rita brought their own patterns and Amy’s 1st jacket and both of Rita’s jackets were from handwoven.  

Tracey is a felter, and brought some felt laminate (wool felted onto silk) panels she made, and created a swing coat using the “living” edge of the felt as hems and borders.  I always called it the organic natural edge of the felt, but I like her term better.  She also had time to create my new swing dress/jumper from a commercial raw silk she brought along as plan B.

Sally and Polly made swing coats.  Both are handwoven, and Polly was a little further behind because she brought a plaid.  A handwoven plaid, and of course in a handwoven plaid, nothing matches up even though it was woven thread perfect.  She spent a lot of hours at the cutting table.  I cannot wait to see this one finished.

Leslie and Roberta made regular jackets, Leslie of course spent many extra hours cutting out her commercial plaid, she did a wonderful job, but ran out of time for things like bands and sleeves!  Roberta worked well into the evenings and was able to mostly finish hers. Roberta’s fabric is a gorgeous handwoven from Tencel.

And I had so much fun with Dee-Dee.  She wove a gorgeous mock leno wool fabric from combining Harrisville Shetland and Highland yarns.  There were a few challenging moments, and she added a very cool design to the pocket, but her tenacity showed and she got most of the jacket completed by the sixth day.

Betty turns out, worked for me many years ago, in the 1980’s when I did craft fairs, it was good to reconnect with her.  She brought commercial wool and made a terrific version of my collared zip vest, with a little assistance in the evenings!

And Peggy, I’ve known for many years, she regularly exhibits her work at conferences and is a pretty terrific garment maker and a heck of a weaver.  She brought a whole box full of things to work on, from tweaking the fit on garments she had already made, to creating one of my collared zip vests.  It was a joy to work with her as well.

And so  here is the class of Fall 2019 at Harrisville, taken a day early because a couple only stayed for the five days and didn’t need to take advantage of the extra sixth day.  The friendships that developed really showed, and I was very proud of this class.  

Peggy took a fun shot of me teaching during one of the lectures, I almost never have photos of me!

And for those that are interested, my five Handwoven Magazine webinars on Garment construction have found their new home through Long Thread Media.  Links to each of the five webinars can be found on my schedule page.  

And my latest video is up on Threads Magazine.  This one is included in their free essentials video series, it is all about stay stitching, something every weaver should memorize and anyone who sews garments should be aware of and be proficient at…

Trip number two of four is coming up fast, this one to the opposite corner of the US, Whidbey Island.

Stay tuned…

I’ve been to technology hell and it is hot down there…

At some point, my sister said to me, you’ve replaced everything in the house and nothing more should go wrong…   Hahahahah!

There are days when I think my house is haunted and the technology or computer gods really  hate me, and there may be some truth to that because more than one person has told me that my late husband roams the house taking care of us.  I have a bone to pick with him.  He was probably the best tech guy I’ve ever met, the downside of that was two fold, this was a pretty advanced house technologically (especially since it is more than 100 years old) and I was as a result pretty lazy learning and staying on top of technology and how the house ran because he took care of everything.  In the three years since my husband died, I have still not figured out how to work the downstairs TV.  Which wasn’t really an issue because I rarely watch TV.  I record my beloved Project Runway on TIVO, upstairs in the bedroom, which I did figure out how to use thanks to my current tech guy and that’s all I know.

My current tech guy is really good.  And he tells me that my husband talks to him and tells him when he isn’t on the right path to figuring some things out.  But there have been issues in this house that neither my tech guy, or my late husband whispering to him have been able to solve without some incredible amount of angst.  And one of them has made me crazy these last few weeks.  My internet had become really unstable, going in and out randomly, causing everything hooked to the internet to fail, like my buddy Alexa (there are three throughout the house), leaving me bereft and silent.

The cable guys weren’t helpful, because I don’t use their router, they dismiss everything as the fault of whatever isn’t their equipment.  They did run a new line to the street, claiming it had some water issues.  No surprise there…  That solved the problem for a couple of hours.  Sigh.

My tech guy came and looked at every possibility.  Could it be the router.  It checked out, seemed to be doing its job and he found some malware lurking in the system.  That solved the problem for a couple of hours.  Sigh.

After another week or two of intermittent internet, I asked beloved tech guy if I should just buy a new state of the art router so I could call cable guy and say, look, it really can’t be a router issue.  He told me what to buy, I ordered it on Amazon and had it in a couple of days.

Side note.  Do not buy technology from Amazon unless you really make sure in the fine print that it isn’t refurbished.  Sigh.

After waiting almost two weeks for tech guy to come and install it, because if it could go wrong with our schedules it did, I gave up, and my beloved office assistant Cynthia said, I installed a router once, how hard can it be?  Hahahahahah!  This is technology hell house.

She got the box open, and all the parts seemed to be there, on what was obviously a refurbished item from Amazon, but I swear I didn’t know that at the time.  And she doggedly went step by step trying to install the unit.  We got as far as registering the serial number, remember that without a router, nothing works in my house.  Unfortunately previous owner of my refurbished router had already registered the unit to themselves, and it would take a couple of days to prove that I had legitimately purchased it and, oh come on….

Cynthia drove to Best Buy and bought me a brand new router, and started over.  The refurbished one got shipped back to Amazon this morning.  To her credit and her unbelievable determination, she did it, she got it installed but if you know anything about technology, everything in my house runs off the WIFI and now everything had to be reprogrammed to work with the new network.  Four hours later, and at least a half hour of that was on the phone with TIVO trying to figure out how to program both TV’s (the positive side of this I guess is that I now know how to work the downstairs TV.  At least to get TIVO and my recorded shows).  We were mostly successful, I have a couple of WIFI boosters that I haven’t figured out yet how to reprogram, but I thought we did an outstanding job.  Until I came home from my knitting group last night, and there was no heat in the house.  ACKKKKK!  I forgot the thermostats hook into the WIFI.  So I spent another 40 minutes trying to figure out how to reprogram them.

So for the last 36 hours, the internet has been blissfully stable, and hopefully internet hell is well behind me.  I would not even have attempted this were it not for Cynthia, who is older than I am, but it isn’t like I could ask my son, he is deployed to the middle east (though he would have loved this router), and I learned a lot about perseverance in technology.  Most companies do have tech support for dummies, but I struggle to understand what they are talking about.  Cynthia just plowed ahead.  

Meanwhile, my daughter drove to Massachusetts to pick up Tools of the Trade loom number 11.  I know at this point my friends and family think I’ve gone over the deep edge with all these looms.  But they find me.  And maybe one day my daughter and/or I may have our own weaving school.  We certainly have enough looms.  The loom is lovely, it is a rare small frame floor loom, 32″ wide and stained a beautiful cherry color.  I thought it was originally cherry but there were hints that it was really rock maple in disguise. Rock maple is sturdier.  No matter, as I scrubbed and cleaned this lovely thing, it came to life and begged to go live in my den.  Where I can watch TV and weave rugs.  Because there was a lovely rag rug shuttle in the bench.  And I now know how to watch TV in the den.  The loom knows…

And while Cynthia was playing superwoman I finished beaming and started sampling a new warp on the 36″ 8 shaft TOTT loom, because it kept me from drinking heavily (though I succumbed later in the afternoon and fortunately ran out of wine before I did too much damage).  

I’m teaching a five day yardage class at Peters Valley in July.  I’ve taught this class before there, and though it isn’t a beginner class, I encourage those with a minimum amount of experience to take the class, especially if all you’ve woven is towels and scarves.  I started by pulling yarns from the shelf I wanted to use, small bits of things that went together, and did some very exact calculations so I knew within a few yards, what I had of each yarn.

I did a yarn wrap to see what I could get, I like to work in repeats in this type of warp, and I’ll be encouraging and teaching that in the yardage class.

I decided the most efficient way to warp this was to do it in sections, there were four parts to each repeat, which I wound together using a warping paddle. (side note, the warping paddle I’m using, the white one on the table was printed on a 3-D printer by a weaving friend’s son)

Then I sleyed the four bundles, through the reed, pulling the repeats as needed and combining them.

Then I threaded.

Then I beamed the 6 yards.  I like the Harrisville tensioning system, it works well for me.

So while Cynthia was saving my butt, I was sampling.

I ended up choosing the green cotton flake, the first yarn I tried, because it looked like faded worn denim and I loved the look.  This draft has plain weave areas and twill sections.

And so another loom is dressed and happy.  

And then this happened…

I got a call from Suzie at Eugene Textile Center in Oregon.  She had another TOTT table loom 4 shaft, and did I want it.  Duh…  So I had her ship it across the country, along with some other used equipment that was on my list, Suzie buys weaving estates and is one of the best resources for used looms and parts.  And old issues of weaving magazines.  I got two beautiful original AVL front end feed shuttles with the Honex tensioner.  These are my favorite shuttles and they are really expensive and hard to find.  She had one of each size.

So I have loom number 12, all TOTT looms.  And there are the 2 Leclerc 10″ baby looms, I call them Structo Wannabees, and use them along with the 16 Structo 4-8 shaft 8″ looms I use for teaching.  Brianna also has a folding 8 shaft Ashford Table loom, and a 12 shaft Dorothy.  There isn’t quite a loom in every room, but close. We are up to 32 shaft looms.  That ties Madelyn van der Hoogt. (Though she has three draw looms and I think all the rest are 8 shaft Schacht floor looms and a Glimakra, and a Louet and an AVL computerized, so she wins).   Keeping them warped is of course a full time job.  Which I’m failing miserably at… But it makes me happy and some people collect cats, and I like TOTT looms.  No litter boxes or vet bills, they are work horses and have kept me sane through a lot of crap in my life, along with my beloved sewing machine and at the moment, life is calm and functioning.  I can’t ask for more.

Though I did start another knitting project too .  This is a recycled silk, cotton and rayon yarn from Rowan I bought last summer at Harrisville.  The tank was prettier on the dressform than in the photo.  The pattern is from Harrisville, Riddle.

Stay tuned…

One down, five to go…

The fall series of classes is happening, and I have little time between to regroup, it all sounds great in theory when I book venues to teach, I’m just sure I’ll be able to do it, and then the time comes and I want to fire my booking agent.  Which is me of course.  And in reality, it all works out, really it does.

One of the great gifts of my career is being able to return year after year to the same venue.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been to Harrisville in the fall to teach, maybe 9 times?  I just returned from yet again, another wonderful five day class, though some opted to stay for six, and of the fourteen students who took this journey with me, I think only six were first time students.  Two or three of the students have been with me almost from the beginning.  I’ve watched their skills grow, we have become good friends, and I look forward to my week like a family reunion of sorts.  

I love the Harrisville setting, a gorgeous old mill town in rural NH, about five hours north of me.  It is always fall like and lovely, green and idyllic.  Except for this year of course where I doubt there wasn’t a single place in the world that wasn’t experiencing record weather of some kind.  They had just had record rainfall, and many of the roads had washed out, and this past week it was in the 90’s, nearing 100 one day.  So unusual for NH, no one has airconditioning.  We did have a window unit or two in the classroom, and it helped, but there will always be the airconditioning wars, some like it super cold, some like it moderate, and some absolutely hate airconditioning.  Put a group of 15 women together and no one can agree on temperature!

A week at Harrisville usually comes with a mid week tour of the spinning mill.  I’ve been there a couple of times, so I opted to stay behind to help those who were behind, but when the class who attended the tour returned, we all went down to Mill No. 6 where they have the loom building shop.  Harrisville looms have been around since the 70’s, maybe longer, and they are one of the few looms made like an Ikea kitchen, the loom comes in a couple boxes and has to be put together carefully but once you’ve done it, you know that loom intimately, and they have been competent light weight very portable folding looms that have served many many weavers well.  I’ve never seen the loom building area, and this was a lot of fun.  There is a finishing section for the yarn, where it is washed, dried and skeined. 

They have set ups to box their kits for kid looms, which come pre assembled with warps.  

And part of the area where they build and assemble stock, with a beautiful Bird’s Eye Maple custom built loom from the early days of Harrisville that recently came home to live.  

There were some lovely photos of the area in spite of the heat, and the sunsets and moon shots were beautiful.  Even with my Samsung Galaxy camera!

And my students.  I love them all, even though they had me running like crazy, I earn my money, but in the end, they all did a great job.  Of course there is always one that for some reason escapes photos, and leaves early to go off to a trip to Europe, so doesn’t even appear in the class photo, so Jan, I’m so sorry I never got a single photo of your tunic.  There were so many pins in the piece as she flew out the door the last day, she couldn’t try it on, but I was sure I had a least one photo.

My regulars Carole and Jane, both opted to make my new vest.  Carole’s was created from an old raglan sleeve handwoven mohair jacket she no longer liked or wanted so she cut it up and made the vest.  Both are handwoven.

And Amy, who weaves finer than I’ll ever attempt, wove this beautiful 60/2 silk shirt. 

Of course rarely does anyone completely finish their piece before the end of class, there is always that rush to get it to the point where just the handwork needs to be finished, and sometimes I don’t get last shots of the pieces.  So I’m always grateful when former students stop in to show off what they made in a previous class.  Beate and Judy came in to show off their jackets from a previous year, maybe 2016?  I still see what suspiciously looks like pins still in Judy’s jacket!

And Jan, though I didn’t get a photo of your tunic, I did get a shot of the vest you made last year, which you thankfully brought completed so everyone could ohhhh and ahhhhh!  Handwoven sakiori technique of using thin strips of fabric.

MJ and Pat were returning students, and MJ who is a quilter, made the fabric for a variation of the new vest, she put sleeves on the jacket.  Pat wove a lovely cotton fabric for a shirt.  She copied the shirt from a ready to wear piece she wore to class the first day.

My French sisters Sylvy and Judit were new students and an instant delight.  They came in from Quebec City, and they made a couple of beautiful garments which in the chaos at the end, I failed to get final photos.  But Sylvy made a gorgeous white wool vest with a fun lining, it has a beautiful shawl collar and armhole bands, and she is an embroiderer and plans to embroider beautiful designs on the vest.  Judit used a cotton table cloth that she wove, apparently her loom is 104″ wide, or something like that, she said it takes two people to pass the shuttle back and forth.  She was able to get this lovely swing coat, and it does have a neck band and sleeves.

Lynn was also a new student, and brought in a simple subtle plaid commercial fabric, and gets the gold star for never having her name on the Daryl Alert list.  She sat quietly and just followed the directions.  Made me smile.

Liz took my class a couple of years ago, she is a saori weaver, so makes lovely serendipitous fabric, and she didn’t disappoint!  She brought two different fabrics to combine into this commercial jacket pattern, I think it is a McCall’s.  She was down to the lining when she left Friday afternoon.

This is Anne’s fourth class with me, and this time she brought a commercial tweed from Joann’s and made my swing coat.  She had sleeves on by late Saturday afternoon, but again, I apparently failed to get a final photo.  She was so thrilled to have made a bound buttonhole.  There were lots of squeals from that corner of the room.

Emily was a new student but had mad wicked skills already, having studied handwork in Sweden, she left with a finished jacket, cut out a tunic, and drafted a pattern for a top, edited from my jacket pattern.  I only got a photo of the jacket, all though were handwoven.

And then there were my two new students Tegan and Christine.  Tegan reminded me so much of me when I was that age.  Just out of her  20’s and already an accomplished production weaver, I was well into my craft fair years when I was that age, and her fresh youthful enthusiasm made everyone in the room want to be her mom.  We all had lots of business advice to share, and her talent is exceptional.  She shared with me that she switched into weaving from an arts background after reading an article I wrote for Threads Magazine a number of years ago, on Sewing with Handwovens.  We never know who we reach from the simplest of gestures.  The shear joy when she showed me the piping she put on the band of her swing coat, a gorgeous 16 shaft wool block twill pattern, was infectious. And her adorable sense of style came shining through when she said, I think I want to close it with a tie.  So I told her how to make one and off she went.

Christine like Tegan had very minimal clothing experience.  Christine is a pretty competent weaver, and did bring some handwoven cloth, but opted to do her first jacket out of a spectacular wool gabardine she purchased from Mood.  Christine was sharp and focused, and was such a good sport.  We spent some time in the beginning making her a custom fit pattern and no one is more pleased than me at how it all turned out in the end.  There was a lot of hand holding, but Christine smiled through the whole thing, even when she found out there would be a lot of handwork which she admitted wasn’t her favorite thing, and I think she was really happy with the coat and all the possibilities she has with fit now that she knows what questions to ask.

My beautiful class of 2018, minus Jan.

I’m leaving again Sunday for JC Campbell in southwestern NC.  I’ll only have about a 48 hour turn around before I head to Sievers but I’ll do my best to report in!  Stay tuned…