NOBO Handweavers

Author Archives: Kathie K

An illustrator living on Boston's beautiful Northshore.
Learned to weave less than 2 years ago but got bit hard by the weaving bug.
So much fiber, so little time!

Newtown Weaving Donations

I’m planning on heading down to the Newtown area next week.
So if anyone would like to jump start your weaving spring cleaning, I’ll gladly take donations at our February NOBO meeting. Things like shuttles, reed hooks and yarn would certainly help get the program started. I’m glad we have such a worthy cause to help out!

Newtown Weavers

Newtown, CT is creating a Healing Arts Center to help their citizens cope with their tragedy in a healthy way. Diana Frost was contacted to see if there were any donations that could be made from the weaving community. Specifically small table and floor looms, shuttles and warping boards. I contacted Hannah, who’s organizing this effort, and donated my small loom, board, and some shuttles.
I’ll be going down to Newtown at the end of this month if anyone would like to add to my box of goodies. I’m thinking they could always use more yarn.
If you do have something in mind, consider bringing it to our February NOBO meeting.

We all know how peaceful weaving can be.

Pease Greeters

Has anyone ever heard of the Pease Greeters before?

I was just made aware of this special group of volunteers recently. They’re a group of  seacoast residents who greet

each and every plane of U.S.soldiers that arrive from or depart to Afghanistan or Iraq through Pease Airport in Newington, NH.

My daughter and I greeted a plane leaving for Afghanistan on Thanksgiving night and it was a very emotional experience.

There were around 150 civilians and veterans cheering 75+ troops who had been on R&R and were going back to war.

The greeters have been doing this wonderful service for over seven years and have welcomed, fed and befriended over 100,000 soldiers.

If interested, just go to their website and check out when a flight will be passing through.

Then just show up. Parking is at the main Air Terminal (not Air Force base) and just mention you’re a first timer.

Oh, the reason I thought of my fiber friends is because they’re running low on hand knit caps for the troops.

Winter is cold in Afghanistan and the soldiers appreciate their knit caps.

Here’s the website. The info for the caps is under the announcement tab:

I’ve been looking for a special way to support our troops and it was in our own backyard the whole time!


Hunting Season

Hunting for ideas, actually.
NOBO needs to start thinking about our NEWS guild exhibit for 2013. Melissa and I thought about tying our Fiber Shed project in with a Made In New England theme. Any other theme ideas floating around?
Historical or modern, local or international—just as long as it reflects our NOBO community.

Also, we’re hunting down leads for a special speaker to help celebrate our big fifth birthday next April. Someone to speak on Thursday night and run a workshop on Friday and/or Saturday. Preferably someone within driving distance to defray costs.
Randall Darwall and Becky Ashden from Vavstuga come to mind but there’s definitely more people to consider.

So, the hunt is on for both of these ideas.
What I love about our group is our creative thinking.
That’s what we need for our NEWS theme and
special birthday guest—creative ideas!

Threads Magazine

My favorite sewing magazine, Threads, has an article by Daryl Lancaster on sewing with handwovens in the latest issue. I found it to be quite good and should help anyone looking to make garments with handwoven fabric.

I was recently thumbing through my stash of early Threads and there used to be a lot of good articles on weaving and spinning. Then they made the decision to drop that topic. With the resurgence of hand weaving and spinning yarn, I hope they publish more of these articles.

“Like” Us

Hey guys,

Gail has started a site for NOBO Handweavers on Face Book–great idea!
Our website is a wonderful place for posting anything and everything but Face Book is a great place to chat, ask questions and have more of a real time experience.

So for all of you already on Face Book, here’s the URL (revised as noted in Gail’s comment below):

Easier yet, click on the Face Book logo on the upper left of this site and boom-you’re instantly transported there. Thanks Dave!

Come on over and join us!

March 22, 2012 Minutes

NOBO Proceedings - March 22, 2012

Margaret is celebrating Spring at home and Fran is running the
meeting. Sorry Margaret - it's allergy season with a vengeance!

  Sharon Baker is a weaver who sew her hand woven fabric into garments.
  She's here to share her expertise.

1. Textile Tales

  Women's Work

    Homer's work, everyone was doing weaving. Was weaving a funeral
    cloth not a shroud, it would have been a story cloth. Pictorial
    cloth every year for Athena. 2 weavers from the temple and 2 young
    girls and they took 9 months. These pictorial weavings took 3
    years is not unreasonable.

2. Old Business

 Court Positions

    The court positions are all filled!

 Guild Programmes

    How much of the budget should go to programs?
    Tied to the number of presenters. Would like show and
    share. Ladies of the Draft will present the year ahead. To date
    six months are not booked. For every third meeting should have a
    show and share - 4 per year.

    Internal presentations: having more has been requested.

    Is there a way of contacting other guilds? There are already
    members who are members of the Boston and New Hampshire guilds.

    7 months need to be filled.

    Need to explore a workshop...

 Increase in Dues

    Rationale is because of the numbers of speakers. Suggestion to go
    to $25. CARRIED

    Need to decide on pro-rating, up to January will be full and after
    that pro-rated. CARRIED

    Counter suggestion to have a guest fee, $5. NO - not welcoming.

    Limit pure guest attendance to 3 visits.

 Tax Exemption

    In order to do that, would need to be incorporated with by
    laws. Incorporation fee is $275 but further research is
    needed. There are advantages such as tax deductable
    donations. Gross receipts up to $50,000 are a simple mail in.

 Barn Loom at Whittier

    - Inventory of what's there and getting it fixed
    - Would need to be warped and run demonstrations


    Needed next month
    Please fill out the form


    Reminder the library is open when the shop is open.
    Duplicate magazines available at $2
 3. New Business

 Location of April Meeting

    Spencer Pearce

    Preference is Spencer Pierce Little Farm depending on fees.

 Establish ByLaws

    Boston Weavers Guild have theirs posted.

>>> Add to the survey.

    "The purpose of ...."

>>> Please bring samples of By-Laws

 Up Coming Meetings

4. Presentation - Sharon Baker

   "Sewing with Hand Loom material"

  Introduced by Eileen. 

   Convergence is having Project Convergence (see Project Runway)
   Long Beach California

        At the beginning fabric of some sort is created.
        Design the garment
        Acquire accoutrements

   Sharon has taught one and two day workshops. One of the more
   recent was on closures "buttons".

   Sharon is a seamstress first. "Why weave if you are not going to
   sew it?"

   Sharon loves hand woven fabric because mistakes can be hidden and
   there is no worries about selvedges.

  Unique about handwoven fabric

    - Unique
    - Creative freedom
    - Matched to garment
    - Wide range of yarns

  Not so special

    - Cutting - one wrong cut
    - Quantity of fabric, takes a lot of planning
    - Unravelling challenges
    - Construction in terms of fraying
    - Bulky
    - Tends to grow
    - Hard to visualise the design


   Sewing machine ownership. Need to know the sewing machine
   intimately. Manuals are available for almost every machine on
   line. Even early machine from the 1960's have specialized
   stitches. Machine needs to be cleaned.

    Suggested repair locations
     - Victorian Closet Salem
     - Auger in Rochester
     - Portsmouth Fabric (Bernina)

   Essential Equipment

    Sharps sewing machine needles
     (ball point needles snag and create pulls)
     Don't need a strong needle, need a sharp needle

    Quilters pins - get glass, if you accidentally press plastic you
    have damaged your work.

    Marking Notches - don't snip into seam allowance. For marking use
    tailor tacks or a cross with two pins. Don't use water markers or

    Snipping into seam allowance, after sewing?
    Not desirable with hand wovens.

    See through ruler - matching stripes and plaid
    Scissors - 6" Zinger knife edge. Able to clip closely to the
    edge. Not suitable for long cutting.

    Rotary Cutters - not lifting the fabric so it does not stretch

    Don't bother with pinking shears

    Pressing Tools - silk organza as a press cloth

    Larger Pressing surface

    Making patterns?
    Can modify commercial patterns

    For a beginner?
    Best thing would be to take some placemats and make a purse,
    journal cover etc. Weave something beautiful. Always weave far
    more yardage then needed.

    Walking Foot
    Heavy fabrics are kept together.

    Hard to see what is being sewn?
    Hand baste along the seam line and go slowly.
    Avoid stretching the fabric.

    Croque - body shape. Made body shape from you.

    Draw garment "on you". Suggestions on flattering design.

    Look in pattern books for the material such as "ethnic" and
    "bouquet". Polar Fleece has nothing to do with hand woven fabric -
    it's a knit.

    Fuse-n-nit - fuseable material, 60" wide. Use to stabilize

    Never cut fabric on the fold.

    Pattern tracer, can be pinned. Does not tear the way that paper

    Do not pin on the cut line.

    Never sew over a pin!

    Matching plaid - Widest pattern piece is the sleeve. Buy a pattern
    ahead of time, measure the widest piece and use that as the woven
    width. For plaid weave at least another yard.

    Get rid of the centre back seam if possible.

    Can use knit stabiliser on the whole piece before cutting out. The
    next best way is to sew along the grain with a triple zig zag
    stitch along the edges. Usually done within 1/8" of the edge. 

    Hems and seam finishes -Hong Kong finish, narrow strip of silk
    bias. Covers the raw edges without bulk.

    Buttons, button holes and closures. 

    Double weave jacket with "moleskin" lining showing how it "grows".

    Waffle weave

    Huck purse from left overs.

    ? any issues on combining?
    You know what you are weaving with...

    Illustration of stencils to determine how the pattern matches with
    the fabric.

    Would you fuse everything before?
    Maybe not may want to use the back side. For scraps just zig zag
    the edges.

    "Use what you have"

    Sharon is a "Weaver of Distinction" in fashion.

Show and Share for Hand Woven