NOBO Handweavers

Category Archives: Library

This is for general discussions on the library.

Guild Library

For the foreseeable future I will have the guild library in my house, therefore I am taking over for Betsy as one of the “Keepers of the Written Word”.  I want to reinstitute Joan B’s wonderful monthly book review – From the Dust Jacket with the hope it will increase circulation of this fabulous library of ours.  I am mindful of the fact it will now be offsite but I want to encourage everyone to enjoy the books we are so fortunate to own.  I plan to send on monthly reminders that I am more than happy to bring the books members would like to borrow. Just send me an email.  I will even bring a few books along to guild meetings that can be signed out on the spot!  Peg has done a terrific job of organizing our library.  It is overflowing with – fiber facts and textile trivia!  But there is no sense in having these books unless they are being used.

From The Dust Jacket

Following the resolution at the meeting on Thursday March 24th, access to the library pages is now open for public views.

The library is still looking for a suitable cabinet, if anyone has one or knows of one please contact us with details and location.

thanks ted


From the Dust Jacket

Posts relating to library items from Patricia:

Hi, everyone, great meeting last night!

I didn’t get a chance to discuss books, fearing lack of time. I have been given
a box of weaving/spinning/felting books from Polly, Lorna’s Mom. She is willing
to both sell some and donate some of them to the library.

Given our discussion on space, we probably don’t want to put all of them in the
library. There is very little overlap with our library – only 3-4 books. The majority
are weaving books, but sort of non-mainstream ones, IMHO.

I’ve chosen a few that I think really belong in our library:

Rag Rug Handbook – Janet Meany and Paula Pfaff
Handwoven Design Collection #8 – Just Rags
A Weaver’s Book of 8 Shaft Patterns – Carol Strickler
In Sheep’s Clothing – Nola Fournier and Jane Fournier (spinning)

I imagine none of you will object to adding the first 3 to the library. We touched
on considering taking non-weaving books out of the library due to space limitations,
so the last one is a “maybe”, IMHO. But it looks like a spinning classic.

I don’t really want to take the time to list the other 20 or so books and booklets.

Any suggestions as to how we decide which ones should go in the library?
Perhaps at the next meeting, a volunteer (Leah? our next librarian?) could
review them and add any others they felt were valuable to the “library
donation” pile, and then I’ll sell the rest on Polly’s behalf?


From the Dust Jacket

November 7, 2010

Those of you who attended the October meeting are aware that Leah Reed will shortly be assuming responsibility for the NOBO Library. The transition is taking place this week; therefore, this will be my final column to the membership.

It is not my intent to discuss a specific topic of interest, but, rather, to thank you for giving me the opportunity to care for our library. I have thoroughly enjoyed becoming familiar with its contents, as well as becoming better acquainted with those of you who have taken advantage of this wealth of information.

We are very fortunate to have this library and I want to encourage each and every one of you to make use of what it has to offer.

Thank you.

From the Dust Jacket

We are fortunate to have a complete collection of “Wild Fibers Magazine” in our library, starting with the first one in which Margaret Russell’s “Rare Thoughts” column appeared. I recently asked Margaret how this column came into being. Set out below is her reply:

“In 1835, William Truland, a weaver, left County Antrim, Ireland and journeyed the ocean to Schaghticoke, New York in search of work in the mills. I am the great, great, great granddaughter of William and weave under the studio name of Antrim Handweaving.

With an appreciation and influence of a familial connection to weaving, my determination is to work towards the preservation of the art of handweaving. With an obsession for fibers that are raw and spirited in origin, character, and presentation, my desire is to reintroduce the use of natural fibers and encourage the understanding of why this should occur. With a whole-hearted fondness for fibers animals and a fascination with their histories, my resolution is to promote the conservation of rare breed fiber animals. These elements are foremost in my mind when I consider anything that has to do with my weaving.

In addition to and because of the pursuit of my personal weaving objectives, I am fortunate to be the Rare Breeds Columnist for “Wild Fibers Magazine.” “Wild Fibers” is a quarterly journal, committed to the industry of natural fibers worldwide, and the animals, breeders, and artisans that are involved. A 7-year anniversary will be marked by the onset of 2011.

My column, “Rare Thoughts,” tells the tales of rare fiber animals. The ones whose breeders work against the staggering odds of raising breeds where limited or even no commercial markets exist, but do so out of sheer devotion to their breed of choice. Or the feral creatures that have survived in extremely isolated areas, untouched by the breeding standards sometimes guided, but other times inflicted by man. These animals allow us a glimpse into history, and on occasion, prehistory, providing us the genesis for many of the breeds that find themselves upon landscapes and in barns throughout the world. When these animals are gone, that is extinct, permanent holes are part of our past. There is no possible way to refill them. Awareness of all that has been lost and a focus on who remains is a first step in preventing this from happening to other breeds. We need to take time to listen to their stories.

“Rare Thoughts” has a very significant message to deliver but is only a small part of all that “Wild Fibers Magazine” encompasses. I encourage anyone who has not had the opportunity to read “Wild Fibers” to do so and of course those that have, continue to support its efforts. The writers and photographers work with the basic hope that each person will savor the magazine from cover to cover. However, the underlying purpose is to open as many eyes and hearts as possible, by presenting readers with an irresistible invitation to become part of the extraordinary world of natural fibers.”

Wild Fibers Magazine

As many of you already know, our very own Lady Nobo, Margaret B. Russell, is the author of a column in the subject magazine entitled “Rare Thoughts.” With the aid of Betsy Martin, I have been able to compile a collection of the magazines for our library in which this column appears with the exception of one issue, that being Volume 6, Number One, which was published in 2009.

Unfortunately, I have not been able to obtain a copy of this particular issue from the publishers; and, therefore, am asking if any of our members have a copy they would be willing to donate to our library.

Thank you.

From the Dust Jacket

September 19, 2010:

We are fortunate to have a weaving book in our library which is oftentimes referred to as “The Bible.” And justifiably so. The book in question, titled “A Handweaver’s Pattern Book,” was written, copyrighted, and self-printed in May, 1944, by Marguerite Porter Davison.

What makes this book so special? Perhaps a bit of background information concerning Mrs. Davison would be helpful in understanding why. She was born in 1887, near Cincinnati, Ohio, to a manual training school principal and a self-taught landscape painter. After graduating high school, the family moved to Berea, Kentucky, where Marguerite was introduced to weaving. Here she became an assistant to Anna Ernberg, the founder of Fireside Industries, a program which taught mountain women how to weave coverlets in the old tradition. Here also she met and married Waldo Davison.

Waldo and Marguerite volunteered as missionaries in Brazil, where Waldo established a junior college. It has been said that Marguerite took her loom with her, but had neither the time nor space to do much weaving. Thirteen years later, upon moving to Muskogee, Oklahoma, Marguerite took over what was once a chicken house and set up her loom, which allowed her some space to weave. Eventually moving to Swarthmore, Pennsylvania, and with her children grown, she was finally able to weave in earnest.

Her work with Fireside Industries created an interest in preserving and reviving old coverlet designs. She would search them out, analyze the draft, and weave them. This lead to exploring the possibility of weaving other patterns from the same threadings. She began to fill notebooks with pattern swatches, and the more pleasing designs found their way into larger weavings. She recruited friends to help with her “experiments” and soon had several looms going. She compiled her findings, leading to the publication of “A Handweaver’s Pattern Book,” which, having been re-printed numerous times, remains a classic reference for modern weavers.

Along with the vast information pertaining to treadings found in this book, the chapter entitled “A Few Suggestions From Old Weavers” and the narratives at the beginning of each chapter make for enjoyable reading. The pattern names in themselves are reminiscent of earlier times; i.e., Four-Leaf Barley Corn, Elizabeth Jane’s Design, Nappy’s Butterflies, and Weaver Rose’s Coverlet No. 28.