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Wow! It’s been way too long since I shared a ‘Favorite Thing’. It’s been a busy year so far; however, I felt I had to carve out a bit of time to share a new one. When I started sharing my favorite things, I committed to 50 . . . So, here’s #46 . . . the Shuttle Craft Guild BULLETIN.

We’re very fortunate to have access to weaving resources published in color. The visual impact is inspiring . . . almost intoxicating. Unfortunately, the appeal of weaving publications in color makes earlier black-and-white publications initially appear flat. But, if a weaver is really serious about learning to weave, these publications are chock full of wonderful patterns, lessons, and more! Plus, they provide us a glimpse into the history and legacy of those that came before us. The Shuttle Craft Guild BULLETIN is a cornerstone in the recent history of handweaving.  (Recent means in the past 100 years)

First, a little history about the publication. Mary Meigs Atwater founded the Shuttle Craft Guild in 1922 (which makes me think we need a centennial celebration in 2022!). The purpose of the Shuttle Craft Guild was to create an instructional resource for handweavers. In 1924, the monthly BULLETIN was started. An annual subscription was $5.00/year. This predates Mary Meigs Atwater’s iconic weaving book, The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Handweavers.

Original cover

Original cover

Later cover

Later cover

When Mary Meigs Atwater retired in 1946, Harriet Tidball took over the Shuttle Craft Guild. In 1952 the BULLETIN was augmented . . . the price increased to $7.50/year. In addition to the BULLETIN, the first Shuttle Craft Guild workshop was held in 1948. Harriett Tidball organized it. Mary Meigs Atwater taught it.

In 1957, the BULLETIN was taken over by Mary Black and Joyce Chown. Mary Black is the author of Key to Weaving (1945). (A little weaving trivia – Black’s Key to Weaving was not published for two years after being submitted to Bruce Publishing Company because of a lack of paper due to the war). Mary Black went on to publish New Key to Weaving in 1957, another iconic weaving books (and one of my all-time favorites)

Key to Weaving

The New Key to Weaving

In 1960, Harriett Tidball returned to the Shuttle Craft Guild BULLETIN.  Shortly thereafter, in 1961, Harriett Tidball published The Weaver’s Book.

The Weaver's Book

In addition to the BULLETIN, the Shuttle Craft Guild began to publish monographs. The monographs were each 24-48 pages long and provided an in-depth exploration of a single subject. In addition to the monographs was the Portfolio, a supplement to the monographs that included samples. As a result of the monographs, the BULLETIN was reduced to three times a year.

While looking through past issues, I was surprised to see many things that are of interest today.

First, in looking at a picture of a young Peter Collingwood, it’s incredible how much his son Jason looks like him.

Peter Collingwood

Peter Collingwood

Jason Collingwood

Jason Collingwood

Below are a few pages I thought may be of interest and encourage weavers to spend some time with my latest ‘favorite thing’

Birdseye Twill, Summer & Winter, and Bronson lace in the May 1931 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_31.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.05.49 AMWarp-faced rug weave and Crackle in the August 1931 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_31.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.07.25 AMFour and Eight-shaft twills patterns in the February 1936 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_36.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.01.12 AMIntegrated Twills in the May 1943 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_43.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.10.38 AMOvershot and Shadow weave in the June 1943 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_43.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.12.19 AMHistory of brothers, J and R Bronson, in the April 1950 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_50.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 11.18.37 AMEight-shaft Ms and Os in the June-July 1957 issue http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/sc_57_06.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.52.53 AMBateman samples in the October 1958 issue –http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/scb_58_10.pdf

Screen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.49.19 AMScreen Shot 2015-04-09 at 10.50.39 AMWhat’s ‘old’ can be ‘new’ again!  These are just a few of the wonderful things that may be found in the pages of the Shuttle Craft Guild’s BULLETIN. Some of the links take you to multiple issues. Some are for individual issues. It’s a resource definitely worth knowing about!

The following link will take you to the list of available copies. http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/scbulletin.html





I love stripes!  Stripes allow us to incorporate multiple colors, create effects, and in some cases even make our bodies appear slimmer.  As weavers we can incorporate stripes in our warp, our weft, and even some twill diagonal create angled stripes.  If you think about it, plaids are merely stripes in the warp intersecting with stripes in the weft.  Weaving stripes can also be a way to use up small amounts of yarn and thread.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 8.55.21 AM


In this installment of my favorite things, I want to share some on-line stripe generators.  A few minutes creating stripes can stimulate new ideas for color combinations, proportion, and much more.

Biscuits and Jam – http://www.biscuitsandjam.com/stripe_maker.php

What’s interesting about the Random Stripe Generator at Biscuits and Jam (other than it’s name) is the step-by-step process.  Below is the screen where you begin.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.03.33 AM


The first thing you do is select your colors.  Below, it shows I chose five different colors.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.05.08 AM


The second thing you do is select the stripe widths that will be allowed.  I was inspired to select the first five numbers of a Fibonacci sequence – 1, 2, 3, 5, 8

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.06.06 AM


Then you set the value for the total number of rows that will be generated.  I used 100.


Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.06.44 AM


The click on the button Generate my Stripes and see what happens.  Remember, this is a random stripe generator so you may be very surprised by the results.  Below was the first set of stripes generated from my five colors and five different widths.


Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.07.21 AM


By refreshing the screen, a new set of stripes is generated

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.07.53 AM

And refresh again . . . (I think I like this one best) . . . Although, if I don’t like what I get, I can go back and change my selections.
Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.08.22 AM


Patternizerhttp://patternizer.com/q12i.  Patternizer has something intriguing for weavers . . . there’s an opacity value than can be adjusted.  I find this is  a way of simulating what happens when colors interlace in plain weave.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.10.25 AM


Stripe Generatorhttp://www.stripegenerator.com/index.php?page=index.  The fourth on-line stripe generating resource has one feature the others don’t . . . if you look in the bottom right hand corner of the page, you can take the colors and generate a tartan pattern.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.11.38 AM


Stripe Generator is also another resource where you can look at stripe combinations other users have generating.

Screen Shot 2015-02-07 at 9.13.22 AM


I hope you find these resources helpful if you are planning a new project and looking for inspiration.  Stripes can be very powerful in adding visual impact.


I grew up in Portland, OR.  I always thought Portland was a pretty fabulous place to grow up.  It’s just big enough that everything you need is available and no one I knew of while I was growing up ever thought they needed to break out and see the world.  At the same time, Portland wasn’t so large that it was overwhelming.  It has an active arts community, Powell’s City of Books store, Washington Park, and really good food to name just a few of the attractions.

I find myself frequently returning to my home town; however, there is one thing missing . . . Robin and Russ Handweavers.  No, Robin and Russ Handweavers was not in Portland.  It was an iconic weaving store that relocated from California to McMinnville, OR in 1962 . . . about an hour away from where I grew up.  Close enough to constantly be on your mind.  And, as a young weaver before I was old enough to get my driver’s license, too far away to persuade parents to drive you more than once a year.

I went to Wilson High School . . . a high school that had a robust fiber arts program.  There was always excitement about the first one of us to turn 16, get a driver’s license, and receive permission to borrow one of our parent’s cars to drive to Robin and Russ Handweavers for an unchaperoned trip that we could take at a leisurely pace.

McMinnville, OR is located in Yamhill County . . . one of the best areas for wine in Oregon.  About 15 years ago, I organized a Women’s Weekend of Weaving and Wine.  We took over Wine Country Farm, one of the  bed and breakfast places in Yamhill County.  On Saturday morning, we rendezvoused at Woodland Woolworks . . . another wonderful fiber arts establishment (also, no longer there) . . . and our caravan of cars wound its way through Yamhill County stopping at different places, mostly wineries . . . before reaching our final destination of Robin and Russ Handweavers.

I’ve been in larger weaving stores, but going to Robin and Russ Handweavers was always a tremendous adventure.  You never knew before you got there what was going to make you blow your budget.  But, what the heck, it was in Oregon and no sales tax.  Over the years, I made some of my most memorable purchases, including one purchase of 88 skeins of a fire engine red cashmere-blend wool for $1.00/skein.  The funny thing was that wasn’t all he had of the red cashmere blend and I’ve never figured out why I didn’t purchase an even 100 since I have a propensity for symmetry.

Robin and Russ Handweavers owner, Russ Groff, had a unique knack for having some of the most wonderful mill ends yarns available and I still have some of it patiently waiting on my shelf waiting to be woven.  Russ also always had a recent adventure to share with others.  The Robin and Russ Handweavers booth was one of the most popular stops in a vendor hall at any weaving conference.  It’s an era gone by, but many of us still reminisce about the place and the finds we made.  Syne Mitchell wrote a touching story about Russ when he passed away nearly five years ago.  You can read In Memorium:  Russ Groff at the following link http://www.weavezine.com/weavegeek/memoriam-russell-e-groff

In February 1955, Robin and Russ Handweavers took over the publishing of Warp and Weft and continued the periodical’s tradition for approximately 30 years.  Warp and Weft was originally published in November 1947.  It was a wonderful insight into what was going on in the weaving community, featured weavers, and included a woven sample along with the instructions.  It was modest in size . . . 8 pages . . . but, there were 10 issues a year.  Early issues were clearly put together using a typewriter.  The format evolved over the years, but no matter what there was always something to intrigue and entertain . . . Which brings me to my latest favorite thing . . . access to 307 issues of Warp and Weft  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/warpweft.html

Below are a couple of covers and some of my favorite samples from Warp and Weft.

Cover - March 1985Cover - November 1980


Hostess Delight from the December 1950 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_04_02.pdf

December 1950


Opalescence in the February 1955 issue  –

February 1955

How to Make Chenille in the June 1957 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_10_6.pdf

June 1957


Twills and M’s & O’s for Table Linens from the June 1962 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_15_06.pdf

June 1962


Yak, Yak, Yak in the November 1979 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_32_09.pdf

November 1979Superhighway from the November 1980 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_33_09.pdf

November 1980

Carrickmacross from the Cecember 1982 issue – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_35_10.pdf


December 1982

Flaming Twills from the September 1985 – http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/ww_38_07.pdf

September 1985


Hopefully, some of the above samples will entice you to take a closer look at Warp and Weft.  If you’re dissuaded from these samples because they only require four shafts (something I think is pretty darn cool), Robin and Russ Handweavers did publish other resources.  Two that may be of interest are accessible with a little effort.

First, 200 Patterns for Multiple Harness Looms – 5 to 12 Harness Patterns for Handweavers.  You can find this used.  Check out www.addall.com to see if there’s a copy you just have to have.

200 Patterns for Multiple Harness Looms


Second, if you’re fortunate enough to have a loom with 16 or more shafts, you may be interested in 16 Harness Patterns – The Fanciest Twills of All.  This book became difficult to find; however, you can access all of the variations at http://handweaving.net/PatternBook.aspx?BOOKID=27   There are 205 patterns . . . which are basically tie-ups for a 16-shaft point threading.  This is great especially if you have a loom with a computer interface.  (By the way, www.handweaving.net is a pretty fabulous resource if you don’t already know about it!.  Nearly 60,000 drafts!)

16 Harness Patterns


This is likely my last blog post for 2014.  But, I’m still working my way to providing 50 of my favorite things . . . six more to go.  In the meantime, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and Happy New Year’s!  Or if you have a Seinfeld bent, you may be celebrating Festivus and are preparing for the airing of grievances.  Either way . . . enjoy!

Onward to 2015!



It is a truth universally acknowledged, that an artist in possession of a creative mind, must have a great space in which to work.

With all due respect to Jane Austen, from whom I borrowed her opening line to Pride & Prejudice, but I believe every artist needs a space to call their own.  Not only do you need a space, it should also reflect you as an artist and promote creativity and creation.

As every year begins to wind down and I sense a new year is close, I start to contemplate what I need to get done to wrap up the current year.  I also consider what I want to do to prepare for the upcoming year.  One thing always on my to-do list is to organize my studio areas for the upcoming year.  There’s something very calming about a tidy and well-organized space.  Unfortunately, my desire tends to be stronger than my execution as life sometimes has other ideas for me . . . but, I try.  Doing better is an improvement over doing nothing, right?

This year, my aspiration to have my studio areas ready-to-go for 2015 is stronger than ever.  At the same time, I find myself in the early stages of designing a separate studio space.  Both of these undertakings have sent me on an adventure of seeking out studio design and organization ideas.

Here are some I have found helpful and I thought I should share them with others as my favorite things . . . just in case I’m not the only one thinking I’m going to get organized for the coming new year.  If none of these do anything for you, you may find a glimpse at the studios spaces of famous artists inspiring.  Are you more like Picasso or Georgia O’Keefe?  Chagall or Cézanne?  Kipling or Pollock?

Okay, first let’s initiate this journey with getting motivated and started.  Cloth Paper Scissors has a free PDF Art Studio Organization Ideashttp://www.clothpaperscissors.com/free-art-studio-organization-ideas/

No, not everything may be suitable for a weaving or fiber artist studio.  It has some great ideas.  Plus, it’s free!  Best of all, it has 12 ways to get motivated and start organizing.  Pretty good place to start in my opinion.

Art Studio Organizing by cloth paper scissors

Art Studio Organizing - 12 ways to get motivated and start org

The Clutter Fairy has me figured out.  She not only provides suggested solutions for getting organized, but she begins by outlining why it can be so difficult for those of us with a creative mind struggle with getting organized.  Whew!  It’s not just me.

I love the affirmation and find it a great way to face the task with a better understanding.  Her Tips and Tricks have me ready to head to the office supply store and get started.  http://clutterfairyhouston.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Organizing-Your-Art-Space-for-a-Creative-Explosion.pdf

Interweave Press (Yep, the publisher of Handwoven magazine) has a short write-up, Art Studio Ideas for Real People, that inspires some easy and quick http://www.interweavestore.com/art-studios-ideas-organization-resources

  • How to make a home studio that works for you
  • Top 10 free and low-cost art studio storage ideas
  • Embroidery Hoop Wall Pockets by Bonnie Ferguson (Shown below – I love this idea and now know what I can do with all of of those old embroidery hoops I have laying around and small amounts of handwoven fabric!)
  • 10 Easy Studio Decorating Ideas

embroidery hoop organizers


Live Simply by Annie has some storage towers and an art cart that I think I really need to look into.  http://www.livesimplybyannie.com/organizing-the-art-studio/

5-bin storage

Art Cart

I also like how she shows some discreet organizing ideas and then pulls them together in some real life applications.

Real life applications

Pinterest is a great source for organization ideas.  Check out some (or all) of the links below to see if there’s an idea that suits your needs.


Wine rack and lg plastic cups

A couple of things that have worked well for me are below


  • Pegboard for organizing shuttles (I show only a portion of my shuttles.  What can I say?  I love cool shuttles!)
  • Sewing thread spool rack for holding bobbins (A great way to keep track of bobbins that normally want to roll around)
  • Reed rack (This is how I made use of space near the ceiling to organize some of my longer reeds)
  • Crocks (I love ceramic crocks and metal tins for organizing stick shuttles, threading hooks, and more)
  • Binders (How would I ever live without binders and sheet protectors?)




Reed racks

Spool rack with bobbins


Now, if that doesn’t inspire, maybe taking a peek inside of the workspaces for some famous artists will inspire . . . or at least make you feel better.  I think any time I feel disorganized and the clutter is getting away from me, I’ll return to this website and take a gander at Alexander Calder’s space.  Yowza!

40 inspiring workspaces of the famously creative – http://www.buzzfeed.com/summeranne/40-inspiring-workspaces-of-the-famously-creative#49xzd3



Pablo Picasso


Paul Cezanne

Enjoy!  Here comes 2015 whether we’re ready or not!

The impetus for this favorite thing was a presentation at an event I attended last night.  As a member of the Seattle Design Center, I have the privilege of attending some pretty great functions.  Last night was no different.  The presentation was by Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the Pantone Color Institute (who I also found out is one of my neighbors . . . or at least a neighbor of my neighbors).

Lea’s presentation was a look back-and-forward on color trends in interiors, with insight on color in fashion design over the last century, which she shares in her most recent book: Pantone on Fashion, a Century of Color in Design.   It was funny.  It was poignant.  It was insightful.  Plus, it shared a view on color palette trends projected for 2015.

Previously, I have shared two color-related ‘favorite things’ posts.  The links to these are:

These are a few of my favorite things: #1 – Colourlovers.com  https://spadystudios.wordpress.com/?s=colourlovers

These are a few of my favorite things:  #21 – More color resources  https://spadystudios.wordpress.com/?s=%2321

I wondered if I should do another color-based favorite thing and it didn’t take me long to think Why not?  We can always be inspired by color. Plus, it’s been over 20 months since I’ve shared favorite thing #21.

My latest favorite thing is focused solely on the Pantone Color Institute and the position they maintain on identifying color trends.  We don’t have buy in to them.  We can reject them if we like.  But, I find them interesting.  Plus, if you’re familiar with the projected color trends, you can use them to interject a more contemporary angle to your work.

So who is PANTONE? According to their website, PANTONE began as a commercial printing company in the 1950s.  Their primary products include the Pantone Guides, which consist of a large number of small thin cardboard sheets, printed on one side with a series of related color  swatches bound into a small “fan deck”.  The PANTONE MATCHING SYSTEM (PMS) is not the only color standardization system, although it is the most widely used and the one that most printers understand. The idea behind the PMS is to allow designers to “color match” specific colors when a design enters production stage.  (In my previous professional life in ‘Corporate America’ we relied on these guides to effectively communicate with others about color.  It’s one thing to tell a printer we wanted a ‘red accent’ added to the cover of a manual.  It’s a completely other thing when you can define a specific red that can be definitively quantified.)

The Pantone Color Institute offers a variety of trend forecasts for every design market.  This provides inspiration.  As I mentioned previously, you can reject them.  They’re not a rule.  But, they often encourage me to explore incorporating new colors.    Pantone even selects a Color of the Year. For 2014, it was Radiant Orchid.  For 2013, it was Emerald.  For 2012, it was Tangerine Tango.  (I was not enthusiastic about orange being a color of the year; however, it encouraged me to consider it and look for opportunities to include it in my work).  Below is a Color of the Year short history going back to 2000.


Last night, Leatrice Eiseman told us the color palettes for 2015 had recently been added to the Pantone website.  The 2015 Color of the Year hasn’t been announced yet (I’m hoping for something blue).  But, looking at the spring 2015 color trends will show you colors are evolving into a cooler and softer look and give you an idea of what they will draw from when selecting the 2015 Color of the Year.  You can access and learn more about them by clicking on the following links:

Spring 2015 color trends – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=11

2015 Spring

Women’s fashion color trends for spring 2015 – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=3

Women's 2015 fashion(Yeah, I know . . . The Spring 2015 and Women’s Fashion colors are the same thing)

Men’s fashion color trends for spring 2015 – http://www.pantone.com/pages/fcr/?season=spring&year=2015&pid=4

Men's fashionNotice how the colors for Men’s Fashion are a little darker and more muted version.

The link below will take you to the PDF of the 2015 color palettes for home and interiors – http://www.pantone.com/downloads/pvh/PANTONEVIEW_home___interiors_2015.pdf

In this PDF, there are a series of color palettes.  I really like reviewing these because it gives me ideas for new color combinations and possibly even how to use the odd cone of yarn sitting on the shelf in my studio.  I also love some of the names they’ve chosen to name the color palettes:

  • Style Settings
  • Abstractions
  • Botanicum
  • Zensations
  • Urban Jungle
  • Tinted Medley
  • Past Traces
  • Serendipity
  • Spontaneity

I was captivated as she shared the background stories about how these were developed.  I’ve grown from dreading the color trends, palettes, and the color of the year to anticipating them with eagerness.  They have influenced how I use color.  There are still colors I migrate toward whether or not they are part of color trends (like fire engine red), but color is supposed to be fun and trying something new can feel very liberating.


From 1940 to 1971, Lily Mills published a periodical titled Practical Weaving Suggestions.  Before I share with you my latest favorite thing, I want to introduce you to Lily Mills.  For those unfamiliar with the Lily Mills company, they were founded in 1903 by John Schenck as the Lily Mill and Power Company.  The company was located  is in Shelby, NC, which is in Cleveland County . . . North Carolina’s premier cotton county.  Cotton production peaked in Cleveland County in 1948, producing 83,549 bales of cotton.

By the 1940s, there were twenty spinning mills in the Shelby area.  Lily Mills was one of the mills and produced a wide range of products such as thread and yarn for sewing, crochet, tatting, and weaving.  I still covet their cotton and wish it was still available.   To promote their products, they published instruction booklets and other publications.  Which brings me to my latest favorite thing Practical Weaving Suggestions.

Each issue of Practical Weaving Suggestions was focused on a particular topic.  Perusing through the list of authors reads like a who’s-who in weaving.  Mary Meigs Atwater, Harriet Tidball, Berta Frey, Osma Couch Gallinger, and Virginia West to name a handful.  Over the years, I came across an occasional copy of Practical Weaving Suggestions; however, through the convenience of the internet, many of these issue are available.  To see the list of issues available, click on the following link http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/practical.html

To whet your appetite, below are comments and images from some of my favorite issues:

Troubleshooting for the Handweaver


Trouble Shooting for the Hand Weaver has many helpful tips and insights that are as timely today as when they were originally published.    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_8_1.pdf.  Below are just a few of the questions answered in this issue:

  • Why do I have so much warp breakage in weaving?
  • Why do the selvedge threads break so much?
  • Why does a selvedge thread fail to weave on some twills?
  • What makes those light and dark streaks in the body of the woven piece?
  • Why in weaving overshot patterns does the pattern thread not catch at the edge?
  • What can I do to increase my speed in weaving?

When I first saw the cover of Elmer W. Hickman’s Decorative Fabrics issue, I immediately starting considering which fabric would I weave first.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-64.pdf

Decorative Fabrics

Mary E. Snyder’s Textures Inspired by Nature looks as fresh and contemporary today as it did when it was originally published.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_2-64.pdf

Textures inspired by natureWe may not be wearing aprons as often as we use to (although, I still love a good apron!) . . . but, look beyond the projects when you look through Harriet Tidball’s Ten Projects on a Long Warp.  It’s a tremendous source of inspiration for different patterns from a single threading.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_21.pdf

10 Projects on a long warp

10 Projects on a long warp - #1

10 Projects on a long warp - #2

Versatility of a single threading is also presented in other issues, such as Mrs. Gordon C. MacDonald’s Four Harness Sampler  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-60.pdf

4-shaft samplerand Geraldine Wood’s Variations on a Familiar Theme — Point Twill for weavers interested in an eight-shaft threading.   http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-63.pdf

Variations on an 8-shaft point twill

and Eunice Gifford Kaiser’s Let the Honeysuckle Blossom or You May Not Need to Change that Treadling.    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_2-70.pdfHoneysuckle cover

I love the texture Margaret Newman achieved with her Satin Honeycomb; a Six Harness Colonial Weave.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_3-70.pdf

Satin honeycombAnd, if that inspired you, you may be interested in Virginia M. West’s Decorator Fabrics in Honeycomb.    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_4-63.pdf

HoneycombHuck is always fabulous (well, at least in my opinion).  I’ve woven a lot of huck over the years and the cover of Nell Steedsman’s Huck Variation only inspires me to return to it as soon as possible.  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_1-71.pdf 

Huck variations coverPlus, there are four- and six-shaft threadings available in the issue.

Huck variations threadingInterested in trying your hand at weaving crackle?  Then check out Mary Meigs Atwater’s Notes on ‘Crackle Weave’  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_5_2.pdf

MMA Crackle

. . .  or Rupert Peters’ issue Some Notes on Crackle Weave  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_57_2.pdf

Crackle weave

Crackle weave sample #1Last, but far from least . . . for weavers interested in weaving narrow projects, Mary Snyder’s issue Belts, Girdles and Sashes may be just what you’re looking for  http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/pws_2-71.pdf

Belts, girdles, & sashes


This is just a small taste of what awaits the weaver.  I hope you will check out Practical Weaving Suggestions and find something new!



I’m going to take a slightly different approach to my latest favorite thing I’m sharing with you.  I want to share with others some background on a very important weaver, Nellie Sargent Johnson.  Then I want to use that as a springboard to bring to light an older weaving publication, Handweaving News.

Many modern day weavers are familiar with the big names . . . e.g., Atwater, Tidball, Alderman, Collingwood, van der Hoogt, and more.  One person I think is more than deserving of more recognition is Nellie Sargent Johnson.

Nellie Sargent Johnson

Nellie Sargent Johnson

Nellie Sargent Johnson was born Nellie Sargent in 1887 in Massachusetts.  She married Charles S. Johnson in 1922 when she was 34 yeas old.  She started teaching weaving privately in 1927.  In 1929 she became the Weaving Editor for Design Magazine.  In 1933 she started her own publication, Handweaving News.  She continued writing this monthly publication until she passed away in 1951 . . . 220 issues in all.

I have learned a lot over the years from Handweaving News.  A few copies I found among my great-grandmother’s weaving items.  Others I have come across here-and-there.  Handweaving News is not one of the longest or most beautiful of publications; however, I must keep in mind what it took just a few decades ago to put together even one page of information and make multiple copies.  The idea of using a typewriter makes me shudder with memories of my pokey typing speed in order to reduce errors, the foreboding effort it took to correct an error, and don’t even get me started on what we had to do to make copies.  Mimeographs and carbon paper, anyone?  No, thank you!  I’ll bask in the convenience of technology while I sing praises to those that came before us and correct the multitude of errors I made in this paragraph with a click or two of my mouse and keyboard.

Anyway, back to Nellie Sargent Johnson and Handweaving News.  The internet has made accessibility to approximately 100 issues of this publication readily available at the Griswold On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics located at https://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/hwn.html (a stupendous resource in itself).

By scrolling through the resources listed on the link, you can see that each issue of Handweaving News is on a single focused topic and only two to four pages long . . . just long enough to make a cup of tea (or pour a glass of wine) and take it in.  What is so impressive to me is the incredible range of topics covered . . . loom-controlled weaves, such as Bronson lace, crackle, overshot, summer & winter. . . weaver-controlled weaves, such as tapestry, inlay, soumak and other knotting techniques . . . design techniques, insight on equipment and materials, and more.  It’s almost as though there wasn’t anything related to weaving Nellie Sargent Johnson didn’t appreciate.  It’s also one of the earliest articles (earliest, maybe) on the use of algebraic expression in handweaving.

Below are just a few of my favorite issues along with an image . . .

  • Designing “Crackle” Weave Patterns in February 1940 (one of a number of articles on Crackle)  Crackle
  • Designing Four-block Twills and Squares in July 1942Designing Four Block Twills and Squares
  • An Experimental Sampler Using 8 Harness Twills. May 1943Eight-shaft twill sampler
  • Handwoven Hats in August 1944Hats

For more information on Nellie Sargent Johnson, I invite you to read a short biography on her life written in 1998 by Nancy McKenna.  You may find it available at the following link http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/periodicals/hwn_intro.pdf

I think it’s well worth it to know about this remarkable weaver and wonderful resource.  Scan through the topics.  Something just may interest you in learning something new or intrigue you to try something different.


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