Tagged: weaver

Ethel Mairet

Two hand-woven textile samples, made from hand-spun, vegetable-dyed wool, by Ethel Mairet, 1920-25. These samples are a reminder about how beautiful a straight-up plain weave can be.

Berber wool, half a sock, more Renata

Just back from a week in London and I managed to make it up Finsbury Park to go to the Handweavers Studio and Gallery, thank god I had limited time as otherwise I would have been pulled into a black hole of browsing. The rug wool that they have alone paralyzed me in my tracks with ideas. I had gone there knowing I wanted to buy some berber wool and linen rug warp which is harder to get in Canada, so I put my blinders on (how PAINFUL!) and didn’t look at the looms or the cottons or any of the tools and picked up some balls of berber wool which I am SO excited about. They also had a really amazing wool rug by Jason Collingwood (son of Peter Collingwood) on display which I was excited to see.

I got part way through a sock on the plane as well, I don’t know what’s going on with my sock knitting at the moment, I wanted to try out doing them differently but this one seems to have gone a bit weird, I think because I have been doing the Woodsman’s socks so much I had forgotten how to do regular ones.

And my wonderful friends who introduced me to Renata Bonfanti’s work gave me a catalogue, her work is blowing my mind, especially the pieces that are variations on a pointed twill, they are so inspiring.

Ethel Barber

Prompted by an email from my guild about other weaving-related things happening in the Pacific Northwest, I ended up on the Whatcom Weavers website. They are guild in Bellingham and looking through their blog I came across beautiful images of hand woven garments that were part of a presentation one of their members did about Barber skirts. Ethel Barber and her husband ran a successful cottage industry producing hand woven dirndl skirts in their workshop just outside Bellingham throughout the 1950s, where much of the hand weaving was done by Lummi women (Coast Salish First Nations) who lived in the area.

One guild member had found a whole Barber outfit in a vintage store, $80 for both pieces!


My best friend Paul reminded me about the Danish weaver Hanne Vedel last night and so I was looking at pictures of her work online and found this beautiful one of her at her loom – it didn’t feel far off from where I’m sitting at my new loom (!!) at the moment, threading the 440 ends for the first of the blankets I’m making this winter.

Rectangular sample of boundweave predominantly rose and brownish gray with header of handspun multicolor singles yarn. Two selvedges, one finished hemstitched end with fringe.


Rectangular sampler, predominantly blue, pink and ivory with black, mauve, beige and rose. Plain weave and twill variations.

Two selvedges, one raw but knotted and the other still has its heading. Warp is natural cotton and wefts are wool. Weft ends are loose. Colored horizonatl aband with some geometric patterns within band.


Rectangular sampler, overall color is blue, with blues, greens, mauve, red and off white. Two selvedges and two raw ends, header is still present. Colors in horizontal bands

Sampler shows plain weave and twill weave. Warp and weft yarns are wool. Some green weft in boucle. Ends have not been woven in but hang loose at sides.


Small square sample of pick up with pickup sticks still in place. Colors are natural white cotton, two greens, dull red and “gold” metallic thread wound into one green yarn. Diamond motif in center achieved with pick up sticks. Pick up sticks are white. Two selvedges and two raw ends.


Large, long sampler of double weave. Predominantly fuscia pink with purple, navy, green, and greenish yellow. Warp is pearl cotton, wefts are cotton and also rayon chenille.


Josephine Parson

I enjoyed looking at her samples online today, in the collection of the Handweaving Museum and Arts Centre. And the accompanying descriptions are quite nice too.



Renata Bonfanti, wool rug, 1975

Renata Bonfanti, ‘Giappone’, hand-knotted wool carpet, 1959

Renata Bonfanti, wool rug, c. 1950s

Renata Bonfanti

A friend recently told me about the Italian weaver Renata Bonfanti (as her studio is in his hometown in Italy) and I was very happy to find these pictures of her studio via the blog Strange Closets. It