The Thunder Bay Spinners and Weavers of Northeast Michigan spent the pandemic quarantine time creating a keepsake for one of our beloved members who lost her house and contents to a fire, including treasures from her many years of creative weaving and art. To show our love and support in the face of this tragedy, guild members produced a wrap reminiscent of her Lake Huron home.
Guild members worked together via phone, email and door-side drop-offs to create this keepsake: planning and donating stash, winding warps, spinning yarn, weaving, embroidering, and assembling panels and bands.
The weft yarn was spun from Jacobs fleece, grown on Thimbleberry Farm in Michigan’s UP. The fleece was cleaned and processed into roving by Zeilinger Wool Company in Frankenmuth. One guild member dyed the wool, in two batches (in very crowded dye pots) creating grey-green variations that give an interesting depth to the finished cloth.
The 20/2 cotton warp was sourced from a retired weave/knit/color instructor’s stash. The doubled warps were wound in blends of blues in various widths and given to the weaver with a supply of the dyed roving. Each weaver chose a twill pattern draft and was asked to weave at 24 epi and 24 ppi to 98 inches- under tension. One non-weaver spun for another weaver.
The woven strips were arranged and joined with embroidery stitches. Additional touches include embroidered flowers inspired by the beautiful gardens which our friend and guild co-founder still tends faithfully, a few soft buttons in Lithuanian and Yorkshire-style with rya loops, and a woven band with the words " With me there is beauty, in me there is beauty, from me beauty radiates". This chant is sung by Navajo weavers while weaving. Participant’s monograms were stitched at the end of the face considered ‘front’ by the weaver.
Yarnwinders Fiber Guild - Area 1
Eastside Handweavers Guild - Area 6