A small-town tapestry project -- Cavendish

Wendy Regier is determined to teach the members of her small Vermont community tapestry weaving. She designed the above tapestry and is teaching the community members to weave it in an ongoing series of public events. This takes dedication and a lot of love. Wendy saw an announcement I posted for the Vermont retreat and asked me to teach an introductory class in her community following the retreat. She found grant funding and last week I taught a two-day class to 16 newbies... and being the self-sufficient Vermonters they are, they learned extremely quickly. In fact, my prepared material which I thought was far more than anyone would get through, was not enough for many of them.

We talked about looms and yarn and other basic tapestry concepts. But mostly they were itching to learn to put the weft into the warp. They quickly learned about meet and separate, hatching, and many of them moved on to making basic shapes. Given a few more days, I am sure they would have been weaving complete works of art. Such is the way of Vermonters.

We had a grand collection of looms including some lovely Dorset floor looms and a lot of frame looms. Wendy even built a set of frame looms with shedding devices. And she warped them all. After the class forgave me for getting their names all mixed up, we got along famously. (In my defense there were two Kathleens and a Kathryn though I really have no excuse for mixing up Mary and Nancy.)

Erin takes the loom into the sunshine in the afternoon. She was an amazing spinner (note socks).

Erin takes the loom into the sunshine in the afternoon. She was an amazing spinner (note socks).

I made a new friend in Sam, Wendy's dog.

Wendy had many looms ready to weave on and she lined them up in the sanctuary of the beautiful little church. We used the fellowship hall in the back for the workshop, but I sort of felt like the looms were getting a little praying in before coming to class.

The instrument in this tiny sanctuary was a pump organ. A pump organ! We had one when I was a kid and I remember it was a clunky instrument, but boy did I love the little stops.

Phyllis was wonderful. She has been weaving since she was four years old (so more than 80 years), but she had never woven tapestry before. She wove a beautiful sunset. She also brought along her husband Gene, a wonderful story-teller. 

Two of the women in the class ran the yarn shop in town, Six Loose Ladies. The shop was readying for a move to the nearby town of Chester after ten years in Proctorsville. No matter what, they should keep that name.