To prelude the next few posts, I would like to share a little of what has gone on here at Weaving Southwest over the last year. This year has been full of excitement, happiness and sadness, and change… lots of change.

Last October, we were able to take a trip to the beautiful land of Peru with Loomdancer Weaving Odysseys. What an amazing part of the world! We were able to visit Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, Cusco and many small weaving villages throughout the country.

Enjoying the view at Machu Picchu

Enjoying the view at Machu Picchu

Shortly after we returned home from Peru, we found out that we were going to be having a baby! This led us to our decision to move out of our large retail space and, for the time being, become an internet/mail order business.

Moving out of our retail location

Moving out of our retail location

Around the same time we made this decision, Rachel Brown, my Grandmother and founder of Weaving Southwest, passed away. Though it was her time to go, this was very hard for everyone she left behind.

Rachel Brown spinning on the Rio Grande Wheel

Rachel Brown spinning on the Rio Grande Wheel

Many months passed until, finally, on July 26th we were able to welcome the newest member of our clan into this world, Elsada Rae Barry. She came to us happy and healthy, all that we could ask for!

Elsada Rae with her Papa

Elsada Rae with her Papa

So, like many other people I have talked with this year, we have had quite the wild ride. However, things seem to be settling down a bit and we are starting to feel like we are getting our feet back under us. Needless to say, these life changes have greatly affected Weaving Southwest. And we would like to thank everyone who has stuck with us through all this turmoil!

Over the next little bit, we will be posting information of the new direction of the business. We are very excited about how things are unfolding and we can’t wait to share all the news. Please join us on Facebook to see more pictures and signup for our mailing list to get more updates. Thank you! There will be more to follow soon…


We are so proud to announce the arrival of our baby girl, Elsada Rae.

She was born July 26th, 2012 at Holy Cross Hospital in Taos.

Entering this world at 8 lbs. 4 oz., she has been happy and healthy from the start!

(and so very beautiful!)


Weaving Southwest will be closed for maternity leave starting July 23, 2012. However, if you need to reach us please leave a message at 575.758.0433 or weaving@weavingsouthwest.com as we will be checking these periodically. If you would like to place an order, please do so online, www.weavingsouthwest.com, and we will get it out to you as soon as possible (we will be checking this daily). We will resume normal business hours around August 6th. Thank you!

The little baby soon to come!

 

 

 


We just received a huge shipment of our beautiful, custom spun Rug Yarn! And we are so excited to get to the dyepots again!

Our Beautiful Dye Studio in Arroyo Seco, NM

Our Beautiful Dye Studio in Arroyo Seco, NM

We use a method of dyeing developed by Rachel Brown, founder of Weaving Southwest/Rio Grande Weavers Supply, that is unique and very environmentally conscious. We call it the “sequential” method of dyeing. Since with acid dyes the water is clear when the dyeing is complete, the same hot acidic water can be used over and over again, saving on water, fuel and acid.

First in the pots are some of our lighter colors: Straw, Wheat, Ivory and Beige.

Straw Rug Yarn being stirred in our large outdoor pots.

Straw Rug Yarn being stirred in our large outdoor pots.

Once they are out of the pots we hang them to dry in the warm New Mexico sun.

Straw and Ivory Rug Yarn drying in the sun.

Straw and Ivory Rug Yarn drying in the sun.

Then on to slightly darker colors: El Topo, Pewter, Walnut and Oak.

Taking a look at the Oak Rug Yarn to see if all the color has set.

Taking a look at the Oak Rug Yarn to see if all the color has set.

We are so grateful for the New Mexico monsoon season!

Checking the Ivory Rug Yarn in the monsoonal rains.

Checking the Ivory Rug Yarn in the monsoonal rains.

Because of all of the rains these last couple weeks, we are able to use our large wood burning pots.

A freshly stoked fire under our largest dye pot.

A freshly stoked fire under our largest dye pot.

This allows us to easily dye our darker colors like Pumpkin.

Pumpkin Rug Yarn in our large wood burning pot.

Pumpkin Rug Yarn in our large wood burning pot.

We have several hundred pounds of yarn to dye, so we will be at it for several weeks! We are also going to be dyeing some of our 2-Ply Tapestry Yarn and a new yarn that we just LOVE (and can’t wait to share)!


This week I am teaching our first class in our brand new Weaving Studio! This is just the beginning… there is a lot more setting up to do… But I wanted to share a few photos to start. Enjoy!

This is facing the southeast corner of our main room. There is a bathroom through the far door, and a second room through the other.

Walking Looms

Walking Looms

This is facing the southwest corner of our main room. You can see into the other room from here. From the window we can watch the sunset over the mesa!

A look to the west

A look to the west

This week we have three students; Vicky, Susan and Kathie. We have two Walking Looms set up for Vicky and Susan. Vicky is learning all about stripes and Susan is learning basic tapestry.

Susan's Walking Loom

Susan’s Walking Loom

Kathie is learning basic tapestry on a Navajo-style loom. After a full day of warping, she was able to weave a little over an inch. Tomorrow will be Pick-n-Pick, Wavy Line, Ojo’s and intro to angles and squares!

Kathie's Navajo-style Loom

Kathie’s Navajo-style Loom

After a great day at the studio, we got to drive home to Arroyo Seco as the sun was setting.

Taos Mountain

Taos Mountain

Oh, how I love Taos!

Taos Montain

The Weaver in the Mountain


Rachel Brown, 1978

As some of you may know, my Grandma, Rachel Brown, founder of Weaving Southwest, passed away recently. Though she will be greatly missed, the whole family is at peace with her passing.

Thank you all who have sent your condolences. Your cards and the stories you have shared have been greatly appreciated.

If you would like to send a note it can be addressed to Lorelei Loveless, PO Box 2897, Taos NM, 87571. If you would like to share a story or photos here, please email Teresa Loveless at traelove@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, please contact Teresa at 575-758-0433 regarding a memorial fund.

We will be announcing the date of Rachel’s memorial shortly. Below is Rachel’s obituary, published in The Taos News last week.

Rachel Brown passed away peacefully on January 31, at the age of
85.  There was a small, family burial at the north end of Las Cruces
Cemetery in Canyon.  A memorial open to all those who cared for
Rachael will be held in May, on a date to be announced.
    Rachel is survived by her daughter, Lorelei (married to Keith
Loveless); her two sons, Seth and Kinlock Brown (married to Weiping);
four grandchildren, Teresa and Tyler Loveless and Meili and Kaili
Brown; and a blossoming great grandchild soon to be welcomed into this
world by Teresa and Joe Barry.  All live in Taos and Arroyo Seco, as
did Rachel since 1956.
   Rachel was known for her kindness and generosity and for her
tremendously productive life.  She was a seminal figure in the world
of weaving both in New Mexico and nationally.
   She was trained at Radcliffe College, the Harvard Graduate School
of Design, the Art Student’s League and at Cooper Union in New York.
   Over the years, Rachel taught weaving workshops all over the
United States.  She helped found the Craft House in Arroyo Seco in the
1960’s, taught weaving at Tierra Wools in Los Ojos, NM and at Ramah
Navajo Weavers Assoc. in Pine Hill, NM in the 70’s and 80’s and became
Head Teacher in textiles/weaving at the Taos Institute of Art.   In
later years in Taos she founded Weaving Southwest and Rio Grande
Weaver’s Supply.
   One of Rachel’s most notable achievements was her writing and
illustrating of The Weaving, Spinning and Dyeing Book (published by
Alfred Knopf, NYC, now in its 11th printing) that has become a kind of
bible among weavers.
   In 1993, Rachel was honored to receive a Lifetime Achievement
Award from the National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, D.C.
   Perhaps Rachel’s greatest gift to the world – in addition to her
family – has been the great number of exceptionally beautiful
tapestries she wove, now owned by collectors all over the country.  In
the opinion of this writer, she was a genuinely great artist and very
fine person.  Her contributions to the world will live on.
– Bruce Brown

Rachel and Her Family: Seth, Tyler, Keith, Rachel, Kinlock, Teresa, Lorelei, Meili, Kaili and Weiping


This morning was spent in Arroyo Seco at our dye studio so I could collect random items for our shop displays and also show you Teresa’s beautiful dye process.

So Teresa is the girl on the left and her ma, Lorelei, on the right

First the yarn is counted out into how many skeins are needed in a particular colour

Then its soaked in the fire-heated water for a wee bit

Chupa, is very meticulous about measuring out the correct amounts of dye…

The time the yarn spends in the dyepot depends on how dark the colour will be, our cloud for instance only takes around 10 minutes, whereas the black is left overnight.

After its allocated time, the yarn is pulled out and left to dry,

and voila!

-Hannah