Ginny, Teresa & Vicki

Ginny, Teresa & Vicky

Back in the early months of 2011, Vicky and her daughter (who recently graduated from RISD!) came to take a Navajo-style weaving class with me. Long story short, Navajo-style looms and tapestry weaving were not Vicky’s favorite thing. By the end of class, I was worried that these techniques had completely turned her off to weaving. As a teacher, this was the last thing I could have wanted.

So, as class wrapped up, I asked her to stay on for a few days. I had her choose some colors she liked and I set her up a little 4-harness loom with some apparel yarn as warp. The goal was to weave a shawl. I had her weave stripes, simple stripes (balanced weave), and invited her to play around with color and texture. A week and three shawls later, Vicki was absolutely in love!

The following winter, Vicky returned to Taos from New Hampshire. She had signed up for a class on our Rio Grande Walking Looms. Weeks before she arrived, we had decided to close down our big shop in Taos (that’s a whole story in itself). So, we decided to deliver one of our looms to her home here in Taos, all warped up and ready to go. I gave here a little tutorial and set her loose, weaving stripes! This time she explored weft-faced weaving, creating little rugs, pillows and runners. About a month and several yards of warp later, she had created a collection of beautiful little weavings and was feeling confident on the loom. She returned to New Hampshire, excited about coming back to Taos that winter to weave.

That following October, we reopened Weaving Southwest in Arroyo Seco. We had a tiny little space, that allowed me to set up a few looms to teach classes. Vicky called up and signed up for a class… Tapestry 101!

A few days before class, a woman from Maine came into the shop with a couple friends from New Mexico (a weaver and a loom builder). I mentioned the class, her friends encouraged her, and before she left the shop that day, Ginny had signed up for Tapestry 101!

Vicky, Ginny and another woman (who turned out to be an amazing weaver!) joined me in our tiny studio for class. Within three days, Vicky and Ginny had become friends and choose to stay on, rent looms and continue weaving side-by-side. With each piece they wove their friendship grew. When the time came, they both headed back to the east coast with several of their own handwoven pillows, rugs and runners.

For the several years that have followed this first meeting, these wonderful ladies have continued to join me in class every winter. After picking up a few new techniques, they go on to weave several beautiful textiles on their own. Vicky acquired a secondhand Rio Grande Walking Loom and now has an amazing little weaving studio set up in her Taos home. These two have become as close as sisters, keeping in touch between their winter visits to Taos. Their husbands have been caught up in the mix and ski Taos mountain while their ladies are busy at the loom.

Handwoven rugs

A preview of their collection

 

Ginny & Vicky

Ginny & Vicky

The friendship that was born at the looms in our little studio, coupled with the beautiful evolution of Vicky and Ginny’s weavings, inspire me in so many ways. To say the least, these women have made me a very proud teacher and very grateful that I do what I do.

Ciao,
Teresa

PS I hope this post has brought you some inspiration! Now, I would love to hear from you! Has weaving ever changed your life? Or brought you a new friendship? If so, please leave a comment (link at top of post)…

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16 comments on “The Story of Two Weavers

  • This is a strange tale about fiber and friendship. I learned to weave 40 years ago, and spinning came one year later than weaving. I have been knitting since age five. I did the show route, did production weaving, and eventually I had to turn to a “real job”. Fast forward from 1975 to 1989. I went to a camp-out with the new boyfriend, and met a wonderful group of people. We have been friends since then. Fast forward again to 2005. I went to the high school graduation for one of my friend’s son. I saw one of a couple by himself and asked about his wife. I found out she had ordered a spinning wheel and was teaching herself to spin. I gave him my card and asked him to tell her to call me. From the first time we got together with our wheels, we bonded a tighter friendship that has become the story you told above. Crow has gone on to owning two looms and LOVES weaving. I sold my last loom four years ago. I spin daily and knit all the time. I no longer refer to myself as a “weaver”. She is doing some beautiful pieces and she is exploring colorways that I would not even begin to use. When we go anywhere we carry our knitting or spindles. People are used to seeing us together with our hands moving. We call ourselves The Sisterhood of the Pointy Sticks. It is funny that she does not remember that I was weaving or spinning until she became interested. I show her a picture from that first camp-out in 1989. I am sitting in a chair in the shade knitting a pair of socks. By-the-way, I am still wearing that pair of socks. It was wool I bought in Germany.

    • What a wonderful story, Juliann! Thank you for sharing!

      Best to you and the Sisterhood of the Pointy Sticks! 🙂

      Ciao,
      Teresa

      PS Got to love hand-knit socks!

  • What a fantastic story! And such beautiful weavings. Large weavings to boot. I’m beyond impressed with the weaving they are doing; incredibly inspirational.

    • Thank you, Nanci!

      These two, along with so many of my students, continue to inspire and impress me every day!

      Hope all is well!

      Ciao,
      Teresa

  • Hi Teresa,

    What a great new website you have. I loved the Two Weavers story and know from taking your classes what a nurturing environment you provide making new friendships. As always, I am inspired and humbled by the beautiful weavings produced and can only hope to keep on weaving….
    See you soon.

    Ciao, ciao

    • Thank you so much, Kathy!

      I can’t wait to have you in class again! 🙂

      See you soon!

      Ciao,
      Teresa

  • I always love all your stories. And this one is really special. Love the colors. Although I can never visualize me doing anything that large. I love when others do. And just taken in and rejoice in the colors. They are just…….delicious.

    • Thank you, Kantu!

      I would love to see you weave something this size! 🙂 Though it can be intimidating at first, I feel a larger pallet allows more space for self expression.

      Honestly, I find working small very challenging. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school that, when I showed her my portfolio that I had worked very hard to put together (to apply to art school), she flipped through the pages, tossed it on the table in frustration and said, “Teresa, you can’t be confined to these tiny pages… You have to work large!”. Not fully understanding what she meant, I carried her words with me and went on to pursue the sciences instead. It wasn’t until, years later, when I took over Weaving Southwest and started weaving again, that I understood what she meant. I work and dream on a grand scale and my weavings never fall under 30″ in either direction… 🙂

      Moral of the story – some work small, some work large, both can be good, but either way, it can help you to find yourself artistically by exploring areas that may not feel comfortable at first. 🙂

      Hope all is well, Kantu! Talk to you soon!

      Ciao,
      Teresa

  • Weaving had provided me the opportunity to meet/make friends. From taking classes, to finding instant “kinship” with folks who have a loom, or their mother had a loom, or they knit, spin, etc. Some of my most cherished/treasured friends are fellow weavers and knitters!

    • Hi Stacy,

      It never ceases to amaze me how many people, as some point in their lives, have been introduced to textiles. Either a family member wove, their grandma taught them to knit, they took a weaving class in high school, etc. There does seem to be a certain kinship between these people, even if they do not actively pressure the fiber world anymore. It brings me so much joy when someone walks through our door and it is like a light from their past shines through their memories… they end up sharing the most wonderful stories of how fiber was once in their lives. It makes me very happy that I am able to do what I do.

      Thank you for the sharing!

      Ciao,
      Teresa

  • Teresa – imagine my surprise to see Ginny and me and our rugs on the site! You have captured our story in a lovely way, thru your words & photos. It’s not just the weaving, is it! You are an inspiring teacher, mentor and friend and it is a dream come true to study with you, have my own loom and live in Taos (part of each year). I send my heart-felt gratitude to you and your family – Vicky

    • Thank you, Vicky!!!

      I did my best with the story, though there is so much more to it. I was going to run it by you two, but though it would be more fun as a surprise! 🙂

      Summer has finally arrived here in Seco… I say finally, because it snowed just a couple weeks ago. Our summer classes have started up and they are already filling with students! It’s going to be a good year!

      I hope New Hampshire is treating you well. And that Katie’s graduation was wonderful! How exciting!

      Can’t wait to see you this winter! Talk to you soon!

      Ciao,
      Teresa

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