The Restructuring – Part 2

This post, and this project, are both heavy on process. Figuring out how to make this work, putting in the hours to make it happen, and sticking with, it I see as parallel to the changes that need to happen in society. Hopefully this won’t be too full of weaving ‘geekiness‘ so non-weavers will understand it. There are LOTS of pictures!

I finished weaving the very first part of the piece by the beginning of Passover (4/9). Then it was time to start shifting the tablet weaving warps around. First step was to split the center band.

To be able to move the tablets in the reed, I needed to re-chain the warps. I spent one evening just switching the warps from 40 tablets in the center band from a single chain, into 20 chains, each chain having the warps from just 2 tablets.

About 5 hours later, the tablets were moved, and it took another day to weave “Time to Share”.
(I have only been sporadically keeping track of the time I’m spending on this project.)

That evening I re-chained up the warps for the side bands into chains for each individual tablet. Once that was done, I realized that I actually needed to chain up the warps for the center band into individual tablets as well.

Before I started the process of spreading out the tablets, I decided to rearrange them so the threads would make diagonal lines.

I wove 4 picks in the new configuration and then the ‘fun’ began. I started with 3 tablets on either side of the center bands, and moved them over 2-4 spaces in the reed. To do this, I need to unweight the warp chains, then one tablet at a time, I pull the warp threads & tablet out of the reed, move them over 4 spaces and them pull them back into their new space. The warp chain has to go between the heddles in the correct spot (or I won’t be able to get a shed and pass the shuttle through).

This is probably the most intense piece I’ve ever done / worked on. As the world is unraveling I am slowly changing the the structure of this cloth. One tablet at a time, I pull the warp threads & tablet out of the reed, move them over 4 spaces and them pull them back into their new space, over and over again. Once the group of cards are in there new locations, the warps need to be re-weighted and the tablets aligned with the base warp. Everything has to be in exactly the right place to be able to get a clear shed. I weave 8 picks (weft threads – passes of the shuttle) then start the moving process again.

When the warps from the center band met the warps from the outer bands, it got even more challenging (interesting?). Now I had to decide how those warps were going to cross and the pattern of moving each tablet 2 empty spaces in the reed (4 dents) didn’t work as they crossed. Took some time to figure those challenges out. Made me think about how do we spread out the wealth in society, as well as how we re-integrate people who have been marginalized. What happens when those two movements intersect?

The photo on the right is how far I got after working on this for 2 weeks. The next step was to start spreading out the side bands. There were about 3 more moves and the first tablet from the edges will finally make it into the center of the cloth. Once most of the tablets have reached their new spot, I’ll start taking the warps out of the tablets and threading them into the waiting heddles.

Most of this post was written on April 28th. As of today (May 13), I’m still working on this project. I have just started removing tablets (4 so far) and threading those warps into the base cloth. I still have a couple more moves to get all of the tablets in the order I want them. More posts to come…

To see more progress pictures:
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The Restructuring – part one

As the Covid-19 pandemic really started impacting our lives and the stay at home order was given, another one of my ‘fiber-brained’ ideas hit. I’ve been working on this project for about 6 weeks or so and I’m probably about 3/4 done with the 2nd part. This has become a very involved project, so I’m going to be posting about it in stages. Much of this first post was written at the beginning of April when I had the loom set up and had just started weaving.

So, what am I doing?
I’m weaving an art piece that combines tablet weaving into a loom woven cloth. The goal / plan is to start with the fabric set up one way and then gradually restructure the cloth.

The Covid-19 pandemic is clearly showing, to anyone paying attention, the many things in our human world that do not work. It is also showing us how we are all connected. Wealth and power are concentrated in the hands of the few. Huge numbers of people, especially people of color and folks who don’t fit the dominant culture’s norms, have been marginalized. The result is a threadbare society where it is far too easy for people to fall through the cracks. This fabric is not very functional or sustainable.

It is time to weave a new cloth.
How do we do this? The simplest thing is to start over. Cut the old warp off the loom and put on a new one, simple, yet totally disruptive. Do we really want to throw out everything about our current society, and try and start over from scratch? It would mean massive sudden change, and could cause chaos, revolutions, and wars.

I am attempting a different process.
I have set up my loom with a foundational warp that is very sparse – 1/2 the number of warp threads per inch than usual for the size of the yarn. Added to this are 3 tablet woven bands. In the center is a green and yellow/gold one. On each side is a grey and tan band. the same yarn as the background warp. The center band will have a $ sign and the word “POWER” then “TIME TO SHARE”. One of the edge bands will say “FEAR – LACK” ➔ “ABUNDANCE”. The other will say “OPPRESSION” ➔ “LIBERATION”. This beginning represents our current society.

Sample bands woven to test out how the letters would look.

Weaving both traditional cloth and tablet weaving (two completely different structures and techniques) is going to be challenging enough. Then comes the really tricky part. My plan is to gradually spread out the threads from the bands across the warp. Eventually they will be removed from the tablets and incorporated into the background cloth. (I left heddles spread between the background threads.) I cut a nine yard warp, so after the transition is complete, there should be enough warp to weave nine hand towels, sturdy functional cloth, to represent the society we want to create.

I think this is going to work, though I’m not entirely sure how. Normally the warp is set up on a loom and you don’t change it. If the weaver wants to change the look of the cloth, they can easily change the weft or possibly the treadling, but the warp, the underlying structure of the cloth, doesn’t change.

The underlying structures of society need to change so everyone’s basic needs are met and they have the opportunity to learn, grow, and become the best version of their true self. How do we get there? I am sure there are a myriad number of answers out there. Some may be simple and / or quick. Others will be complex, and many will certainly take time. And I expect shifting the 272 warp threads (68% of the total) into new positions will be all of the above. My goal is to get the 1st section woven by the beginning of Passover. (I finished this part on 4/9 the first day of Passover.)

I’m probably crazy to be attempting this project. I am also feeling very compelled to do it. It is time to share, it is time to weave a new cloth of society. Wish me luck and wish us all success in weaving a better world.

5 colors of warp x 80 ends each = 400 ends
160 Dark green and Yellow/gold – 8/2 tencel – shiny – Represents wealth / money / power
240 Gray & tan – cottolin & white cotton – humanity
Weft – olive green cottolin – represents life / earth / spirit – connects everyone
10 dent reed – beginning background cloth 10 epi, when restructuring done, it will be 20 epi.

To see more progress pictures:
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“Finding yourself is to find your power”

Finding yourself is to find your power, and the first step in being able to make effective change in the world.”

I woke to this dream this morning: Someone was talking about how being an accordion player was who they truly were. They were adamant. While they were other things as well, playing the accordion was at the core of their being. I don’t remember much else, but then I looked at the clock and it was 5:55 am. Some folks take a time like that (all the same number) as a message from the ‘other than human world’ to PAY ATTENTION!

The thing that stuck with me about this dream was the conviction the person expressed when claiming who they were. The way I see it, we are each born with gifts, things at the core of our being that are our true essence. Our job in this life is to find, figure out, or connect with those gifts and share them with the world. No small or easy task for most of us. One of my biggest challenges is the sharing part.

So it is time for me to step out of my box and share who I am:
I create and tend to Sacred Space, I am a Tzovah* or temple keeper.
I create opportunities and spaces to share my knowledge, I am a teacher.
I create beautiful cloth that helps people connect to Source within themselves and with all, I am an artist.
I seek out connections between all things to Weave Oneness, I am an Oreget* a weaver.

If any of this resonates with you consider joining me for my new workshop series ‘Stepping Out of the Box’. (Note – Early Bird registration ends on 2/13 – 1st session is Feb. 27th)

*Tzovah and Oreget are 2 of the 13 Kohenet Priestess pathways.

photo credit: The accordion player, pencil and watercolour, 35 x 25 cm, By English artist Frederick Smallfield – Christie’s, Public Domain,

One Whole World – Beltane 2018

One Whole World
All the threads are needed
All the threads are needed
All the threads are needed
To Weave
One Whole World

This came to me as a song last summer on the morning of the Solar Eclipse, the photo is from one of my journals. The sky photo was taken earlier this afternoon (5/3/18). Wanted to share this in honor of Beltane / May Day. Happy Spring!

Finding Focus, Again!

I recently started a 6 month business coaching group, and we are working on our ‘brand’, and coming up with a version of the ‘elevator speech’. Great, this will be awesome, and so helpful which is immediately followed by the question of ‘which business?” This reminded my of a couple of art pieces I did five years ago, so here’s the story on those.

Income quilt – This piece started from the idea of piecing together an income like a quilt. I had gotten to the point of adding the threads to the piece. My first plan was to use all nine colors of threads and connect each color in a zigzag back to the base color. As you can see below, that didn’t work. It was insanely chaotic.

I tried four more ideas, none of those were going to work either.








  By this time I realized this idea wasn’t working in my life as well. There were too many different things, no focus, no cohesion. I needed to get back to my focus, ceremonial cloths and my connection to spirit. I needed to let some things go, and for the piece that meant to leave some of the pins and pieces unconnected. I thought about starting over, decided that this was a transitional piece, and it had become about Finding Focus, which is now it’s title.

Finding Focus — Painted jigsaw puzzle, pins, threads, wire, beads, 20” x 16”, © 2013

While I was finishing that piece, I had the idea for the Path to Avodat ha’Lev, which means the work of the heart.

Path to Avodat Ha’Lev, The Work of the Heart

Path to Avodat Ha’Lev, The Work of the Heart

The gold and silver puzzle pieces represent Spirit. The twisted threads are following the path created by Spirit into the center. As you follow the path inward, colors are left behind, it becomes simpler, more harmonious. And in the center is weaving, a web, the web of life and a heart. Spiritual weaving, the work of my heart. A few months after finishing this piece I finally had the courage to tell someone “I make sacred cloth”.

Now I get to figure out how to distill all of this into a marketing message for my business.

For anyone who was following my “Art Story”, this post skips ahead in the timeline by almost 3 years from the last installment which was published in Jan. 2014. Sigh…

Weaving Tallit

Some projects just have their own timetable. Apparently, this is one of them.

April 2017 – Loom set up since October 2016.

I wanted to weave more painted warp tallit, so I ordered linen yarn for the warp. That was in May of 2014.

Finally got started at the beginning of Oct. last year (2016). Wound the warp, dyed it and got it on the loom in about 2 weeks. My goal was to have at least one woven by the Seattle Weavers’ Guild sale at the end of the month. With barely a week before the sale, I realized it wasn’t going to happen, and if I tried, it would be rushed, and I wouldn’t enjoy the process. Totally not the right energy to be putting into a piece of sacred cloth.

Life happened, so it wasn’t until the beginning of April that I started weaving – Yay! Finished weaving in the header and discovered that the tension on the warp was uneven. Not good, especially with a linen warp since linen has virtually no stretch. Discovered that at the end of the warp, there wasn’t any packing on the warp beam. So, un-wove everything, un-lashed the warp, re-rolled the last yard or so, re-tied on, and got it back to the same point it was when I started that evening. More ‘Life Happening’, and so it sat again.

June 2017 – Loom set up after adjusting the warp tension in April. Ready to start again.

Last night, I started weaving! So, to keep this project moving along, I’m going to post progress pictures of the day’s weaving as I go along. I’ll post them on my Facebook page, and then do a weekly summary on this blog. Hope you enjoy watching the progress. So here we go!To secure the end of the weaving, I do a type of hemstitching. It essentially creates a row of twining at the beginning so it won’t unravel. Using a long tail of the weft, you go over one warp thread and then diagonally under the next one locking the weft yarn in place.First 10 inches of weaving done. Warp is a 20/2 linen sett at 24 epi. Piece is 27” wide, so there are 648 warp ends. The main weft is a 20/2 silk yarn. The blue and purple are 8/2 Tencel. Note: before doing the hemstitching, wove in more header to the beginning of the dyed part of the warp (no photo).

Close up of the weaving.

Peeking and slowly crawling out of the ‘spiritual closet’.

Having spent most of my life hiding from myself and/or the world, posting on this blog is a big step for me. I’ve been searching most of my adult life for meaning, connection and trying to figure out what my purpose is during this lifetime.

In my 20’s I began meditating, and was a disciple of Sri Chinmoy for a short while. That was followed reading by a lot of books on a variety of mostly New Age subjects. Then about 10 years ago, I started studying Wicca as well as going back to my Jewish roots and discovering that there were more similarities than differences between the two. During this time I became involved with the Women’s Torah Project and was looking for a deeper connection with the Divine Feminine. My reading now included anything I could find on Shekhinah.

In the Fall of 2015, I stumbled upon the Kohenet Hebrew Priestess Training Program. It is described as ‘Earth Based, Embodied, Feminist, Judaism. I sat and read every page on the website. When I got to the bottom of the page describing the 13 priestess paths I was blown away. One of the Paths is The Weaver.

Oreget: The Weaver
    The Weaver weaves in the Temple to honor the Divine feminine. What she weaves are batim or “houses”—tapestries, garments, or maybe worlds. Like the Fates, the oreget weaves space, time, and soul together. She embodies the connectedness of all things. It is she who integrates and connects the many threads of the world. We see her in the women who spun the goats’ hair for the Tabernacle. Her gifts are the weaving of legends, interpretations, rituals and traditions, as well as weaving, sewing, writing, and all the creative arts. She watches over all activities that bring disparate elements together.

My first thought was “I’m not crazy!” I was awed, humbled, thrilled, amazed, excited, blown away. My path was real, not some crazy thing I was dreaming up. They were describing me. Some of the ideas could have been taken from my artist statement. And literally, I am a weaver.
     Artist’s Statement – March 12, 2013: “Spirituality and connections. These are the focus of my current work in mixed media and fiber art. The underlying philosophy of my world view is that all things are connected in some way. Finding those connections by juxtaposing objects or ideas fascinates me and through this searching, I look for ways to understand our place in the cosmos. My goal is to create art with a spiritual focus or for a spiritual use, with the hope that this work will foster the viewer or user’s sense of connection to that which is greater than our individual selves. Art that celebrates the threads of spirit that connect us all.”

I promptly signed up for their newsletter, and in a few months, they announced they were taking applications for two new cohorts, one on the East Coast, and one on the West Coast. I finally got my application in, and was accepted. I went to the first week of training in January 2017 still not entirely sure about this, it sounded so cool, but what in the world would I do with this? By the middle of the first full day, heading to the dining hall I knew, “I’m home”.

Central altar at the end of the week for Shabbat.

Inward Journey, Search for Self – Solo Show

Newer pieces in the show.

There is still time to see the show, it runs through March 27th, 2017
@ University Friends Meeting & Friends Center
4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle, Washington 98105
The Friends Center is open M-F from 9am – 1pm. The show is in the social hall which is locked. You will need to knock on the office door.
Their worship services are on Sunday morning.
And for those who can’t make it to the show, here are a few pictures of the newer pieces.

Path of Liberation, hand-dyed fabric and beads. Background is 24″ x 24″.                                              The dyed fabric is a vintage linen napkin!

Healing the Mother: jigsaw puzzle, pins, threads. 14″ x 18″

Goddess / Tree: tablet woven band on silk and linen background. 23″ Diameter.                           Need to figure out a better name. Think I may title it ‘Ima Adamah – Mother Earth’.


Mother Tree – Asherah, Handwoven fabric with needle felting and needle weaving, net, mounted on padded wire frame. 43″ x 30″ x 7″ This piece has move to the Fiber Fusion show at Schack Art Center in Everett, WA. Fiber Fusion opens March 9th and runs through April 15th.




Show, Classes, a busy February

February will be a busy month!

Reception: My Solo Show – Inward Journey, Search for Self                                   February 5th, 2017 1-3pm @ University Friends Meeting & Friends Center
4001 9th Ave NE, Seattle, Washington 98105                                                                      The show will be up until the end of March. The Friends Center is open M-F from 9am – 1pm. The show is in the social hall which is locked. You will need to knock on the office door. Their worship services are on Sunday morning.

Weaving Classes @ Swedish Club
1920 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, Washington 98109                                                                 Classes run for 4 weeks Beginning February 7, 2016                                               Beginning Weaving on a 4-harness loom, 2-4 pm                                                        Basic Tapestry and Two-Harness or Rigid Heddle Weaving                                                   To contact the Swedish club call: (206) 283-1090              

My booth at last year’s conference.

Next retail event: Women of Wisdom Conference Market Place                      Saturday – Monday, February 18 – 20, 2017                                                               Market hours are 8:30am -7pm Saturday and Sunday and 8:30am – 1pm Monday      Held at North Seattle College in the Campus Center
9600 College Way N., Seattle, WA 98103
SW corner of the campus – enter at 95th St.      

Winding a Warp – Towel exchange

Towels_warpHello again. It’s been a busy almost 2 years since I last posted here. In the meantime, I started an e-newsletter and have been posting on my Facebook page, so my writing efforts have been appearing in those venues. Part of the reason it’s been so long is I ran into the proverbial writers block in my art story. Time to start on a different theme.

This coming September I will start teaching weaving at the Swedish Club in Seattle. I have been thinking about doing a series of posts on fiber processes so I decided to start with a few on weaving. These posts can be an introduction and a resource for my students.

The other kick in the rear I got is recently my husband’s cousin told me she has plans to start a sewing blog. We challenged each other to post something before our next family gathering in mid September. So here we go.

A couple of years ago I participated in a handwoven towel exchange project through the Seattle Weavers’ Guild. Having had the idea of writing a series of ‘how to’ posts, I’ve occasionally been taking process pictures of the projects I’m working on. The series of photos from this project includes most of the steps for setting up a loom.

I started with these 2 cones of 8/2 matte cotton yarn.

I started with these 2 cones of 8/2 matte cotton yarn.

So what is a towel exchange? Each participant wove a number of towels and brought the finished towels to a meeting. We drew numbers and took turns picking out other weaver’s towels. We all went home with the same number of towels, just they were ones woven by someone else.

Setting up a loom – Step #1 – Winding the warp

The warp are the lengthwise yarns that are under tension on the loom. After you decide the size of the finished cloth, you calculate the number of warp threads (or ends) and the length you’ll need. This project needed a total of 480 ends, each 12 yards long for a total of 5,760 yards. Which for this yarn was about 1.7 pounds.


Warping Board

In the photo above and the video below, you see the threads being wound on a warping board. The pegs are 1 yard apart making it easy to get the length you need. Towels_warp_cross

At the top are two extra pegs that allow you to form a figure ‘8’ called a ‘cross’. A yarn is tied through the spaces to maintain the ‘cross’ which helps to keep the threads in order while putting them on the loom.


The blue warp threads have all been measured and cut but none of the white warp has been wound yet. Used over half of the cone.

After you finish winding a section of the warp, in this case 2″ worth, you need to chain the warp bundle. It’s done the same way you make a chain in crochet, just using your hands. Start at the end away from the cross and continue until you have “chained” the warp to the tie for the cross. This will keep the warp threads from getting totally tangled up.


The warp is chained and now ready to be put onto the loom. Note how much yarn is left on the cones.

So if you are inspired to learn how to weave, my beginning weaving class starts Tues. Sept. 13th and meets from 6:30 to 8:30 pm. The registration form is available HERE.

Next post will be about threading the loom.