Posted by: lavernewaddington | May 7, 2010

Backstrap Weaving- Madness at Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival




Backstrap weaving at the Weavolution meetup on Sunday. I got to meet a lot of the people behind those avatars and user names. It turned out that the rabbit building where we all met up was one of the coolest places in the whole festival.

You may remember a few weeks back when I was still in Bolivia and packing all my “on the road” crafting bits and pieces for this trip, I said that if I didn’t get my Friday blog post out, that meant that I was having too good a time. Well it finally got to me. Waaaay too much fun and craziness at the Maryland Festival combined with a stay with my friends Claudia, Janet and David from Weavolution in Montgomery County, a ten-hour train trip back down to North Carolina and now packing for a weekend at the beach means that I can only give you a mini post this week and a hint of the good things to come.

I had fun backstrap weaving on both days and my wallet came out quite unscathed – I only bought a dvd. But I had plenty of time to watch the Sheep to Shawl, wander the vendors halls , pet the animals,  take photos and meet and talk to loads of interesting people.


Meeting Sharon aka Thelmaweaves at Weavolution with Deb McClintock in the background.

I wove some pebble weave at the show on my backstrap loom and also took a sample on an inkle loom that I had woven in the car on the way up to Maryland from North Carolina. I don’t know who took this shot – a lot of people have sent me pictures and I thank you all.

The rabbit building was cool but this was THE COOLEST PLACE at the festival. I tied up my loom and spent the afternoon weaving in a yurt. The felt was great insulation, I had beautiful skins on which to sit and some cool grass for my toes and the opening in the roof aided good air circulation. Here I am shiny faced and slightly bedraggled after a day in the heat but having a ball!

Now I must leave you or this mini post will turn into a small novel. I am about to go out and plant a herb garden with Lisa. Before I do, I would like to leave you with a little story and a teaser until I can write my complete post next week.

While watching the Sheep to Shawl – my first one ever on day two of the show, I climbed up onto the stage to get a better view of the shawl judging. Along came a charming English gent who said that he envied my lofty position from which to take photos. Well, I just told him to come on up where he spotted the inkle loom I had slung over my shoulder with my pebble weave band and we got to chatting. I invited him to come and watch my backstrap demo at noon, he assured me he would and we parted.

I was in full swing at the demo setting up my loom and getting ready to weave when my new British friend sat by my side and then presented me with a beautiful braid that he made from fiber he had picked up at the show…and then he showed me these…

So, have you guessed his identity? I’ll give you another clue…he was recently the subject of one of Syne Mitchell’s Weavecasts….

Speaking of Syne Mitchell and WeaveZine, my e-monograph has been selling well and I have already met a bunch of people here who have bought it and are using it. I will be writing with some yarn recommendations for backstrap weaving in my next post following very useful feedback I have had from some folks..

More about my encounter with my new braiding buddy and a bunch of other MSWF antics as well as some pre-and-post-festival fiber fun soon!

We are off to Oak Island this weekend. I am looking forward to dipping my toes in the Atlantic, eating shrimp, inkling in the car and backstrap weaving on the porch of the beach house. Next week we are going to try out my theory for getting Andean pebble weave onto the four-shaft loom – I have got it down on paper and am dying to try it.

See you then! 🙂


  1. so glad you got to meet Rodrick Owen, isn’t he great???? he sure get around.

  2. Oh MY! You got to meet Rodrick Owen! You are SO lucky! Lovely man.

  3. I wish I could have made it to MDSW to catch your classes. I can’t wait to see what you come up for doing Pebble weave on a 4 harness loom.

  4. Wow! I am exhausted just reading about it all! I knew the Maryland show was big……….but 50,000 people, thats way beyond big. I wish I still had the energy to travel like you have done this last few weeks, what wonderful memories you are making and I thank you so much for sharing the experience. What absolute wonderful fibery fun!!

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