Posted by: lavernewaddington | July 16, 2010

Backstrap Weaving- On the Road Again!


A short post this week as I get my sticks, strings, shuttles and spindles together for another trip to the US flying out tomorrow  (Friday the 16th).

Andean Pebble Weave is now in print! It will also be available for purchase in its e-version on the WeaveZine site. (UPDATE: Now it is available in 4 languages at along with the follow-up book, only in English.)

With all the loose ends that needed tying up  and the time spent working with Syne Mitchell to get the print version of my monograph ready, I didn’t expect to get any weaving done this week. But then I had an idea and ended up weaving a bunch of keyfobs. I thought it would be fun to give a keyfob away with the first 20 copies of Andean Pebble Weave. So I sat with my basket of cotton thread and had a great time combining all sorts of colors to make the 20 keyfobs to accompany the books. I combined several small pebble weave motifs and now I can definitely see the benefits of weaving the same design over and over as some indigenous weavers do. I could probably weave this with my eyes shut now!! As long as there were new colors to combine it never got boring. Only one or two color combinations are repeated as I made tiny warps and wove one at a time.

And I didn’t stop at twenty as I thought that these fobs would make nice gifts all year round. I will be weaving these where ever I can find a spot to tie up my loom – in the Vendor Hall and probably to my bunk bed in my hostel!! as I am packing my mini warping board and crochet cottons.

I am also taking my wobbly Bolivian drop spindle and some of the alpaca fiber that my friend Janet gave me on my last visit. I just spun a little to get it started on the spindle and it is so so beautiful to spin! This is not the first alpaca I have ever had to spin. I bought some many years ago in Peru and it was in a dried-out, brittle and filthy state. I lost a good third of it in the cleaning process and I knitted rather than wove with it. Now I have this prepared smooth luscious fiber to work with – what a dream! It almost feels like cheating! I’ll be spinning it to weave with on my backstrap loom.

I am hoping to squeeze some of my smaller weavings into the backpack to show people who drop by the Weavolution booth at Convergence. I am also taking them to show some folks in North Carolina. I found out about a  group of Montagnard people who have a small community in North Carolina. This is wonderfully convenient as North Carolina is on my trip route on my way home after Convergence. My good weaving buddy Lisa lives there and we have been invited to go visit the Montagnard community as there are backstrap weavers among them. What’s more, it seems that they have been recently joined by Karen and Nepali weavers. We hope to share our textiles and backstrap techniques and I am so excited about this opportunity. You can read a bit about the Montagnard people here and watch a video on one of the weavers in the North Carolina community here.

Betsy Renfrew who has been working with the weavers, and who extended the invitation to me after my initial enquiries, has started a blog about the group’s activities.

My backpack will also be full of sticks as I will be staying with one of the Weavolution founders in Washington and she may have some friends over to weave. I have loom bars and backstraps for several people so we can all weave together.

So…come and visit me at Convergence!! I will be with Weavolution founder Alison at the Weavolution booth or wandering about most likely with a bunch of sticks protruding from my tote bag. I would love to meet you and show you my weavings and loom. You can check out the new print version of my book. I hear that there will be a weaver from the Textile Center in Cusco demonstrating backstrap  weaving too so I will definitely be there watching her.

Hopefully next week’s post will be full of Convergence events to report and stories of all the wonderful weavers I have met.


  1. safe journey, and have great time!!!!! keep us posted…

    • Will do. Hope I get to see something outside the vendor hall!

  2. Have a wonderful time! Lots of piccies, please, for those of us who cannot get there!
    I am sooooo turning green!

    • I’ll do my best but I am afraid I will only have an “outsider'” view as I haven’t registered.

  3. I can feel the excitement through your post today. Have a save trip and greet the weavolution people you stay with for me, please.
    I am glad your book will be in print too. Hope i can go back to my backstrap after the exposition ends and set up something to take on our hollydaytrip to Danmark in august.
    Take care of yourself and have fun.

    • Thank you Jeannine. Sounds like a lot of Weavolution folk will be there. Should be fun. Back to Denmark! Hope you have a lovely time.

  4. Laverne, I love your key fobs. The color combinations and patterns are beautiful. I am impressed with your monograph–everything is so clear. The photography is excellent. Keep teaching and posting. I’m learning a lot. Thanks.

    • Hi Jenny,
      I am glad you like the monograph, we worked a lot on getting those photos right with the minimum of equipment. Thanks so much for your comments.

  5. Feliitaciones!!, maravillosos tus trabajos. Saludos desde Argentina

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