Posted by: lavernewaddington | October 5, 2018

Backstrap Weaving – The View from my iPod

I love the little pouch I made for my iPod. With it hanging around my neck, I can quickly and easily take pictures anywhere I go. And, it also gives me access to Instagram, which I love.

Backstrap weaving with camera at the ready  with my new silver hair streak..

Using the iPod as a principal camera does have certain limitations, though. The battery life is pathetically short and the zoom is pretty useless. I will probably go back to also carting my larger camera around on my next trip away.

However, the iPod did enable me to take some nice shots during my trip away and so I can now show and tell you that Ohio has the cutest story-book clouds….

And that I learned yet again on my second visit that Vermont has epic sunsets…

While Kentucky has awesome hiking trails and vistas…

And that strolling through Charlotte airport is like strolling though a park! Someone had the brilliant idea to plant trees and place rockers under them. That, with the natural light streaming in through the high glass walls creates a very unique airport experience…

It is so convenient to be able to grab my camera from its little pouch around my neck and snap a quick shot along my warp with the backstrap still in place around my hips…

You might recognize this warp from the cover of my dvd Operating a Backstrap Loom.

I had created it just for the cover shot and then put it away in a drawer. When I was traveling it seemed like the perfect thing to take along and weave on with its bright colors and small amount of pick-up…..reaxing but ot oo demanding with its small amount of pick-up.  Finding just the right spot outside is sometimes tricky and I found myself moving around this tree, like the hands of a clock, chasing the shade.

I met young Mira who added an extra bit of sunshine to my day with a warp she had created from her own handspun and naturally dyed wool…

After playing with the warp and making some adjustments, she  showed me the bark berry baskets she makes. She made this one into a backpack. It’s lined and she sewed on the leather trim herself. It’s gorgeous! On other baskets she has used tablet-woven trims.

There were so many cool people at this campground doing all kinds of fibery things.

Knitting ”softwear” engineer Alisdair Post-Quinn was there. I got to hang out with him one morning on one of the porches while I wove a band with interlocking Andean hooks attached to my toe. Alisdair was starting a new piece in double knitting. He showed me the pattern he had created and it was also all about hooks in positive and negative space, looked very Central Asian and was absolutely stunning!

There are several relaxing ”hang-out” spots such as this throughout the campground which are great places to sit and  and talk to whomever happens to come by. There was even a convenient post for attaching a backstrap loom at this one.

There were folks making felted vessels, painting on silk, weaving rag rugs, making chain mail, doing Sashiko embroidery, double knitting, tapestry weaving, quilting, making long and short bows, plasma cutting, basket making, flute making…and these were just the activities that I managed to get around and see. There were a whole lot of other fiber and fiber-related things going on as well at this five-day event known as Fiber College of Maine. Classes ran for two days, one day and half days and there were several ”taster” activities offered by the hour. I was drawn to the pottery taster but knew that I wouldn’t be able to carry my creation home.

The entire campground is a wonderland of creativity from the plasma-cut fire places to the whimsical outhouses.

I was quite taken with the sleeping quarters which are provided for visiting artist-in-residence that stands within the weaving studio building…a tent structure within the building which has been covered with antique doilies. It was like a little fairy land inside.

From there I moved on to visit with Janie. We messed around with ñawi awapa tubular bands and played with various finishing techniques used by weavers in Peru and Bolivia.

Janie was busy preparing for a show of her tied and dyed silk scarves…

Between weaving and silk dyeing, we managed to have an awesome day out hiking in Kentucky in the Red River Gorge. It was a day of beautiful views and just enough challenge for me whose legs had not been hiking for a long, long time!

And then, I bounced over east again to Vermont to stay with Lausanne and Brian in their little cottage in the woods…

Fall was in the air and we harvested potatoes but I was just that little bit too early to see the leaf colors that I had enjoyed on the Columbus Day weekend on my last visit.

We wove, went to the Harvest Festival at which Lausanne performed on her fiddle, cruised thrift stores and did some short local hikes.

Lausanne put together a beautiful wool warp for her backstrap loom. Yes, wool has its challenges but working with it is so worth it. Once you get used to its hairiness and adapt your shed opening techniques to suit, it all becomes so much less intimidating.

She chose  figures from the aquatic set in my latest book of patterns Complementary-warp Pattern Book starting with some little fish in among the currents and progressing to one of the four larger fish that are charted in the book.

Online weaving friend, Lizze Ruffell, has been enjoying my Complementary-warp Pick-up book….

My last afternoon with Lausanne was spent taking a gentle walk on a perfect fall day to a lovely lookout spot where we could enjoy views of the Adirondacks and Lake Champlain.

I then moved on and visited with my good friends Claudia, Janet and David in Maryland. It’s been nine years since we met online via Weavolution and there is always much to catch up on. It was tough having to limit the visit to just two days. But, we didn’t muck around. Claudia suggested reviving my limited knitting skills and I was all for it. Perhaps it was the encounter with Alisdair that reminded me of the amazing things that can be created with yarn and two simple pointed sticks. And so…I knitted! I learned the long-tail cast-on and used circular needles for the first time…exciting! Claudia sent me home with a whole kit of interchangeable needles and a half-finished simple cowl.

My warm-up sample.

I think that wearing colored cowls near my face will be nice way to brighten things up a bit when I complete my transition to silver hair. There’s still a loooong way to go on that! I also ordered silk so that I can weave some silk button-up ones too.

And I also visited Leslie.

Leslie had been to Convergence where she took my friend Marilyn’s class. I immediately recognized the bow-loom-woven double bracelet that Marilyn teaches people to weave. Marilyn also presents this class on dvd or via streaming on the Taproot Video website.


And, the other thing that the iPod has been good for is…. those dreadful selfies. They are too hard to do with my big camera and I would like to record my transition to silver hair. I promise I won’t bore you with these pictures in every blog post but I figure that if I put a picture or two ”out there” I am less likely to chicken out and go back to dyeing.

Now, I am back in Bolivia and giving myself a few days to clean house, do laundry and re-stock the fridge before jumping back in my loom. First, I will finish the red warp that I took away. It’s going to be a backstrap. And then, I will decide on whether I want to start with the silk cowls, some ikat, linked warp, or perhaps a light gauze cotton piece using some fine handspun cotton that I found in the closet. I think I bought it in Guatemala back in 2008. It has been doubled and rolled into a ball and I have been winding the singles back into separate balls.

I am wallowing in time…exciting! There’s lots of weaving to do and, of course, there is a book or two to work on as well.















  1. wow, just wow…. such an inspiring pictures and stories ❤

  2. I love your little pouch too Laverne and all the great photos on your posts as they are so graphic. Your text is graphic also: when you say you jump INTO your loom I just laughed, but I know that that is what you do! Thanks for all this enjoyment and best wishes. Jenny Jackett, Brisbane

  3. Thanks for another wonderful post full of color and weaving!

    (If you keep your iPod on airplane mode, the battery lasts a good long time)

    • You’re welcome. Thanks for visiting. I do keep my iPod on airplane mode. I am sure the battery lasts a good long time when you are listening to music with black screen. I don’t have any music on mine! I guess I am using it for something for which it was not really originally intended. If I am out and about taking a lot of photos at an exhibit or something like that, I find that the battery runs down surprisingly quickly.

  4. Great pics!! I find with my iPhone I get more impromptu photos. Re the battery issue- pick up a little power stick like pocket juice. They have bailed me out often when traveling

  5. Thanks for this amazing and beautiful post.

    • Thank you. I really appreciate your taking the time to comment.:-)

  6. I always love it when there’s a new post on your blog – they always feel like presents! And I love the beginnings of your halo. 🙂

    • Absolutely!

    • Thank you, Deanna. I did a half-up pony tail yesterday and it looked like I was wearing a silver tiara!

  7. Lovely, Laverne. You were in two of my favorite states. Ohio is my home state and Kentucky is a state I lived in and love.

    • Thanks, Alaa. It was nice to be able to spend some time in Kentucky in that beautiful Red River Gorge.

  8. The wool piece that Lausanne is working on sure is inspiring. I love that you are growing out your hair. You will be such a vision of light and loveliness with your natural hair color!

    • Thanks, Kristin! Yes, Lausanne’s piece is gorgeous. I can’t wait to see it finished.

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