Reader’s Gallery: Reflecting on Life during Lockdown

Clearly the pandemic has changed our lives, and for many weavers, it has also changed their weaving.

Susan E. Horton Nov 23, 2020 - 5 min read

Reader’s Gallery: Reflecting on Life during Lockdown Primary Image

From the left, Chris Quinn’s Beauty in the Breakdowns; Ellen Finan’s Future Promises; and Nancy Rimsha’s Limits and Learning. All three photos by designers

Many of the entrants in the Reader’s Gallery wrote about how lockdown because of the pandemic has influenced their weaving and their lives. Most are philosophical, some downright funny. In this post during the week of Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy the art and thoughts of fellow weavers as we work and weave through this difficult period. Look for the message that is not lockdown-related but made me laugh out loud. —Susan

Designer Statements

Chris Quinn: I ran out of colors needed for the plaid and added the green and blue stipes in a desperate move to complete the wrap. The end result fueled my design aestheic, blending traditions with moments of something else all together.

Ellen Finan: In the midst of COVID-19 the sun still shines, the birds sing, and the rabbits scamper about trying to outmaneuver the quail for the wildbird seed. The weaver works away on her Saori loom weaving the colors of the hope of spring, the promise of summer, and the end of our collective trauma.

Nancy Rimsha: This scarf speaks to me of a time when social life is limited, but there is quiet unstructured time for study and creativity, for investigaton of things I always intended but never seemed to find the time for, including carefully studying weave structures. After taking Margaret Coe’s online class in deflected double weave and reviewing Marian Stubenitsky’s book Double With a Twist, I was able to design deflected doubleweave.The satisfaction of creating provides balm for the frustration of our currently limited life.

hubbard and 2

From the left, Dorie Hubbard’s Huck Lace Scarf; Lea Rice’s Social Distancing Wrapped Up; Ellen Germann’s Changed Up Scarf. Photos by Jeff Hutton, Susan Rice, and Carol Coteus

Designer Statements

Dorie Hubbard: This huck lace scarf was made with bamboo yarn, a joy to work with and to wear. It was a companion piece on the loom to one sold at an auction to benefit our local arts council. To me it represents the importance of arts and crafts in our communities, especially in these difficult times.

Lea Rice: This is a 26" × 110" shawl woven with natural alpaca weft on a 8/2 unmercerized “Jean” colored cotton in a plaited twill. The design is currently covert and, thus, won’t be seen until worn. The blue edges were overtly left raw much like the current times.

Ellen Germann: During this time, we have had to change up so many ways we do things. This shadow-weave scarf is based on a pattern from Marian Powell’s 1000 (+) Shadow Weave Patterns. I chose pattern 8-10 and then used treadlings 5, 10, and 4. I wove as shown for 10” then wove a dark line and then changed each pattern up by switching the dark and light order. The weavers in my studio loved watching how the changed-up patterns looked so different from the original.

doanhey glaves and iwasa

From the left, Cynthia Donahey’s Fauci Report; Jeannine Glaves’s Wrap of Words; and Tanya Iwaasa’s The Fickle Nature of Teenagers. All three photos by designers

Designer Statements

Cynthia Donahey: Weaving this scarf kept me sane while listening to the early information about the pandemic. Weaving has been getting me through and will continue to keep me engaged long after this virus is history. The expanding nature of the overshot pattern reminds me to breath.

Jeannine Glaves: These are thoughts and bits of humor about COVID-19—my way to cope with stress. Here is a sampling:

  • Can we uninstall 2020 and install it again? This version has a virus.
  • Kind of starting to understand why pets try to run out of the house when the front door opens.
  • That “oh” moment when you’re worried about the elderly and realize that you are the elderly.
  • Had I known in March that it was the last time I would be in a restaurant, I would have ordered the dessert.
  • What if they close the grocery stores and we have to hunt for food? I don’t even know where Doritos live.

Tanya Iwaasa: Two of my boys loved Dr. Who when I started this project, but neither was interested in the finished product! I used pattern charts from a double-knitting pattern "Dr. Who Double Knit Scarf" by Karen Pritchard as the basis of my pick-up pattern.