Tag Archives: dedicated weaving shed

From Bread Bags To Friendship To Covid-19

Last August I got a letter.  It was from a woman two thousand miles away.  She said that my posts on loom restoration had been very helpful in assembling and refurbishing one that she had recently acquired.  Since then we have sent a lot of what we have done back and forth.  Each of our families have chosen to stay at home over the course of this pandemic, and we have found our own ways of being creatively productive.  Her work is amazing; she is a Master weaver.  Over the past couple of months she has woven bread bags, chair upholstery, and scarves, worked on vestments, and sewn virus masks.  It’s amazing!  Here is some of her work…

My own work here has focused on finishing construction on our weaving shop and anchoring our power loom…


…along with getting accessories up and running like this cone winder…

And now I am in to preparing equipment for spring farming, starting with installing new axles and refurbishing some trailers that will be good now for decades to come, and farming equipment…


Isolated on our farm there is no end of work to do over this time when staying separate is the best gift we can offer to one another…well, that and weaving gifts!  :)  Today we start planting our garden for 2020.

A healthy tension will make all the difference at this time for many of us, namely, be compassionate toward others, learn new ways to not become anxious, and realize that others may not have your best interests in mind.

Stay safe!

Dedicated Weaving Shed

Over the past three days we put down plywood, wired, added electrical boxes, insulated, sheeted plastic, and panelled a building that for years has been in the works, namely, a dedicated weaving studio.  Complete with a loft it will be able to accommodate several people in a simple, wooded setting of solitude.  Electricity will be able to be switched between a generator or better yet, 12 volt rechargeable batteries with a solar panel.  The kitchen will be meagre but adequate.  And there is an area for washing up and personal needs.  While not completed, it is now at a point that can be easily heated and worked on over the winter to be fully finished.  Much of the building materials used here are personally made or scrounged in keeping with the self-sufficient nature of weaving itself.

And as of last night…

The ‘Weaver’s Loft’

Summer is always a busy time on the farm.  Weaving as a rule falls by the wayside until fall.  However, a large portion of this summer has been devoted to building a cabin that will serve – in part – as a weaver’s hide-a-way.  Started several years ago most of these materials have been donated to us over the years.  The cabin is 16’x20′ with a sleeping loft.  It has a large – 12′ x 16′ – common area, a kitchen area – 8′ x 8′, a bathing area – 8′ x 8′, and an upstairs loft – 8′ x 16′ – under a pitched roof.  This building will house one of our looms.

We are a Catholic Worker Farm, so our weaving: 1- will be for sale to support our other on-farm projects that go to directly and personally feed the disadvantaged, 2 – will be given away to those in need of honest wool blankets, and 3 – is an appropriate way for others to do non-distractive work while learning meditation or contemplative prayer.

While some of our crops – haskap, apples, and cherries – failed due to drought this summer, this drought opened the way for us to complete this building project that has languished for so long.  The building sits on a lovely trail that runs through nineteen acres of bush that is uphill from the rest of our farm…located along the north base of Thunderhill in Manitoba’s Swan River Valley.

We hereby christen it, the ‘Weaver’s Loft‘:

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Dutch doors need to be built when we get enough money or the items are donated.  We’ve been patient for seven years waiting for this place to name itself I guess a couple of more weeks isn’t going to hurt!

It’s been a good summer in this regard…very rewarding.  How many people get to have a sleep-in shed devoted to weaving  while doing something that will directly and personally feed the hungry, while working at practising the presence of God?