Summer and Winter with Rosalie Neilson

Truth be told, for as much as I have fallen out of love with my transportable LeClerc four shaft, we’re still joined at the hip. That is, for as long as I need it for local guild workshops that require a loom, and as long as four shafts are enough for the workshop requirements.

That said, I am also in the mood to de-msytify how that loom fits into my MINI Cooper – voila!


All packed up and ready to go. I have the packing-ties down to a science, and it works well without messing up the warp in transit. That hasn’t always been the case, but there you go.

Summer and Winter has never been a big attraction for me. But with a little pressure from my friends, and the recent publication of Rosalie Nielson’s An Exhaltation of Blocks, I couldn’t resist the challenge of attempting something new for me. Besides, it being February (which is such an in-between time of year – post holiday, pre-Spring, you get the picture) a little challenge would definitely keep seasonal boredom from setting in.

At first it was dicey on whether I could participate with a four shaft loom, since the class was based on eight shaft designs. However, since Rosalie is such a gracious and accommodating teacher, she provided four shaft drafts for the two of us who had this predicament. So now, no excuse, and it was off to the workshop – a mere ten mile drive from my home.

Rosalie Nielson is an incredible weaver and a really patient teacher. You never have to worry about being left out or overlooked. And she really explained the whole block concept extremely well. Once in a while an AHA thought bubble appeared in my brain – this picked up a thread of block theory from when I was in Madelyn’s class, and I realized how relevant this was to my fascination with drawloom weaving.


Rosalie Nielson, the Master at work!

Granted, at the end of the day, there are many limitations as to what you can do with Summer and Winter blocks on four shafts. However, with the block concept, using Rosalie’s methodology and more shafts, there are over one thousand combinations that she was able to discover. Amazing! So Summer and Winter does not have to be boring, and one can challenge oneself for a long time exploring the structure.

Yes, I am really glad I was able to take this class. I finished off my left-over warp in no time at all after the workshop was over, and I have some nice samples to remind me how great weaving is, and will always be.

About vairarenbeth

Just another person on the planet earth. My name is Claudia, but I am also known as teacatweaves, and teacatweaver. An escapee from the corporate grind, my husband and I are in a new phase of life. Now I read, weave, spin, urban hike, knit, make bread and pasta from scratch, and discover new and exciting things to my heart's content. One sweet dream is a reference to the Beatles - "...Soon we'll be away from here, step on the gas and wipe that tear away. One sweet dream - be true..."
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