Yesterday a new commenter said a picture by Carl Larsson reminded her of me, but, darn, she could not figure out how to post the picture in the comment section. I googled Carl Larsson. He is a Swedish painter in the Arts & Crafts movement. His painting, especially water color, is prolific, and in a general search for young weaver and her work, I went through hundreds of paintings, well worth the look, but not what I wanted. I asked Ann to send a link, and here it is:
The young weaver, hemming towels. Her costume is very working class. I wore such a skirt, blouse and jacket as costume to a costume show, and was rather miffed that the judges did not recognize the real deal when they saw it. The loom behind her probably is a counter marche; it already has the next run of towels on it.
The weaver is hemming her current run of towels by hand, of course. Treadle sewing machines were available then, but no doubt completely unaffordable. The furnishings of this room are a large table, a dry sink, a cupboard, probably a bed, plenty of common house plants and a bottle of garden jonquils.
This picture took me straight to 1988. Jan and I set up our studio and wove some towels. Our mother asked how we intended to hem them and of course we said "On the sewing machine of course." "You just give them to me," was her immediate response. And for the next several years our work that required hemming had hand felled hems.
Some people recognized what they were holding; most said "Twelve dollars! Who would pay that for a towel?!" This is a towel Jan wove. It's an overshot pattern called Dogwood, with Mom's rolled, hand sewn hem. You cannot see the hem. You can see all my sewing machine hems!
Today's mail included a little gift from a recent towel customer. It's name is Flat Rat, and it is a bookmark.
I turned Flat Rat over a few times, admiring all the knitting and crocheting involved in its construction. Its tail is I-cord. I didn't come on I-cord until late in life. So versatile, and far easier than spool knitting.
One interesting result of a brain injury and the memory hole it can leave behind, is the search for the memory. Looking at Flat Rat I remembered I knew a Flat Somebody once. Who? I thought I'd call my sister. My Sister! That's it. It was her Flat Somebody. But who? Sue? Kathy? No, Flat Carol! If that's not right, she'll tell us.
Jan and a guild of quilting friends were going to a mid-western quilting show, one of the largest in the nation. And then Jan's best friend in the guild, Carol, with whom she was rooming, broke her leg, and very reluctantly decided not to go. Jan and the rest of the gang decided they needed a Flat Carol, to go in her place, and show Carol all she missed.
It indeed was Carol, Flat, red hair and all. She had a blue jean outfit for travelling, a practical denim dress to wear to classes and work on projects, and a lovely outfit for the final banquet, with black pumps peeping from the hem. Flat Carol came back with a stuffed satchel of hand outs and freebies, hotel soap and lotion, more pictures than anyone, and definitely less exhausted than anyone.