Back to the Heard: Spinning and Design Lessons with Martha and Marilou Schultz
Phoenix, AZ I thought that we were doing pretty well in getting you a visit with all of the weavers that I saw at the Heard and then I had to rebuild the hard drive on my laptop. Fortunately, I had backups but it took awhile to get everything back to normal. I’m sorry for the interruption! Anyway, I promised you a look at Marilou Schultz‘ Chief Blanket Variant. That’s Marilou at left, carding wool for her mother, Martha, to spin.
Marilou is also a skilled spinner and dye master as well as a weaver. She works with both aniline and natural dyes and mixes hand spun and commercial yarns, which is no easy feat. If the yarns aren’t evenly matched, they weave at different thicknesses and require constant filling in. Marilou’s unique sense of design and bold use of yarn are evident in the Chief Blanket above, where she’s used traditional elements in a contemporary zoned design. She incorporated some dramatic silver and red/black variegated yarns that really make the design sing. A detail of the weaving is below.
Weaving from scratch is a time honored tradition in Marilou’s family and her mother, Martha Schultz, graciously allowed me to photograph her draw technique. She skillfully transfers just enough twist to the carded to wool to draw it out to arm’s length. She then adds more twist and attaches more carded wool, continuing until the spindle is full. When that happens, she spins the resulting roving into yarn or warp, re-spinning it two or three times to achieve the desired results. You can view high resolution pictures by clicking on the images or see the pictures as a slideshow. You’ll also get a nice look that other beautiful weavings in Marilou’s booth. If you have a hip spindle, by all means give this technique a try, but you’ll probably find out that Martha is making it look a lot easier than it really is!