On Friday, Selma, Jay and I went to Cable, Wisconsin–a town about 30 miles north of our cottage. The yarn store there, Pine Needles had advertised a Navajo Weaving demonstration that Selma and I wanted to attend. We arrived early in Cable, a small northwoods town with an artsy feel. We took a peek at the Cable Natural History museum which is being renovated and is only exhibiting a small piece of their collection. Then we had lunch at a small café in town before heading over to the yarn store.

Pine Needles is a spacious shop with great light, and lots of room for classes and gatherings. When we arrived, the weaver, Laura Berlage had set up her looms and was beginning to talk about her work. She will be teaching classes at the shop in the fall, and the demonstration was a way to attract students as well as show her work.

Laura is 23 and has been weaving since she was 13. She prefers to weave Navajo-style, but also has some European-style looms like the one she made this tapestry on:

Selma asked why she prefers the Navajo style of weaving, and Laura explained that Navajo weaving is done linearly–a whole row at a time, whereas the European style is more like intarsia–you work blocks of color and go fill in other parts later, and at the end, you have slits where the color changes occur that need sewing up.

I asked her what kind of wool is best for rugs that will be walked on and she says, once she finishes a rug, she never wants to step on it, she hangs them on the wall intstead. Laura works with Navajo churro wool, and also with Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride. She designs her own patterns.

Laura is not only a weaver–she’s also a singer and has recorded an album, She owns and runs an organic farm with a 40 member CSA, farmer’s market stand and restaurant clients, she keeps bees and sheep, and she has a degree in creative writing.

Cable, with wool.

11 thoughts on “Cable, with wool.

  • July 21, 2008 at 1:56 pm
    Permalink

    The weavings are fabulous! What a wonderful trip across country you three are having. FYI I think Navajo weavings were done with the old Germantown Yarn! (think ella rae)

  • July 22, 2008 at 12:22 am
    Permalink

    Laura reminds me a lot of someone I know … Amy, perhaps? I’m glad you got to meet her. She sounds like she has a LOT going on.

  • July 21, 2008 at 5:22 pm
    Permalink

    Laura reminds me a lot of someone I know … Amy, perhaps? I’m glad you got to meet her. She sounds like she has a LOT going on.

  • July 22, 2008 at 12:38 pm
    Permalink

    so interesting about the tapestry weaving! i know so little about it since my weaving is done in a different style. it looks like so much fun!

  • July 22, 2008 at 5:38 am
    Permalink

    so interesting about the tapestry weaving! i know so little about it since my weaving is done in a different style. it looks like so much fun!

  • July 22, 2008 at 5:56 pm
    Permalink

    Wow that is amazing. She is incredibly talented and I must say I love the Navajo style the most myself because of its geometry. That would have been so interesting to see.

  • July 22, 2008 at 10:56 am
    Permalink

    Wow that is amazing. She is incredibly talented and I must say I love the Navajo style the most myself because of its geometry. That would have been so interesting to see.

  • July 24, 2008 at 5:58 am
    Permalink

    Wow! What an achievement to have done all that by the age of 23! I love what she makes – it’s just so beautiful.

  • July 23, 2008 at 10:58 pm
    Permalink

    Wow! What an achievement to have done all that by the age of 23! I love what she makes – it’s just so beautiful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *