Adventures of the Loom and Soul


Every production of an artist should be the expression of an adventure of his soul.

–William Somerset Maugham


Bolivian doubleweave band
Modern doubleweave band from Bolivia  

For me, weaving is always an adventure, sometimes because I head off into uncharted territory and sometimes because I end up in unintended places. But some weaves are adventures in themselves. Doubleweave pickup, for example, is often associated with Scandinavia, but it made its own way across Asia long before the Vikings brought it home from their adventures. In Asia, doublewoven silk was considered so precious that it was given to secure political and military alliances. In South America, adventurers in ancient Peru carried the technique from the coast to the high Andes where it is enjoying a rebirth today. 


Modern-day doubleweavers are also an artistic, adventurous lot, creating anew with every pick and throw. When you consider the infinite combinations that can be made by varying layers, colors, structures, and threads, they live in a world of virtually infinite possibilities. 


Jennifer Moore

Jennifer Moore’s “Journey from Abydos,”

inspired by a long-ago trip to Egypt.

Jennifer Moore is just the kind of adventurous soul one might expect to find doing doubleweave. She’s travelled around the world (although not to Antarctica, “yet”), she’s been stranded with a broken-down microbus in the Australian Outback (“It was a lot like Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, but without the clothes and makeup.”), and marooned while working on a fishing boat in the South Pacific.


When I first saw doubleweave pickup, it seemed downright improbable. (“OK, tell me again where that thread is going?”) Years later, when Jennifer showed me how it’s done, it seemed the most logical thing in the world. But the improbable does seem natural when you’re called by the spirit of adventure. So if you’re a weaving explorer who loves to create as you go, perhaps doubleweave pickup should be on your loom itinerary. And I heartily recommend Jennifer as your guide, through one of her workshops or her new doubleweave pickup DVD. I promise you’ll enjoy the trip.

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