Friday, October 18, 2013

Who or what is Lotsaknots?

Simply put, Lotsaknots is the company formed by Claudia Segal and Janet Dykstra in 2002 when we realized we were producing more textiles, knitting, weaving, crochet, spinning, than our family and friends could use.  We both enjoyed the creation process and we decided to enter a couple of crafts fairs and sell our stuff.

That's the quick and dirty explanation.  But what's the rest of the story.  Janet and I share a lifelong passion for textiles.  We both learned to knit and crochet at a very young age and have progressed over the years to creating our own designs.  Janet's first knitting project, at age 7, was a sweater.  I started with smaller projects, choosing to outfit all my dolls with hand knit and hand crocheted outfits.  Most fit very poorly but I enjoyed the process and it was fun!

Many, many years later we enjoy creating shawls, sweaters, vests, hats, fingerless mitts, scarves and anything else.  The list is extremely long.  Some things are featured on our website, and we will feature our designs for sale in our Etsy shop soon.

In 2003 I took my first weaving class and was hooked by the third week.  Despite being blind in one eye and having almost no peripheral vision in my other, I love handling the yarn for every process of weaving.  I often find myself daydreaming about the calculations for my next project.

Janet's mother used to say that knitting was her therapy and cost less than a psychiatrist.  We both agree with her and we have the added advantage of working together on most projects.  Since we live together, it's so easy exchange ideas.  Last night, Janet handed me her current warp plan and asked my opinion.
We went downstairs to the studio together and checked out the options for a few additions together.  It's a great system that works well for us.

Our current focus is on weaving baby wraps.  Janet and I are winding the warps together.  Janet has helped me thread and beam the warp and she has worked on every part of the weaving process except actually throwing the shuttle and weaving.  She leaves that to me.  I have been weaving for 10 years now and find each warp, each project has its own thrill.  I love watching the fabric form and thinking about its use and the things that inspired the warp stripes.  It's different for each warp and that's what holds my interest.  Even for 20 yards! or is it 20 meters?  I'll have to check my project sheet and make certain I'm following my own guidelines.

I am almost fanatical about writing everything down on paper.  I'd love to convert to the computer and iWeaveIt is almost good enough for planning my projects.  The project planner is still missing a few essentials.  Hopefully, they will continue to improve this program.  So, for now, I rely on the weaving calculator in Weavolution and my printer.

That's the history of Lotsaknots and an introduction to our studio and weaving.  I have many people to thank for teaching and encouraging me to be a good hand weaver.  Sue Helmken was my first weaving teacher, Tom Knisely from The Mannings has been a teacher and a mentor, Marsha provided transportation and friendship to get me through the early stages.  The list is very long and there are many weavers who has inspired me and have given me guidance.  I am grateful to everyone of them.

Next blog post  I will write more about our current projects and the hand made items on sale in our Etsy shop.

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