A Place for Weaving

During our trip to Comfort in search of yarn, we discovered another little gem in the quaint historic district. Comfort Crockery is immediately across the street from The Tinsmith’s Wife. The main area is dedicated to original artwork by local and regional artists. The items included pottery, glassware, jewelry and mesquite furniture. But what really drew me in was a sign that read “Loom Room.”

It turns out that Comfort Crockery offers weaving classes and all the tools needed by spinners and weavers alike. They had spindles, spinning wheels, fiber and looms. I chatted with the owner who gave me a preview of wonderful things to come. She led me through a hallway that opened up into a cavernous room that was to become the Loom Room. There were piles of lumber, saw horses and tools scattered throughout. The room was being carefully renovated.

As I soon learned, Comfort Crockery is housed in a historic building designed in the mid-1800’s by architect Alfred Giles of San Antonio. The town itself was settled by German immigrants who were “freethinkers.”

Freethinkers were German intellectuals who advocated reason and democracy over religious and political authoritarianism. Many had participated in the 1848 German revolution and sought freedom in America. They strongly supported secular education and generally did not adhere to any formal religious doctrines. They applied themselves to the crafts of physical labor and divided their time between farming and intellectual pursuits. Freethinkers advocated universal equal rights, and their moral values were dominated by their respect for life. They actively supported such social issues as the abolition of slavery and the rejection of secession. (Source)

So our quaint afternoon in search of yarn became a wonderful mini history lesson. These are some of the things I saw at Comfort Crockery.

Spinning Near Yashow Market

As I was walking towards the subway after a morning of haggling at Yashow Market, I saw this – a woman spinning wool!

Spinning at Yachow Market

I asked her if the fiber was 新羊毛 (xīn yáng máo), the Chinese term for wool. She smiled and nodded.

Spinning and Cross-Stitching at Yachow Market

Her companion had a thick yellow thread or yarn on the floor beside her. As she talked, she continued working on what looked like a cross-stitch landscape. I may have to carry my WIP and a little stool with me so I can join these sidewalk sessions. The ladies allowed me to take a few photos. Even the baby peeked into the camera!

Spinning Silk in Thailand

My husband is traveling in Thailand and sent me these photographs. I think he knew I would like them. This first photograph shows a Thai man spinning silk. Look closely and you will see the delicate silk thread being pulled from several silkworm cocoons.

Spinning Silk from Cocoons

They were taken at the Jim Thompson House in Bangkok. Jim Thompson, as I soon learned, was an American architect who moved to Bangkok after World War II and subsequently established the Thai Silk Company. Look at all those silkworm cocoons!

Silk Cocoons

I love this photograph of a beautiful Thai girl winding the silk thread.

Winding Yarn

I have high hopes of receiving a hank or two of Thai silk yarn when he returns. (Hint, hint).