Sunday, May 22, 2011

Thread by Thread

Giraffe love
"Thread by thread" is a standard phrase I use to remind myself that weaving is a slow, repetitive process that in the long run offers me time and space for reflection and encourages me to be grounded in the present moment.

As many of you know, this winter I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean from Simonstown, South Africa to Barbados in the Caribbean. This seven week ocean passage offered me a similar opportunity. Through the repetition of daily life on board a 43' boat, the landless wide horizon and living under the stars, sun and moon, I found myself able to just hang out in the beauty of the present moment. To just sit and watch the horizon for hours was a precious gift.

I have much to share, many photos of our passage and of course Macomber Loom news. Thanks to everyone for keeping in touch with me. I realize that my last blog posting was in December. So I promise to do my best to share images, memories and news.

Elephant family on the move
Prior to leaving South Africa, our crew went on a short safari. Don't you just love the eye lashes and horns on this giraffe?? We had a wonderful extravagant 5 days in the bush. We were able to witness up close all of the Big Five (leopard, lion, elephant, buffalo, rhinoceros), as well as many other beautiful animals, birds, trees, and flowers.

I have posted a short video on UTube of some lionesses we watched lounging in the hot South African sun. Check it out!
weaving in the produce
We left Simonstown, South Africa on January 26th. Here is an photo of my "weaving" the produce into a shelf to prevent it from flying around the cabin while we were under sail!
Land Ho! Approaching St Helena
Since we were East of The Cape of Good Hope, we had to scoot around this point and we now know why this point used to be called "Cape of Tempests". The waves, the wind and the current all combined to give our boat, Bahati, a rousing entrance to the South Atlantic. After about a week the seas calmed down and we had a lovely 2 week passage to St. Helena. This little rock of an island is where Napoleon was exiled and died. Here is a photo of our approach to St Helena and Longwood House, the estate where Napoleon lived during his exile.

From St Helena, we sailed for seven days to arrive at Ascension Island. This small island is mostly a military and communication outpost on a volcanic rock. The landscape on Ascension was a strange combination of red dirt hills, white sandy beaches, grey volcanic rubble and green lush jungle. This tiny island is where green sea turtles swim from Brazil to lay their eggs. We were there during egg laying season and watched these giant creatures lumber up on shore to dig a nest in the sand and deposit their eggs. You can see more images of this bizarre landscape by checking out the Ascension Island website.

Mars-like Ascension Island
We departed from Ascension Island and sailed
for 24 days to reach Barbados. I will continue to share images and stories of this amazing trans-Atlantic voyage.

Thanks to all of you who continued to place orders for Macomber looms and parts in my absence. Kudos to my dear husband Ben who learned more about this stuff than he bargained for!
Harriet Tidball threading her loom.
Notice the front beam is dropped down to allow easy threading.
So just like Harriet Tidball who is threading her loom, I continue to believe in the power of weaving to keep me grounded in the present moment.

And I continue to discover the beauty thread by thread, warp and weft.

Happy Spring from coastal Maine ~



  1. Yay your back! So glad you had such a great trip. I look forward to more pictures!

  2. What an amazing adventure! I can't wait to read more and see more photos. Thank you for sharing this snippet of your life.

  3. What a great blog. Thank you for all the information and direction on Macomber looms. I just picked up a well-loved 48" 8 shaft add-a-harness Macomber. I love everything about it except I was wondering if it's normal that the harnesses should move forward as I advance the warp? I have to manually push them back before weaving. I can see why this happens but I'd feel dumb if I don't have something aligned right and that shouldn't be happening. Thank you. Mary

  4. Hi Mary:
    Thanks for checking out the blog! Sometimes the harnesses do advance with the warp. If you have the warp very tight they seem to glide along with the warp. When this happens to me, I just slide them back. No worries. I'll ask the shop guys if they have any tips. From my experience this is not a big problem. Happy weaving! Sarah


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