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Thursday, September 14, 2017

VACATION - Looping Around Lake Superior - Day 3 Minnesota North Shore Weaver Janet Meany

We awoke on Wednesday in Duluth to another strangely hot humid day. Must be the effects from the hurricane Irma finally reaching the northern states of our country. It was hot and in the 80s which is strange for September around the Great Lakes.

As I write this on Thursday, we are at Two Harbors, MN. Ignore the numbers 7 and 8 on the map, we aren't there yet!  It's just part of the trip planning on the program Microsoft Streets and Trips 2011. It has a great GPS dongle and we use the big laptop for most of our GPS guidance, as well as paper maps.

We sat around a great aunt Nancy's kitchen table enjoying coffee and breakfast kuchen and chatting about family and going through old photos. The temperatures were climbing into the eighties and it was getting quite muggy.  The house was cool, but we went outside it felt like a furnace!

She showed me a gorgeous lap quilt she had made. See why fiber arts and creativity run in my family???

Steve went out and got the rig road-worthy ..we chatted with her neighbor who also had a motorhome. We shared stories and places and things to see.  We were soon hooking up the Tracker to the back of the motorhome and saying our goodbyes. They sent the rest of the kuchen with us!

After consulting our maps we headed out for a huge long jaunt up the North Shore.

We only went about 20 miles and stopped at 
a a true Icon to the Rug Weaving World, artist Janet Meany.  

She and co author Paula Pfaff authored a book which has become the "Bible" to rug weavers around the world. It is called the Rag Rug Handbook and available at this link:

ISBN 978-1-5323-0664-8

Janet welcomed us into her lovely home on the shores of Lake Superior with open arms. We enjoyed the afternoon chatting about weaving and exploring her multiple looms in her studio.

Here are some of the interesting rugs of various designs that she had hanging around her home. I even got to see one of the rugs pictured in her book, which was one of the first rugs I was inspired to weave. I am going to try some of her other techniques and I got some new ideas.

I especially liked this rug --- she added strips of twisted wool yarn in two colors amongst the sections of rag fabric. I really like the effect!  The threading is a traditional Anderson Weave pattern.


We talked to lot about restoring old looms, and managing the Loom Manual Library. This is the collection of manuals from any many different loom manufacturers over the years. She would like to get it all digitized so it can be shared easily with people who are looking for loom manuals. Presently when someone requests a manual, Janet goes down to her boxes of multiple files and finds the manual and then copies it page by page for the seeker. (I think I might assist with the digitizing sometime in the future) What a valuable resource she has to the loom restoration and weaving community!

Besides her book, Janet used to author and publish a quarterly newsletter call the Weavers Friend. When it comes in the mail, I drop everything and read it from cover to cover!  I have every issue since it began!  It has now been taken over by Carol Ann Kapheim and you can get more information about it here:

We chatted away the afternoon, and compared our towels from her co-author Paula Pfaff.  Paula wove these over 10 years ago!  We each have one and they sure hold up. Compared to a cheap Walmart towel made overseas, you can not beat good solid handwoven things made by artists.

Mine on the left, and Janet holding hers on the right. 

After we left Janet's home, we headed north to a small berg called Two Harbors Minnesota. We found a great spot to boondock in the parking lot of the Super One grocery store. It was off the main drag and pretty quiet. We went inside to purchase groceries and ask permission to overnight in the lot. The manager said "Yes, of course no problem, and thank you for asking". We always ask!

We have these two signs I printed up years ago, that are attached to cardboard so they stand up straight. I slid them into page protectors so they hold up over time and travel. We set one right near the drivers window and the other one is right in the window next to our entry door.  We pull the shades down over them so they can be seen from the outside.


This avoids that obnoxious knock during the night of some authority telling you you need to move on or cannot park overnight.

Of course, some municipality enacts ordinances to prevent overnight parking in RVs. But most business places are very generous allowing you to boondock in their lot, especially if you are standing there with a grocery cart full of purchases from there facility.  Most Walmarts, Cracker Barrels, Cabellas, Home Depot, and other major retailers allow it.

The weather was still hot well into the night, and we started out with wide open windows all around the motorhome. By about 1 a.m. it finally cooled off enough to close some of the windows up.

In the morning the skies are gray and clouded over but the temperature is much cooler.

As soon as I am finished with this blog we are going to head north and see what exciting things we can see today.  Dad P just called to check on our progress and wanted to make sure were safe and happy. Awwwww

PS An added note about yesterday's campus shooting in St Paul. It turns out there was NO criminal active shooter! It was only the goofy security guard himself, who brought his own weapon to work. He accidentally shot himself in the shoulder and made up the story about someone in the campus woods shooting at him because he was afraid he would lose his job. Kind of like a Barney Fife situation huh? Thinking of all of the students and parents and families who were worried about their loved ones in an active shooting situation and locked down campus. I really think he should lose his job don't you? Thank goodness it wasn't anything worse!


  1. Yes, I think that security guard should lose his job. He's obviously the risk!

  2. Karen, how are the mosquitoes this time of year up there. Love your route, thinking about that before southwest for the winter. Have fun & be safe. Becki

  3. Hi Karen
    I have one of your beautiful dish towels I bought from you at Jason Collingwoods Workshop at Juanita's in 2009. Your towel one of my favorites, just gets better with time, as we all do !! All the Best, enjoy the adventure

  4. I still sing praises to you when I am weaving rugs on my Newcomb Studio because you posted pictures showing how I needed to put risers on the bolts etc. Now I get a lovely shed and I am thrilled. I can't imagine how I managed to weave all those years without a decent shed. Alice


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