By Sadie Hunter
Perfecting her craft for more than four decades, LindaMarie Hanson said it’s her personal mission and quest to keep weaving alive.
“I started serious weaving in 1975, and ever since then it has been my lifelong hobby,” she said. “Almost every day since 1975, I’ve been weaving, or planning a weaving, or reading a book on weaving, or speaking on it.”
Hanson began her weaving career in 1975 after her friend bought her a small tabletop loom as a gift when she was 23. Two years later, she got her first government job at the arts and crafts recreation center at Fort Harrison.
“In the ’70s, the Vietnam War was over and all these soldiers who had been drafted were still in (military service), and a bunch of them had extended their enlistments,” Hanson said. “However, there was an issue of dealing with the soldiers’ morale. So they opened up all these recreation centers that had pottery, darkrooms to develop photography, woodworking, and the one at Fort Harrison was multifunctional with large weaving looms. So it could provide something for the soldier and their families.”
As time passed, programs were cut, and Hanson eventually was moved into a payroll job with the military, prompting a move to Fort Bliss in Texas and later to Denver, Colo., to work for the Defense Finance and Accounting Service. Despite the job change, she continued teaching classes and joining weaving and arts guilds.
But in 2014, she moved back to her hometown of Fortville to open Hanson Weavery at 101 W. Michigan St.
“So, I’m living in Colorado, and I’m working in finance, and 37-1/2 years went by, and I decided that I was eligible for retirement,” Hanson said. “So, I retired at the end of June 2014. I put my house on the market on July 2, sold the house on July 3 and came back Indiana.”
The big blue house that houses the weavery also is Hanson’s home. The first floor is dedicated almost entirely to multiple large floor looms. Hanson lives on the second floor.
In the home, she lives out her dream of teaching, offering beginner classes regularly for small groups to make table linens, like runners and placemats, pillows and more on a Rigid Heddle loom. She also offers “weave a-scarf parties,” much like wine and canvas parties where groups of four can come to the weavery, bringing their own beverages, and create a scarf.
Since opening the Hanson Weavery in the fall of 2014, Hanson said she estimates she’s taught weaving to nearly 100 people.
“What I would really like to do is teach extensive weaving, getting somebody from beginner all the way into intermediate, help them buy their own loom, and then kiss them goodbye,” she said. “Of course, you really start to like the person a lot, and it’s hard to say goodbye, but I will have grown the craft.”
To learn more, contact Hanson at email@example.com, or call 1-303-521-8165.
Classes and events
Rigid Heddle Weaving for Beginners
For adults only, this class is meant for those who have no weaving experience, using materials that are inexpensive and easy to use. Most materials are provided. Cost is $70, and there are five to six weekly classes. The next series of classes begins Jan. 31, and after that, March 14. Registration is required.
Beginner Large-Loom Weaving
Introduces weaving on a large floor loom, and students can learn about loom tools, weaving vocabulary, yarn calculations and estimations and more. These weekly classes begin on the first Wednesday of each month and last for approximately eight weeks. Cost is $200. Registration is required.
Narrow Band Weaving
Using an Inkle loom, students learn to weave a narrow band to make either a belt or a pet collar. All needed tools are available for use. Yarn and hardware are provided for the first project. No weaving experience is needed. For adults and youth in seventh grade and older. Cost is $60. Call for class times. Registration is required.
These events are for those who want to give weaving a try. Students can make a scarf in approximately four hours on a Rigid Heddle loom. For ages 12 and older. Cost is $40. Call to schedule. Registration is required.
Radical Rag Rug (for teens and tweens)
Students of this class will make a rug from a hula-hoop. Cost is $40. Call to schedule. Registration is required.