Monastery Crafts: The Making of a Stole
Deep in the monastery basement is a room full of color. Reds, blues, green—you name it it's there—in shades from the palest baby pink to the brightest 'safety vest' orange. The afternoon sun pours in windows high on the western wall and a steady wooden beat echoes from out its doors. Can you guess what this room is?
It's our Loom Room. Also known as the weaving room, it houses our two 4-harness floor looms and all the accompanying paraphernalia needed for the art of weaving. Despite the room's official name, it also houses our knitting needles, crochet hooks, and the yarn and gadgets involved in those crafts as well. Weaving has a moderately long but broken history in our monastery. Sr. Maria of the Cross began with a rickety old loom, followed shortly by Sr. Mary Catharine to whom the weaving room is certainly most indebted, having acquired our floor looms and the other various gizmos. The art then passed on to Sr. Maria Teresa and Sr. Joseph Maria. Just recently one of our novices, Sr. Maria Johanna has begun to learn.
One of the products of the Loom Room is the confessional stole sometimes gifted to new priests of the Order who say a First Mass for us (if they give us enough advanced notice!). We thought you might be interested in seeing the process for making these stoles.
This is the process to go from THIS (left picture) to THIS (right picture)!
The looms don't make only confessional stoles: they've produced (with a little help from a nun!) lectionary ribbons, table runners, huck lace for small altars, scarves, stoles, orphreys, belts, wall hangings, etc.! At the moment the other loom is busy with a Marian lectern cover.