The Weaver

Flashes of coloured wool, stripe follows stripe, the shuttle scuttles from side to side, the treadle clatters. The city sleeps but the weaver is already at her loom. Long ago, in the middle of Latvia, near Piebalga, the best weavers had been men, but in the western region, they wove blankets for the court of the French king. Long ago indeed, as now all the weavers are women. They laugh with a playful tinkle and say that the men ran out of patience as this is work for a very patient master – the speediest hands can create only two metres a day.

Each carpet runner, each ash grey tablecloth has a soul. „Go wind on the soul!” says one weaver to the other – an instruction to prepare the warp, the base yarns. To get the best results Latvians believe that one must laugh heartily when one starts weaving.  Thread by thread and then the wool starts to talk. About the deep dark night and the moss green grass where the sheep do graze in their woolly coats. About the daughters who sing in the world’s greatest opera houses but still know how to weave their own folk costumes. And about the weaver whose house smells of lemon because she grows one in a pot.