When you look through Marguerite Porter Davison's book for patterns, chances are you will see several from Johann D. I count five in the index. Dear Johann was quite talented, from looking at his drafts. Who was he? How did Marguerite get his drafts? I find Marguerite fascinating, and would love to know more about her, as well. Her book was my first introduction into the mysteries of weaving, of drawing up plans and the history of day-to-day home weaving. She wrote it and self-published it just for weavers like us, for us to have an almost never-ending resource of inspiration and direction. It's my guide book, my dream inducer, my jumping-off point for four-shaft weaving.
Notice, too, on this draft, that she notated "Adapted to Johann Scheelein's No. 198." Who was he? He also has several drafts in her book, but not 198. Handweaving.net shows nothing under his name. A quick Google search shows nothing but dead ends. Obviously, I'm not the only who's Googled him!
These men and women featured in Davison's book designed and left behind drafts for us to follow, but what are their stories? Were they professional weavers? Were they home weavers, making textiles for friends and family, maybe a little left over to sell--like us--to pay for more yarn? Did they have living rooms and spare bedrooms and dining rooms full of looms?
Whatever their stories or their weaving paths, they gave us inspiration and jumping off points for our projects today. In a time of instant gratification and electronic connections from one end of the world to the other, people like Marguerite and the Johanns, Florence House, Leroy Appleton, Margaret Bergman, Mary E. Black, and all the others in her magical book left us patterns to dream on and build on, to make things with our hands and from our hearts.
Johann D's pattern of Swedish lace will be my next adventure, using the hand-dyed warp Lanny made of tencel, and various wefts that I find in my stash to make scarves. One might be a gift for a loved one, and the other two will go into a sale, and I will pass on Johann D's beautiful pattern. He will live on long after his shuttle has gone quiet.