My name is Kathy Kobyljanec and I am the owner of Misty Dawn Handwovens in Aurora, Ohio. The name is derived from both Misty, my little quarter horse mare, and the literal meaning of “aurora” - the dawn.
I began weaving in late 2017. I had enjoyed fiber crafts such as knitting, crochet and needlepoint for years but my first passion was horses. I got my first horse, Rusty, when I was 18 and have had 2 or 3 ever since. My focus was trail riding - nothing is better than strolling along a woodland trail on horseback! However, a serious shoulder injury in 2009 put an end to my riding. Although I can ride, my doctors advised against it due to the fragility of the joint. The shoulder could not endure another accident.
While I did enjoy other crafts, I fell in love with one particular weaver’s scarves and blankets that I discovered at a local fair, the Yankee Peddlar fair in Canton, Ohio. This weaver, an accomplished woman from Scotland, came every year to sell her products at the fair. In 2017, she told me she was retiring. I was so sad and disappointed as her woven items were beautiful and useful. It was then that I decided I had to learn to weave myself!
I was able to attend a 2 day workshop in Asheville, NC, using a rigid heddle loom. I was pretty bad, but loved weaving. It was only weeks before I realized that a rigid heddle loom had its purpose, but I wanted a bigger loom and more shafts! An internet search led me to Youngstown, Ohio where I bought my first 4 shaft, 32” Macomber loom from the early 1960s. This was soon followed by a 48” Macomber that I found in Rochester, NY.
I started to educate myself on how to weave, and soon realized that there is no end to what there is to learn! I took an in-depth online course on using a floor loom, went to the John C Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC twice, and acquired several books, both recent and older.
As with many weavers, I bought and sold looms to find the ones that fit my physical requirements and interests. Most are pre-owned, and come with interesting history. As I become more proficient, I became interested in computer-assisted weaving and added 2 “compu-dobby” looms with 16 and 32 shafts.