Yes, we are here!

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we have been educating folks about the benefits of self-reliance for 50 years. That includes researching and sourcing the best books and products to help individuals master the skills they need in times like these and beyond. Our online store is open and we are here to answer any questions you might have. Our customer service staff is available Monday through Friday from 8a.m.-5p.m. CDT. We can be reached at 1-800-234-3368 or by email. Stay safe!

Profiles: An Expert in Scottish Weaving, a Musical Saw Advocate and More

Learn about a few readers who set examples with their actions. Including an expert in traditional tartans, a school of environmental activists and more.

| May/June 1982

  • 075-144-02
    Rather than see the craft die, Dan Wallace bought a musical saw company.
  • 075-144-01
    Elizabeth Graham learned about tartan patterns in Scotland.

  • 075-144-02
  • 075-144-01

Each month, MOTHER EARTH NEWS celebrates little-known folks from all over.  


Elizabeth Graham: An Expert in Scottish Weaving

Elizabeth Graham's instant reaction to the sight of spinners at work, during her first trip to Scotland's Hebrides Islands, was a determination to learn the graceful craft herself. So, she diligently set to work and practiced teasing raw fleece, carding it, forming it into rolags (thin rolls) for spinning, and plying the spun wool into skeins. Then, when she'd mastered the skill, Graham went on to learn the secrets of dyeing and weaving, as well.


And (perhaps remembering the place where she'd originally been exposed to the art of working with wool) Graham eventually developed a special interest in the precise designs of Scottish tartans. Experience soon taught her to maintain an exact thread count of each color throughout the tartan-making process, in order to produce an authentic pattern.

Then, in 1977, when Graham was 72, she traveled to Comrie, Scotland to demonstrate her craft to summer visitors at the Museum of Scottish Tartans. One of her greatest accomplishments during that sojourn was the recreation of the great-granddaddy of all tartans, the Falkirk, which Graham wove with fleece obtained from local sheep. (The sole surviving piece of original Falkirk fabric — which was found stuffed in a jar of Roman coins dated 250 A.D. — is about the size of a quarter.)

Graham and her late husband chose to spend their retirement years in the hills of northern California because it reminded them of the Scottish countryside they'd both come to love. Now, high above the blue Pacific, Graham helps prove, with her handicraft, that the simple arts are not forgotten. — Jan Mitchell.  

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

50 Years of Money-Saving Tips!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS for 50 years and counting, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).

Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard

Free Product Information Classifieds Newsletters

click me