As we have grown in the Messianic/Hebrew roots perspective of Scripture, we have been blessed to have an ever increasing circle of fiends and acquaintances. Many are names you would be familiar with, but once in a while we run across an unknown gem that everyone needs to know for one reason or another. Anita Heist is one such lady.
A senior lady who has been on this walk for most of her life, Anita is wonderfully gifted and knowledgeable. Her heart is to teach and her library and interests include a broad variety of sustainable and ancient technologies that would be a treasure in any community, but weaving is her passion.
A world-class weaver who has been commissioned to reproduce exact matches to ancient garments and antique auto interiors, she has worked at the loom hand-weaving custom tallitot, challah covers, robes, and other Judaica for decades.
Recently, Kelly and I along with Tommy and Dorothy Wilson had a chance to share a meal at her table as we passed through Athens, TN enroute to the B’ney Yosef Plenary Session. What a blessing that time was!! Without a doubt, I can attest, Anita is an Ephramite National Treasure!
While there, we were privileged to touch and see many completed and ongoing projects as well as skeins of thread and catalog upon catalog of test swatches for thousands of completed works. We were also there to make decisions on a custom tallit she is making for Kelly.
Friday, I received the image to the right of the thread going on the loom and I asked for a few updated pics as she goes so I can share them with all of you!!
When Anita weaves a custom piece, she really wants her customer to be involved in the decision making process. We were overwhelmed at the choices and thought going into the tallit, so visiting helped us so much in touching and trying various items she had. Choices include materials, colors, sizes, weave pattern, fringe styles, etc.
Kelly’s love of pastel colors and linen clothing along with specific needs due to her disability led to her enthrallment with a particular garment (wearable tallit) Anita had on a sizing mannequin. After trying it on and determining it would not quite fit, Anita made several helpful suggestions and a design was agreed upon. The result of the collaboration was something we are very excited to see come to fruition.
Anita’s habit is a lot of prayer and worship music as she weaves each tallit or garment, knowing each is her best work and a creation that will last for decades. Maybe generations. Many articles require up to 100 hours of work! That is a LOT of prayer!
I will post more pics as we get them, but I wanted to share Anita with you. She is a special gem. And, as a self employed widow, I would encourage you to consider the services of a sister! If you are so inclined, please drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org . She will be a blessing to you even as you bless her. A dated web site with pics of past work is http://www.beityosefdesigns.com/
A closing note, Anita’s heart’s desire is to build a small studio where she can use her 20+ looms to teach her craft to interested individuals who can help preserve her knowledge among B’ney Yosef. Pray for her in this regard and see how our Father leads!