Sunday, March 25, 2007

Weaving Class!

It's been a while since I posted anything, but that probably doesn't matter, since as far as I know only my friends and family read this blog anyway.

I've been knitting quite a bit, but just haven't found the time to upload any pics.

More interestingly (to me), I recently finished taking a weaving class at Springwater, which I enjoyed a lot.

It's been a long time since I wove anything other than simple bands/tapes. The last project I tried was a disaster -- I was in my early 20s and bought crappy flake cotton for warp, so I had a lot of breakage, and eventually just gave up in disgust and sold that loom. The class at Springwater, "Intro to 4-Harness Weaving", seemed like a good way to get back into the craft.

I didn't have the presence of mind to take pictures while the class was in progress, but one of the other class participants did, and she's uploaded her pictures here (thanks, E!). The class fee included rental of a 4-harness table loom that we could take home and work on between classes.

This pic, by E, shows various samples by other class participants. What's interesting about the picture is that it shows how many different results you can get from the same yarn and threading.

After we wove this sampler in a fairly heavy cotton (carpet warp), we tied a new warp to the old warp to save time re-threading the loom and wove another sampler in Harrisville 8/2 wool (about a fingering weight, for the knitters who might be reading this). I turned mine into a scarf, as did a few other class participants. Again, there was a lot of variety in the colors chosen, and it was interesting to see all the different results. The wool scarf was woven with the exact same threading as the cotton sampler, but with a different treadling (i.e., the order in which you lift the threads). The Harrisville Shetland yarn we used on the wool samplers felt very stiff while we were weaving, but it "bloomed" nicely when washed.

Finally, we each chose a project to design and weave on our own. I chose an overshot table runner, since the disaster project was overshot and I wanted to get over my fear of repeating that disaster. The warp for the project was an 8/2 cotton-linen thread, and the overshot pattern weft was some Shetland yarn from my stash, doubled to give the right weight.

I had a few problems with the pattern at first, but once I figured out what I'd done wrong, the project went pretty well -- I only had one thread break, and my selvages (the edges) didn't draw in too much, which is a problem I had with the disaster project. Here's another of E's pics, showing the overshot runner on the loom.

The other students' projects (again, I neglected to take pics, but E has a pic of her lovely grey/purple runner on the link above) were quite varied -- one student did some neat mug rugs. One of the great things about taking a class like this is seeing everyone work out different design possibilites that you wouldn't necessarily have thought of on your own. I highly recommend it!



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