Category Archives: Weaving

What Makes Weaving “Fun”?

One of the contributors to a weaving magazine described her recent project as the “most mundane piece [she’s] ever undertaken … non-creative and repetitious beyond belief,” yet later in the article, she goes on to say “it’s one of the most engaging projects” she’s ever undertaken. This project, she tells the reader, is cloth for a pair of colonial breeches her brother will wear as a blacksmith at a living history museum.

She is discovering something we get to experience every day in our weaving shop.  Every project on our looms is either for a particular person or for the furthering of our skills as we teach and support and exchange knowledge with each other. This gives meaning to every project and task, so we would never be able to describe any project as “mundane.”

One of our apprentices wove a 4 yard sample of cotton cloth. She did this in preparation for weaving 9 1/2 yards of fabric to be made into a dress for her cousin to wear at the rehearsal dinner of her upcoming wedding. The 9 1/2 yards included enough fabric to make a shirt for the groom.  In the “tedious” job of threading the heddle, she was assisted by her sisters, age 10 and 18 and a number of friends, who handed her the more than 1,800 warp ends to be threaded onto one of the 6 shafts of our Dobby loom.  We were excited about her progress every step of the way, and when the beautiful dress and shirt were completed, we all felt a sense of fulfillment.

Yohanna, one of our weaving teachers,  just finished a commissioned piece on our drawloom.  (We purchased the drawloom 3 years ago and are still exporing its potential.)  Yohanna was asked to design an upholstery fabric to match some unique Italian tiles in peach, green, and beige tones.  On the drawloom, you can replicate any pattern that can be drawn on graph paper.  Yohanna warped up 45 pattern shafts to produce 3 different patterns simultaneously.  One of the patterns was threaded in straight draw, and two of the patterns in point, at 51 warp ends to the inch.  In creating this lovely cloth, Yohanna pushed the limits of all of her knowledge of the draw loom, and at the same time, the project opened the way for all of us in the shop to see new possibilities for this loom.

Our “work” here at Fibercrafts is never boring.  It’s a joy to wind the warp, beam on, thread heddles, adjust tension, weave within a limited time frame, deal with minor (and sometimes, major!) setbacks, put on the finishing touches, and get ready for the next project. Knowing that each project has a purpose or that we’re making it for someone we care about — that’s what makes weaving fun.

New one-day class!

New one-day class for the rigid heddle weaver: RH107 Queen Anne’s Lace Dish Towel. Bring your own loom and learn how to weave a multi-colored, striped, cotton dish towel using a slub yarn for the weft. Contact us for more details.

New Rigid Heddle Classes!

Announcing an exciting new series of half-day classes for the rigid heddle weaver! At the request of our students, we are introducing a new mini-series for beginning rigid heddle weavers. To take these classes, all you need is the experience gained in RH100 (introductory class). This series of half-day classes will assist you to develop the skills introduced in the rigid heddle introductory class and will teach you a variety of skills and patterns that you will use in weaving attractive scarves – perfect for the fall and Christmas season. The classes will be on Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00.

RH101 Buffalo check scarf, Sept. 24, 2011;

RH102 Houndstooth scarf, October 8, 2011;

RH103 Brooks Bouquet scarf, October 15, 2011;

RH104 Chenille scarf, October 29, 2011;

RH105 Simple Pick-Up Stick Pattern scarf, November 5, 2011;

RH106 Spot Weave lace scarf, December 10, 2011.

Cost for each class will be $50 for tuition plus materials fee. You will bring your own loom so that you can finish your projects at home. (These projects require different sized reeds. You will need to check each class description to see what size reed you will need. If you do not have the particular sized reed for the project, you can purchase at the time of class but please let us know ahead of time that you wish to do so.)  If you do not own a loom, then you can use one of ours and you will take home whatever you have completed by the end of class but you may not finish the full-length scarf. If you wish to use one of our looms, please let us know when you sign up for the class. For full description of these new classes, send us your email address and we will email information to you. Contact sue@sustainlife.org or call School of Fiber Crafts 254-754-9680 and we can mail you the information. Better still, come by and see us and we will give you the details! We look forward to seeing you soon.

New Cottlin Hand Towels!

At the end of August look for our new fingertip towels for sale in the shop and in the gift barn. Woven in earth tones with a Cottlin warp and Cottlin boucle weft, with a touch of Dara’s hand-spun pima cotton for the borders, these make very attractive and absorbent hand towels.