Recently, Joanne Hall, nationally known weaver and USA distributor of Glimakra counterbalance/countermarche looms, gave a 5-day workshop for advanced weavers at our Fiber Crafts shop. Several years ago, we were able to purchase a 63” wide Swedish countermarche/counterbalance drawloom with a Myrahead attachment for damask weaves. Our sturdy draw loom of golden Swedish pine has given us a deep appreciation for its simplicity of design and function. For nearly 500 years, counterbalance looms have been in continuous use for cottage industries, production weaving and weaving sustainable goods. In addition to our jack looms, we have begun purchasing several countermarche/counterbalance looms for our classes so that our students can experience weaving on them.
The workshop was held by invitation, and our instructors, apprentices and several advanced students attended, 13 in all. Joanne shared her extensive knowledge of warping and weaving on the counterbalance and countermarche style loom.
Prior to the workshop, she helped us choose 8 different weaves, which we pre-warped on the looms for the following projects:
- Havdrall table-topper — a 2 block weave that looks similar to overshot
- Fingertip towel in Crackle — traditionally used for linens, draperies and upholstery
- M’s and O’s — a four shaft pattern also known as “poor man’s damask”
- Swedish Lace bread cloth — a similar weave to huck lace
- Monk’s Belt runner — useful for decorative borders
- Rep weave table runner — traditionally used for rugs and thicker fabrics
- Smalandsvav runner — Picking up the pattern threads with half heddle sticks, we were able to create drawloom style patterns on a counterbalance loom.
We appreciate Joanne giving this workshop, and we learned a lot from her during these 5 days. Below are a few photos from the workshop. Click any photo to see a larger view. If you want more information on any of the above weaves, please leave us a comment.