Weaving Lesson

Knitting and spinning have been my passions for years. I love the texture and colors of fiber and the limitless possibilities of these crafts. The ability to create items of beauty and functionality excites my senses. Recently, I entered a new dimension of fiber – weaving. I took a weaving lesson at Forest Heart Studio in Woodsboro, Maryland a couple of weeks ago. It was cozy in the studio next to the blazing wood stove.

During the first afternoon, I wound the warp (the lengthwise fibers in a piece of weaving) and sleyed it through the reed. The next morning, I pulled each strand through the heddles and wound it on to begin weaving. Here is my first weaving while on the loom.

I used a Schacht Baby Wolf folding loom, which nicely fit into my car to transport home. The loom is very sturdy, well built, and easy to use. I have two Schacht spinning wheels and am greatly impressed by this Colorado company. Their products are extremely well-designed.
This is my first woven scarf off the loom. It is made from 5/2 size mercerized cotton in natural white and bright green.

I also wove another scarf on the same warp. The weft (width-wise yarn) is Handmaiden Sea Silk, a lace weight yarn in silk and seacell (made from seaweed). The colorway is Nova Scotia. I don’t particularly like multi-colored yarns in knitting, but, I love them in weaving. Now I know how I will use up all of my hand painted sock yarn!

In this scarf I tried out some twill patterns by treadling a different pattern than the regular plain weave (over/under). I like the effect, but not for the whole piece. Plain weave suits this yarn, so that is mostly what I did, except identical bands of twill at each end of the scarf.

With the last bit of warp, I decided to try some of my own hand spun cotton singles and some text cut from a book of Shakespeare’s plays. This would make an interesting effect for a wall hanging.

I am very pleased with my first attempts at weaving. Warping a loom takes time, but is not extremely difficult, just painstaking. The weaving became quite rhythmic and calming. I really enjoyed it. I am totally mesmerized by the process and have already started more projects. There is something captivating about doing ancient crafts in modern designs and sensibilities.

Chartreuse

I have always liked green: sea green, celadon, moss green, olive green, lime green, and chartreuse.  So, it was fun to use chartreuse as a color scheme for a journal page.

It was interesting trying to layer so many different elements while maintaining the chartreuse theme. I have been using more and more layers varying the effects, but it was challenging to limit the palette.

In the next journal page, I used my own hand drawn doodles that I made a few weeks ago into photoshop brushes, then added some doodles directly onto the page using a pen tablet. I also colored in the hats in the vintage photo. Using the pen tablet is much like drawing directly into a journal, although will a little less control.  Hopefully, with more practice I will improve.

What stuck me about this photo is that, while it is clearly a party, no one seems to be having much fun – especially the children!  Maybe they were just making the best out of an unhappy situation!