Well, today should have been Dye Day, and it isn’t. I am a bit sad, but relieved at the same time (for one, it is rainy). As much as I enjoyed it, it was a lot of work and could be rather expensive to do, but I did enjoy them. I still hope someone, one day, will decide to pick this up and carry it forward.
This past weekend, I taught a three-day weaving workshop at Starstruck Cat Studio in Greenwood, IN. I took Thursday off work, finished getting everything ready at home (had one more loom to warp as well as gather the rest of the equipment together), and then Scott and I took everything down to the shop and got the classroom sat up.
Friday morning, I arrived and finished organizing the last items, got the bobbin winder attached to someplace for use, made sure that all of the looms had a kit box, folder with handouts, and a 3-yard warping board.
I had three students for this class, and it was a good number. We could have fit a 4th loom in there, but it would have been tight. As it was, there was room to move about without knocking something over. When the students arrived, they were assigned a loom, and we got down to the business of learning. I start each student with a fully warped loom (100 ends of 3/2 perle cotton in white) and the first thing they learn are the parts of the loom, what the equipment is called and terms associated with weaving. Most of it is over their heads at this point, but hearing everything the first time means it will sound familiar when they come across it later and by the end of class, they know what everything is.
By noon, they were weaving on their samplers, learning how to make tabby and twill, how to place the weft into place (rather than beat it in) watch their selvedges and all of the fine points of weaving. I think drummers should make good weavers, because they are used to having every limb doing something different.
By the end of Friday, there were three very tired weaving students, but they each had a nearly complete sampler, had picked out the patterns for their scarves and had gone through the math on calculating the yarn needed for a specific project. Very good for a first day!
Saturday morning, I brought in three end-feed shuttles and let them play with them finishing up their samplers. Needless to say, they all fell in love with them, and a couple commented that, even at $100 each, they were worth the expense.
They removed their samplers, and knotted the “fringe” to keep them from unraveling while they each soaked in pans of hot water.
Then they were ready to begin their scarves. Each had a 3-yard warping board and they learned how to measure out the warp for their specific patterns.
Brenda chose to do a Log Cabin pattern for her scarf, and I love how the warp looks at the cross for this design.
Usually, each student has very different colors chosen for their scarves from the other students. This time, though, they all had variations of purple. It was pretty funny. Brenda had a red purple with a really light purple with wee pops of color in it. When viewed as a whole, it just looked like a pale purple, but when viewed up close, you could see the bits of color through it. Rhonda had a blue purple with a gray-taupe as her contrast. That gray-taupe was interesting because under fluorescent light it looked taupe, but under natural light it looked more gray. Pat’s choice was a light purple paired with a magenta – very striking and will be a welcomed bright spot this winter.
Rhonda’s reed sleyed and the heddles ready to be threaded. She decided the reed should be called the “dragon” because you sley it. Groooan!
By the end of Saturday, they were all warped up and had begun weaving on their scarves. All were questioning whether they’d actually get a full 2 yard+ scarf woven off, but I assured them, they could get done. I knew Rhonda would be done with time to spare because as a retired air-traffic controller, she really knows how to focus. Brenda was using the LeClerc Nilus Table Top loom and they are a little slower to use since you have to use your hands to push levers to raise and lower harnesses, and with less loom waste, her scarf was going to be a bit longer, but Brenda also knows how to focus and finished it with no problem. Pat’s scarf was wider than the others, and she had the Dorset, which is good about having less loom waste as well, so I was a bit concerned. I shouldn’t have been. She, too, took home a finished scarf at the end of Sunday.
Brenda’s colors and Log Cabin pattern. I can see why everyone loves Log Cabin. It looks complicated, but isn’t. It does take a bit of concentration while weaving it so you change colors just right, but as just a tabby weave, the treadling is as simple as it gets.
Rhonda’s colors and 6-thread Hound’s-tooth pattern. Hound’s-tooth usually comes in a close second on choices for my students. Since I require a two-color warp and a two-shuttle weave structure for their scarves, this one is a good choice and is so pretty with a simple twill for the treadling.
Pat’s colors and 4-thread Hound’s-tooth pattern.
All of the students have yarn left over enough to knit up matching hats and mittens to go with their scarves, so they are going to having something to wear this winter that will be the envy of all their friends.
Rhonda was the first to finish her scarf.
And was the first to use the fringe twister. 1-2-3-4-5…
Starstruck Cat Studio has a washing machine and dryer in it, and we got to use the washing machine to full the scarves. This was great! Each student was able to leave with a completely finished, if slightly damp, scarf. Thank you Susan for letting us use the machines!!
Brenda was the second to finish her scarf, twist her fringe and full the scarf.
Look how close Pat was able to get to her knots on her loom!
And here is Pat finishing up on the loom.
And for the moment we have all been waiting for – the finished scarves!
Rhonda and her scarf.
Brenda and her scarf.
Pat and her scarf.
I am very proud of each of my students. Not only did they complete the class within the time constraints, but their very first woven projects are lovely. I used some of the things I have learned as a Sheep to Shawl judge at the Indiana State Fair and evaluated the scarves for them. Each was concerned about their selvedges and draw-in, but they all did very well with not one being more than a ½ inch different from the beginning to the end in width and very consistent and straight.
So, what did I do while they wove on Sunday?
I finished the first Mary Jane sock for Soctober and got quite a bit done on the leg of the second one.
During lunches and when we needed breaks, we go to help yarn bomb the old spinning wheel that sit outside the shop.
We all had a great weekend!