weaving 101

Nov 13, 2012

In September, I finally signed up for a weaving class at an arts center in my neighborhood.  For years, I have looked through the windows of the weaving class and have long envied the folks working on the looms.

The last time I took a weaving class, I was nine years old.  We never got to floor looms, which, as I've been learning these past few weeks, involves a lot of mathematical calculations and tedious threading.  I thought that I had decent math skills (and patience!) up until now.  Adding and multiplying allowances, shrinkage, fringe, ends per inch . . . huh? 

I did manage to finish my weaving sampler, which I had been working on since the start of class!

One of the things that spurred me to sign up for a weaving class was the purchase of a vintage miniature loom at an artist's estate sale.  Knowing very little about weaving, I bought the loom on faith that I could get it to working order.  I brought the loom to class, and my instructor pointed out that it was missing a heddle, which is the part of the loom that holds the threads in place to create an open space for the shuttle.

After scouring the internet for a heddle, I decided to make my own.  I figured if the loom was 80 years old, surely I could macgyver a working heddle.  So, I did, out of quilting plastic template and craft wood. That's it, the piece hanging from the top bar.

Here are some photos capturing the process.

You can imagine my excitement when it worked!  I finished my first weaving on the little loom just a few days ago.

And I'm almost done with my second piece! I'm planning on selling these weavings at the upcoming Holiday Market in Portland,  November 30 thru December 1. 


camille said...

beautiful! where are you taking the class at? i'm in portland too and have been wanting to try weaving for a while.

Cathy said...

Thanks Camille : ) My weaving class is at the Multnomah Arts Center. I believe there's another place on the eastside that offers weaving classes. You want to sign up early, though! The weaving classes at MAC fill up fast.

Jennifer Allison said...

absolutely delicious.

Jesse Lu Bain said...

aaahhh... for the love of weaving. I have a collapsable floor loom sitting in the corner of my tiny studio room. It has been sitting in the corner of one room or another waiting to be stretched out and put to work for nigh two years now. Perhaps when we have a house-house come July.

Congrats on a new-found love.

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