Category Archives: weaving

Small Loom Weaving

A pleasing turnout for this session. We also welcomed three new members (** see below re membership/workshops) to our small Guild which is very good.

There were a few different small looms being demonstrated on.

There was a short  demonstration of basic pin loom weaving. This is a very quick and simple way to do small patchwork pieces that can be sewn together to make larger pieces.

There is a basic pattern on the pin loom .

then there are other patterns such as a herrringbone

One of the good things is that as you weave, the bottom of the warp fills up as you weave the top bit. You can easily make a 6″ square in 15 minutes! It’s also something you can put down and pick up at any time without worrying where you’re up to!

You can find tutorials at the Fibre Factory website  ,Work for Idle Hands here and Donna Kallner website

For more complex patterns, Weave-it Weaves can be downloaded here.

Mary demonstrated weaving on the inkle loom. She told me that her husband had made this  in hardwood for someone who then decided they wanted it in softwood. Thereby Mary inherited this by default and had to go to the library to learn how to use it. I think she’s mastered it well!

Anne showed us how to weave on the Zoom Loom

Can’t remember the name of this modern version but we used to do it on a wooden cotton reel with four nails stuck in the top, sitting in front of an open fire, listening to the wireless…..oh, those were the days…….. and it was called French Knitting then!

Just a few of my more rustic ones

After a busy morning and lunch, some relaxed knitting and spinning whilst others carried on weaving.

If you decide you want to get your own pin loom, they are easy enough to make. If you do decide to buy one, be selective- some look very nice but are expensive, others are more basic/rustic but work just as well. If you want to join an online group, there are many. I joined this facebook  group and also got my loom from Julie Kernow who is Admin on that page. She has some for sale now.

Here are just a few things I found online that can be made from pin loom squares- there are many more inspirational items out there. Click on an image for a slideshow.

Just a few more photos from the day.Click on a picture for the slideshow

If anyone wants to look into small looms further, here is a link at aLoomaNation with downloadable manuals and patterns.

*Reminder that the 21 June session is ‘Show and Tell Equipment’. Please bring your unusual, or handmade, or exotic, or strange, or even weird equipment to show us!

**Unfortunately, we have to limit the Dyeing Picnic in July, and the Nuno felting in September, to existing members only.

 

 

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Mapuche Weaving

 

A couple of weeks ago we saw Liz Beasley of Ananuca visiting us at the Guild to show us how to do Mapuche weaving. Quite a few of us do weave but this was something quite different.

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She started by giving us a brief background to her involvement with it and the people of S. Chile

http://www.handmadeinchile.co.uk/

Some of you might have seen them in action last year at Wonderwool:

http://www.wonderwoolwales.co.uk/show…/2017-show-events.html

I particularly like the handmade looms- they just pop into the forest and cut down suitable branches! Spindles are handmade often with clay, potatoes as the weight as strong yarn is needed for weaving their blankets, rugs and ponchos. They spin sheep’s wool and use plant dyes.

https://fairandfab.co.uk/worksh…/mapuche-weaving-from-chile/

 

We first warped up our looms- an old picture frame-

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Plastic tubing-

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Another picture frame-

 

Two small willow wands were cut to divide the shed-

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String heddles were made-

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Then the weaving began-

 

 

 

Those of us used to working on rigid heddle looms found that with Mapuche, the weft needed to be pulled tight across the warp in order to create a good pattern. Some of us rigid heddlers started a new weave to achieve a better pattern.  Mapuche weaving patterns are warp based. Most of us worked on a simple pattern like the last photo. Some were more adventurous like the first few. Liz showed us some source books with the most intricate designs and like a lot of indigenous peoples, many communities have their own designs. They often tell a story and spiders (natural spinners and weavers!) feature strongly.

Liz gave us a comprehensive set of notes on  all the processes of mapuche weaving she had covered in this workshop- warping up,dividing sheds, creating string heddles, preparing the weft, creating a shuttle, weaving using the sheds, creating a fringe and for those who might be more adventurous, How to Build a Mapuche Loom!

Below are just a few pics of Liz’s weaving.

 

We want to thank Liz for a great session and would recommend anyone to take one of her workshops.

A weaving workshop

As a Guild, many of us weave. We don’t necessarily bring looms to meetings, and we don’t always have weaving workshops – though there have been a few lately. Our most recent meeting was one, and this time looms were not needed. We were weaving bags on boxes.

The boxes had to be quite substantial because – as you can see – they had to withstand the pull on the warp….

Wine boxes – or in this case, a rum box – are ideal!

Then, once warped up, you can begin weaving.

There were quite a variety of approaches:

and everyone had a distinctive take.

There’s a lot to get done in one day, and hopefully some finished examples will be brought along to our next meeting, but here are some which were finished beforehand to demonstrate what can be achieved:

and how about this cutie?

(And apologies for the delay in posting, caused by a perfect storm: a combination of work, illness and computer problems, and huge thanks to Ramona for taking the photographs….)

Workshops work

Our April meeting involved a show and tell, where members brought in some of the things they had either done in the workshops over the previous year, or which they had gone on to create after being in the workshops.

Many people had a go at weaving a beret (it was something a member had been seen doing at the dyeing picnic, and she was inundated with requests to demonstrate, resulting in a workshop). Here’s one, in pinks:

beret

The focus on weaving – a bit unusual for us, but it shouldn’t be – had continued with one of our regular ‘spin and weave’ sessions deliberately focusing on it instead of spinning (well, as well as spinning, of course – details in the previous post). There was lots of inspirational work, and among which was some purple saori-style weaving… well, here it is, off the loom and made into a jacket, incorporating felted panels as well:

wow

There was more weaving, too, of a more classic style:

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Let’s have a closer look:

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as well as knitting:

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and felting, reminding us that the next workshop is on felted landscapes. The felting workshops are always very popular, and there’s a list of what to bring along on the Events and Meetings page (click on the menu at the top). So here’s some inspiration:

gorgeous!

That’s 19 May, in case you were wondering how long you had to decide which landscape you were going to immortalise in wool!

 

Bring your looms!

Firstly, apologies for the delay in this post – deadlines, deadlines and work, work, work.

For our March meeting, which was a ‘spinning and weaving’ session, we decided to focus on the weaving. After all, we are the Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, and many of us have looms which we barely use, don’t use as much as we’d like, or are unsure of how to use. So we decided that it would be a good idea to encourage people to bring along their looms.

And they did! We had everything from a small, school-style loom,

small loom

to an assortment of planks which, when assembled, turned out to be a ladder loom:

ladder loom 1

One member was doing some almost saori-style weaving,

purple haze

while others were taking a more classical approach,

orange delight

Here are some more pictures from the day, including progress on the ladder loom; just click on an image for a slideshow. oh – don’t forget that the May meeting is an ever-popular felting workshop; there’s a list of things to bring on the ‘events’ page.

 

 

 

Berets, spinning, knitting and repairs

Our September meeting was one of our ‘spinning and weaving’ sessions, and for once we had some people weaving (usually people just bring wheels rather than looms) – finishing off the woven berets from our August workshop. Some were finished:

and some were still works in progress:

(There was another finished one, but the owner/creator said she was wearing it once only, and could not be persuaded to put it on for a photograph – off, it just didn’t have the same impact.)

Meanwhile, many of us were spinning, and colour seemed to be the order of the day, from orange

orange fluff

in fluff, and in spun form:

spun orange

to blues and violets, both spun and plied (and ready to go):

blues

The emphasis on colour seemed to have spread to the knitting members brought along as well:

wow

though some of us were also working in natural fleece colours.

One of the great things about the Guild is that it is a wonderful place to sort out problems, whether they involve techniques, useful tips which can help find a solution or straightforward running repairs…

repairs in progress

Next month’s meeting is the ‘Spinning to the Crimp’ workshop, which should be interesting. Don’t forget that you can check out the events page for information on what to bring along!

Inkle looming

We haven’t had a weaving workshop for ages – but that changed on Thursday 23 April, when Fiona Nisbet came over to lead a workshop on inkle loom weaving. Lambing often means that out spring workshops are a bit lighter on numbers than they would otherwise be, but there were still a good number of keen weavers or potential weavers. Fiona has led workshops with us before, so we knew it would be good!

First, we were introduced to the basics of using an inkle loom.

inkle loomSeveral members already have their own, but others were either completely new to weaving or had not used an inkle loom before. Though they only produce comparatively narrow strips of woven fabric, these are ideal for things like bag handles:

inkle woven stripas here, where the inkle strips make a long handle on a handwoven bag and add to the whole in a most attractive way. But Fiona also introduced us to other, wilder, ways of using an inkle loom – for instance with wire:

inkle loom wire weavingwhich was something of a Marmite technique, with some people absolutely loving it and others feeling just as strongly the other way.

But this was all very well – how about working? Fiona gave us a great tip about colour selection, which would also help with choosing colours for stranded knitting – wrapping the colours round a piece of cardboard, secured with sellotape. For weaving, you can also use this to work out the relative amounts of each warp thread, the balance between them and the pattern you want to make:

IMG_1959Choices were made, and people soon got on to the fiddly process of warping up:

eekThe choices people made were so varied, with all sorts of yarns – the smoother the better, due to the extra fuzziness which can be created by the up and down movement of the warp – in use, from cottons to ribbons to ones with sequins:

IMG_1984Then Fiona explained how to actually weave on the inkle loom, creating the shed,

starting to weaveand we got down to it.

weaving(Admittedly this was from one of our experienced weavers, but the rest of us can catch up at home!)

Here’s a gallery of the day with some of Fiona’s lovely examples to inspire us, as well as our own work. Just click on an image for a slideshow.

 

And our next session is on bags (a show and tell, with spinning and weaving and knitting) which is a perfect follow up. Our show and tell meetings are really inspirational, so bring along as many types of bags as you can and tell us all about how they were made – wonder how many will have inkle-loom-woven handles?