Kate's DIY Diary: Learning To Weave
by Kollabora Follow

posted 5 years ago

A few months ago I got to do something very special and fulfill a longtime dream, take a weaving course with my Mumma! Growing up I thought weaving was the most magical craft, I was mesmerized by every part of the loom and I thought learning to weave would just be the ultimate. Fast forward a couple decades and my Mum and I are both in the right headspace and have the time to learn.

After threading the headles, sleying the reed and tying on the warp. Finally weaving time!

We both have Leclerc floor looms (mine passed on by a dear family friend) and are eager to start using them. They're actually both at my Mum's house right now, I have no room for mine in my condo (short of pitching the couch, table and TV, and I think even my very support Boyfriend would draw the line there!). It's actually nice that they're together as we'll be able to support each other as we learn, make tea, pass eachother Kleenex mid breakdown...

Everytime you beat (pull that bar towards you to tighened your work) it is loud! I never knew how physicaly weaving was. 

We took a intro to weaving course at The Burr House Spinners & Weavers Guild just north of Toronto. We had both previously taken beginners courses on table looms so learning on floor looms was the next step. We each got to work on the type of looms we have at home (jack and counterbalance) and it was a small class so we got to ask all our annoying questions. It was 6 nights over the course of a month which was really great, weekend crash courses don't do it for me, I need time to make and learn from my mistakes. 

Starting with plain weave. Every few inches we changed patterns. 

Now I have to say this wasn't some dreamy picturesque process. Although it was very special and we were both thankful to be doing it together, there were a lot of tears and frustrations. It's not like the whole process was second nature, certain aspects were hard and others felt wonderful. We also didn't anticipate how much time was spent warping, threading, doing tie ups, and how little was spent weaving! It was a wonderful expereince overall and I can't want to continue weaving. I just felt the need to be honest about this because when learning a new craft I think too many people get discouraged quickly and give up, they have this idea everything should feel second nature. Sometimes you just have to push through your frustrations to get to the good part, it's worth it!

Lots of time spent on the floor doing tie ups! This is how you control what shafts move when you press on the peddles, making your pattern!

So what's next? I made a warp for some placemats and I think my Mum is planning a similar beginner project. She's going to join the guild we took our lessons at and take advantage of all the resources they offer since she lives so close. I live downtown so a membership isn't as practical for me, I'm going to see how far I get on my own. Looking forward to making all kinds of noise weaving at my Mums (if you didn't know weaving is loud). 

Mum finishing up her sampler.

My ultimate weaving goal is to take my Mum to Sweden for a few weeks one summer to take a course. We've got family there so it would be this awesome combination of exploring our heritage and a craft we love. Dreamy, right?! I better start saving up...

Mumma and I with our finished samplers!

See photo's of My First Sampler here. 

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