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Adventures in Weaving

About a year ago, vynehorn talked me into doing an open studio weaving day at Vavstuga in Shelburne Falls, MA.  Truth be told, she didn't need to work at it very hard.  We had a blast, and left me with a desire to pursue weaving, and to the acquisition of a rigid heddle loom last Pennsic (that I haven't had the time to play with that I really want to.)  This year we decided to go back again - less to learn, and more just for the fun of it.  This year was my turn to call and register, and I admit to getting a little obsessive with the redial button at work the morning registration opened.  It was worth it though - we got first and second choices of warps!

vynehorn had managed to do something to her shoulder on Friday, so I drove.  Unlike last year with her GPS, mine did not attempt to throw us off a mountain.  Also, we didn't pad the time so much that we were grossly early - we were nicely timely.  Also doing the full day on Saturday was Henna from Bergental - there was a bit of initial squinting in the shop as the three of us tried to decide why she looks familiar...  New this year was an evil, evil concept: Susan (the owner) had hung bags with our names on them on hooks by the counter in the shop.  Those were our "enabling bags."  Feel free to browse the shop and the fiber during breaks and lunch, and put anything interesting in them - we'll check you out at the end.  Bad.  Very bad.  Especially since it hadn't occurred to me that last year the shop was safe - I was blissfully ignorant of what any of that stuff was for.  This year I knew, and was tempted.  vynehorn had thought of that, but I was off in a cloud somewhere.

There were more warps to my taste this year, and with choice number one, I was a happy girl.  For the morning session I chose a plainweave towel in order to get the feel for the loom again.  My selvedges were... okay.  Some of it may work itself out in the wash (literally,) but I clearly need to concentrate on that.  Vynehorn and Henna and I got done earlier than some of the other ladies, so we did some browsing in the shop, had our lunch, and went out to take a walk on the Bridge of Flowers.  It was a beautiful day for it.

After lunch we got to pick a second project.  One of the things that I had regretted from last year was that I picked "safe" weaves for both sessions, so this year I decided to try something a little more complicated and picked a rep weave for my second project.  That was... different.  Concentration was definitely required.  Two shuttles, four treadles, and counting.  My selvedges really went to hell - I was concentrating on shuttles and feet (and the 4:30 deadline to be done for the day,) and didn't have as much attention to spare.  I never did really figure out the little chart they had for where to park the follower shuttle to make sure that the outermost warp thread was caught every time, but somehow I figured out what needed to happen and just did it.  I suppose as long as it works, all is well.  It was fun, and if we go back next year I'm definitely going to aim for the more involved pieces.  I even finished with a tiny bit of time to spare.  Just enough to pick out some more 8/2 cotton to bring home.  Every time I walked through that hall, another color stuck to my fingers...

They had a tiny loom out in the shop that looks SO tempting.  If I read the description correctly it can be expanded for up to eight harnesses...  I need to be practical.  IF I do enough with the rigid heddle, AND I can convince myself to free up that much real estate in my sewing room, I MAY think about it.  In a few years.

I SO don't have enough time for all the things I want to do.

The drive home was uneventful, despite the fact that all the roads in both states were just swarming with police with radar.  By the time I dropped vynehorn off, I was dragging, and just wanted to get home and fall over.  The fatigue from starting the blood pressure meds has gotten better, but isn't gone yet.  Also, a day at those looms really is a bit of a workout.

So here's what I made.  I need to sew in the thread ends and hem them.  Of course, I still need to hem the towels from last year...



( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 22nd, 2012 11:15 pm (UTC)
Sounds like fun, and yes the police were out in force...
Apr. 22nd, 2012 11:22 pm (UTC)
It's huge fun, and I'm trying very hard to control the impulsiveness that I tend towards with new crafts.

The police presence was ridiculous - I think we counted four or five on the drive up, and I saw more on the way back - on secondaries as well as the interstates. Lucky for me I was very, very tired, and my speed drops when I get tired.
Apr. 22nd, 2012 11:53 pm (UTC)
It was also the UCONN spring party weekend and I saw close to a dozen cars passing by the campus.
Apr. 23rd, 2012 12:15 am (UTC)
Those are truly lovely.
Next year Jerusalem! ... I mean, one of these days I'll get my act together and will be able to get crafty again.
Apr. 23rd, 2012 12:20 am (UTC)
Lovely work! You definitely have a feel for it.

Maybe I should go next year -- I've got tablet weaving down, more or less, but I've had less success with the loom.

I have a 4 harness Ashford table loom, it also comes in 8 and 16 harness versions. I believe you can upgrade from 4 to 8 or 16. I got the 24" width. The nice thing about it is you can fold it flat *with a project in progress on it* and shove it in a bag and take it with you.

Which is great for events, demos, and just weekends away.
Apr. 23rd, 2012 01:41 am (UTC)
Oh, it's fun. And at $50 for the day (plus whatever fiber you consume,) it's a fantastic way to get a feel for it.
(Deleted comment)
Apr. 23rd, 2012 01:45 am (UTC)
Thank you!

Many of my new weft threads start in the body, but a few of them ended right at the edge. So I've got a mix.

Say - can you tell me in English what the effective difference is between "counterpane" and "countermarch" looms? I haven't quite been able to suss that out for myself.
Apr. 23rd, 2012 11:31 am (UTC)
Umm... I think you mean countermarch and counterbalance.
Apr. 23rd, 2012 02:51 pm (UTC)
Super cool. I'm envious!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )