Thursday, November 14, 2013


Jane Tucker, hand dyed Alpaca scarves woven in a variegated twill. 
"Resistance is futile" I proclaimed (one of my favorite quotes from Star Trek ) as one of my weaving students said that she was 'socializing'! Why did I get it in my head that we should get so serious anyways? Must have been that teacher training I took at the University of Toronto that drilled me about what teaching is. There is a momentum in our weaving classes that is very energizing and keeps us all excited about weaving. The environment is more like a studio and less formal than the conventional course and this is how participants want it. They want the social component,  they want to interact together. Like many weaving groups, such as guilds, weavers are very helpful to others. They can never seem to do enough to help you out ...not just in weaving but what ever other challenges you might be facing. This kind of real human connection, where we feel unjudged, accepted and even embraced for who we are, is what makes our weaving classes a pleasure to be in. All of the participants contribute to making this a great place to be weaving together. What, you might ask, is my role in all this. Definitely not a traditional definition of teacher. Perhaps my role is more about making sure all that you need is there to make what you want to weave happen. My experience in weaving is also necessary in realizing the many projects people accomplish.

Conrad Dueck wove this cotton runner. The pattern was taken from Best of Weavers: Huck Lace page 12, by Ruth Morrison. 
And so,  I've learned while teaching the classes, that real connection with others comes in the physicality of doing, in materiality, in actions, interactions, processes and events shared by an assortment of individuals. Weaving is an appropriate metaphor for engagement and activity with others. Both can be described as a means of producing a coherent united whole or collaboration through the combining and interlacement of various elements. All these individuals are like threads  woven into a community fabric through this one shared activity a permanent reminder of our shared history and values. This was really driven home to me in my recent Community Threads tapestries project where everyone had skills, abilities and resources to contribute to making the project a successful one. It wasn't about one individual getting all the acclaim or having to do all the work. Great things can happen when we pull together, are cohesive and put aside our differences. 
Marion Kirkwood, wove this merino scarf in a twill variation. 
 This was our first week of selling student work and it was much more successful than we had anticiapted. We put up a display outside our class and the products attracted passerbys to purchase quite a large number of items. If you are participating in the class you are welcome to bring your items. Please tag them with your name and price and whatever other info you'd like. Remember that 10% goes to the Toronto Weaving School fund for purchasing necessary supplies and equipment. 
Leslie Wynn wove this subtle but startling and complicated 8 shaft pattern taken from A Weaver's Book of  8-Shaft Patterns by the Friends of Handwoven. 
All people, registered in the weaving class or not, can enter the draw to win a Jane Louet  8 harness loom. Tickets are $25 each or 3 for $50. This is the cadillac of table looms and retails normally for $1100. The draw will take place November 27 2013. 
Maureen Krinicic wove this rag rug runner made with ripped sheets. I think it's about 12' long, maybe more! That's a lot of ripping sheets!
This twill baby blanket was Andrew Winter's first project, which he did on his own loom at home without my help! Way to go Andrew! 
It's also that time of year to register for the winter session of the weaving classes. Go to Look under Craft and select weaving.  A new session begins January 13 and 15 and runs for 9 weeks. 

Judite Vagners needed more light to correct her threading pattern. Here she is working on the Macomber loom, a donation to the weaving classes. Judite is a very experienced weaver and is very helpful to all the weavers in the class.  She is presently obtaining her Canadian Master Weaver certification. 

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