Thursday, May 14, 2015

Weave Structures

Marion Kirkwood
The  baby blankets were adapted from a pattern by Kathleen Farling called "A new look at threading M's and  O's" in Handwovern magazine, May/June 2010.They were done in 2/8 cotton.

There are many reasons we are drawn to weaving. For some, the loom itself has cast a sort of spell on us and we are forever at its whim, led on by its intriguing process. For others, colour and texture of the fibres marry themselves well with their weaving forays. Experienced weavers learn to fall under the spell of the ritual of preparing the loom for the project (called dressing the loom), a long and drawn out process.  Others still are mesmerized by pattern. If you've been weaving for any great length of time, you are already very familiar with tabby and twills, and have discovered by now that there is a vast array of patterns and structures, some with the weirdest names that one wonders who dreamed them up!

Andrew Winter found this online....a cardboard weaving loom! Where there is a will there is a way. 

Like Barley Corn, Huck, Bronson Lace,  M's and O's, Monk's Belt,  Damask, Satin, Taquete, Overshot, Crackle Weave, Summer and Winter,  Goose Eye, Repp Weave,  Doubleweave,    and these are only the tip of the iceberg. Where does one start to learn about all of them and get a sense of what they are and what you would use them for? 
Toshiko Shindo, 2/8 cotton placemats with Brooks Bouquet embellishment

One of the most basic books that gives you a somewhat dated description of many of the North American woven patterns, are described in the Handweavers Pattern Book by Marguerite Davison. There isn't really one definitive book on weave structures. Information I've gathered bit by bit, connecting the dots, through various strategies. One is simply by looking at Handwoven magazines and their projects. They clearly state what the weave structure is, along with the draft. I find that looking at how the threading is ordered, a good clue in determining what the weave structure is. The Weavers Companion gives  short concise descriptions and diagrams of various weave structures as well. Nowadays, it seems a new book comes out each week on just one individual weave structure. For instance,  a number have been published on Crackle Weave. Compiling  a  glossary of each weave structure with a definitions as you gain more experience in weaving, will help to reduce your confusion. Make it a point to try a different weave structure for each project you do. It's an experiential way of really learning what the weave structure is about, and its distinguishing characteristics. You can also learn about the different weave structures through the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners correspondence courses, which are inexpensive, though the materials required can get pricey. The Guild of Canadian Weavers is also another option .

Peter Harris, Kashmir weaving 

As we near the end of the weaving classes at Toronto Weaving School, a number of new developments. Toronto Weaving School is looking for a new location and a donation of space with lots of light would be ideal, if the universe can be so generous. I am also announcing that I am offering Skype weaving help assistance , as many of you feel you will go into withdrawal between the end of classes and next September. It's $60. for 60 minutes. You use up your minutes as you look....dispersed over the course of whatever length of time you need. Just to let you know though, I won't be available until July, as I'm off for Italy at the end of the session. 


Weave / We Are A Part of the Fabric, funded by Toronto and Ontario arts council is a project exploring Connectedness through the fibre arts. The FibreWebs Collective (Barb Aikman, Patricia Phelan, Peter Lakin and Raz Rotem) and Hair Artist Tanya Turton, collaborated with SKETCH Working Arts (an art organization serving youth on the margins) and Supporting Our Youth (SOY, at the Sherbourne Health Centre). Together we created a program offering LGBTQ2I youth the opportunity to explore the fibre arts (hair braiding, knitting, hooking, felting, weaving and spinning) and inspire new and better connections with one-self and with the community.

Museum for Textiles - Textile Garage Sale

Louise Granahan sent this link along describing how to cut tshirts and fabrics so that it forms a continuous weft. Practical when you want to weave rag rugs and other kinds of rugs that feature a thick weft like repp weave rugs. We featured this tip last year but Louise discovered another source for it:

Natural Dye Printing at Sheridan College

Alternative Methods of Dyeing: Rust Dyeing, Eco Printing, and Botanical Transfer

Handweavers of America Biannual Conference and doznes of workshops

The Versatility of Fibre, Newfoundland Canada
October 14-18 2015
5 days of workshops and conference

Ontario Handweavers and Spinners, May 2015

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