Thursday, November 26, 2015

Creating Your own Designs in Weaving

We welcome our new students to the Toronto Weaving School. Another group of super keen, super smart and enthusiastic weavers will be joining our ranks, keeping the passion of more experienced weavers ignited!  

A new students's first project is always the most exciting and this is Carmai Seto's first tapestry. She based it on a design from one of our tapestry books and really made it her own. Creating the variety of lines was challenging. We are looking forward to seeing what Carmai will create next. 

Colour gamp tea towels in 4/8 cotton by Jane Tucker
On any given day, when you come into the weaving class, it may not look like much is going on, but suddenly, projects emerge - beautiful, satisfying and inspiring others. Though there is often waves of quiet and calm, industry is turning its wheels. 

Log cabin blanket in 2 ply Lemieux yarn (Canadian), fulled. Woven and designed by Wendy Szpindel. 

A few weeks ago, Rachel Miller, Professor and Head of Textiles at Sheridan College, invited me to give a presentation to her students on my work as a Textile Artist and give a workshop in how to create your own designs in weaving. To see their textiles programming go to their Facebook page and/or their website

Recently, Toronto Weaving School acquired an new 8 shaft Leclerc Compact Loom. It is a pretty thing to us weavers! I love the size and how it folds so sweetly into a small space, allowing a weaver to get maximum  use in a small space. It's weaving width is 24". You can purchase these looms through me.

As students in the class become more experienced in weaving, they are looking to create more complex textiles and having an 8 shaft loom enables them to explore, such as the scarf shown below. I am excited to see how returning students are really growing in their experience and daring to take on greater technical challenges with my support, assistance and guidance. I am even more delighted when I see them take their own tentative steps forward in creating their own designs, (though sometimes that happens accidentally,) and graduating from copying the designs in books and magazines. Progress and growth in weaving is slow, and not instantaneous. It flows in an organic way, in harmony with the process of weaving itself.
Toshiko Shindo, tencel scarf , turned twill pattern
 I have many lessons prepared for students if they wish to  learn to create their own designs. There are several approaches, all equally commendable.
Carla Duncan, deflected doubleweave scaves woven with 18/2 merino, 8 shaft pattern. Pattern from Handwoven. 
Karen Bota preparing the warp for tea towels with 4/8 cotton on her knitters loom! 

Jane Tucker, knitters loom scarf design

I have included this mohair scarf as a good project for a knitters loom. Its fast and easy to do. For people in the class, their is an assortment of mohair as well as novelty eyelash and ribbon yarn, which are 50% off. 
If you purchase your knitters loom through me, you receive a $50 gift certificate for any knitting and novelty yarn in the class. 

Wendy Haydn, twill variation wool scarf.

Repp weave (also called Ripsmatta) rug by Jane Richmond. 4/8 cotton and hand knitted filler


Of note to some of you, Craft Ontario has a pop up Christmas shop happening from November 5 to December 24 2015. Their location is at 990 Queen Street West , Toronto. Perhaps you want to purchase some Christmas presents there. A 'graduate' from Toronto Weaving School is participating and selling her knitters loom scarves. That means you can too! Join Craft Ontario and you too can sell your scarves next year at this pop up shop!

The One of a Kind Show is on from November 26 to December 6. You will also discover several weavers there.

Ginette Robert, 2/8 tencel and 18/2 merino scarf in an undulating twill. 
This picture doesn't do Ginette's scarf any justice. It is luxurious to feel, and very elegant. The weave structure and combination of materials make it light, yet warm. 

Tapestry Unlimited 11th international, Unjuried Small Format Tapestry Exhibition
Deadline: January 31, 2016 {ONLINE} or {RECEIVE}

Tapestry Unlimited
11th international, unjuried small format tapestry exhibition
American Tapestry Alliance
Milwaukee Public Library, Central Branch
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
July 26 – August 11, 2016

Tapestry Unlimited is open to all tapestry weavers. We invite entries not only from artists who work within more traditional definitions of tapestry, but also those whose work expands upon the core principles of the medium as it explores new techniques and processes. Multimedia work is welcome as along as the primary technique is tapestry.

The tapestry may not exceed 10″ x 10″ x 1″ deep (25cm x 25cm x 2.5cm).
Artists may submit only one piece.
Group challenges and mentoring pairs are encouraged.
Work must be original, executed by the entrant, of recent completion and not shown in a prior ATA show.

Entry Fee and Payment
$40.00 (US Dollars) The entry fee includes a catalog & the cost of return shipping (no insurance).

Download Entry Form:

Complete details available on website:

Questions? Email the Exhibition Chair, Janna Maria Vallee:


8 Shaft Folding Table Loom For Sale, used (brand new worth over $1500)
Louet W40 - 8 shaft 40 cm(16 inches),
if interested please contact
Includes stand, 2 reeds 30/10 and 40/12
price $750
Mariette Rousseau-Vermette
Musée d’art contemporain des Laurentides (MACL).28 novembre 2015 au 14 février 2016

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