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Field Report: Weaving Week, Part 1

by The SpinArtiste on July 21, 2011

Greetings, Fiber Lovers!  This week I’m bringing you field reports from my week long weaving class at The Mannings Handweaving School and Supply Center in East Berlin, PA being taught by Handwoven Magazine’s Teacher of the Year, Tom Knisely.  And, how timely this report is given how many Spin Artiste readers recently mentioned as to how curious they are to try weaving.

Tonight I have a recap of the first three days to report.

Pictured left is a shot of part of the classroom area.  The classroom has countless looms spread throughout in a large variety of sizes.  There are six of us in the class this week and we have taken a lot of the studio over.  Now, at the end of day three, each of us has three separate projects on different looms.

And, here is my first project:  cotton tea towels woven using mostly plain (“tabby”) weave with some twill.   This was the first day and at this point, my selvedges are looking rough!

Project 2:  A sampler featuring a number of twill patterns.  This was far more challenging…and beautiful in shiny, soft, pearlized cotton.  I’ve been taking my time to make this look pretty because the patterns and materials are beautiful.

Today, we started to warp our own looms (the first two looms we started projects on were pre-warped for us).  Here is my basic black warp on the warping board which is where you set up the total length of warp material to be able to cut the pieces into the same lengths.

In the picture on the left, we are one more step closer to weaving now that the warp materials have been threaded through both the reed and the heddles. Tomorrow we will complete setting up the warp and move onto the actual weaving of the scarf.

As for the materials for the weft for my scarf, Tom, the instructor, asked if anyone brought anything they wanted to use in their project.  To the right is the bag of miscellaneous textured (“art”) yarns I’ve been saving for this purpose for months that are in tiny yardages.  I also have a couple of bags of Wensleydale locks to work in as well.

Tomorrow we will work on our scarf project and learn how to weave the overshot sections on the twill sampler.  We are having a great time, but it’s pretty intense.  I got to weaving school this morning and class started at 9:00 AM.  While there was a lunch break and I took a dinner break, I stayed after class to get caught up and didn’t get finished until almost 9:00 PM.  But, all of my homework is done for tomorrow and my projects on are track.  So, now onto the final two days.  I will be sad for the week to end.  I know some of my report might be hard to visualize so just take it from me, this is nothing like using a Weave-it!

Be back later this week with more and we will have the winner of the Prairie Fire Soapworks and Fibers on Sunday!  Until then, I wish you much fibery goodness.

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