Do you know what weaving is?
To be honest, before I gave it a try I didn’t really know what it entailed. Wikipedia explains it like this…
“Weaving is a method of fabric production in which two distinct sets of yarns or threads are interlaced at right angles to form a fabric or cloth. The other methods are knitting, lace making, felting, and braiding or plaiting. The longitudinal threads are called the warp and the lateral threads are the weft or filling. The method in which these threads are inter woven affects the characteristics of the cloth.”
My friend Lara put together a list of 25 things she wanted to accomplish before she turned 25, and learning how to weave on a loom just happened to be one of them.
Last May we signed up for a weekend course with the Kingston Handloom Weavers and Spinners Guild. The guild was located in a old limestone building overlooking Portsmouth Olympic Harbour in Kingston Ontario, one of my favourite places explore when I was studying at Queen’s. It reminded me of my childhood as we spent quite a fair bit of time there at a windsurfing shop.
Friday night’s class started at 6pm with a little theory lesson before picking our project and choosing our threads. I decided to make a wall hanging and go with these five.
I didn’t know how these colours would work out once it came to weaving them together but something inside me said go for it. It was clear that our instructor Bridget didn’t think these colours were a good idea, but I was stubborn and had a good feeling so I decided to do it anyways.
Once we picked out our colours we decided where we wanted them to sit in the pattern and started to put them on the warp. This process took a while to finish.
Once we had the right number of threads we then made the move over to the loom and attached everything, ready to get to work again Saturday morning.
When we started Saturday morning it was a serious practice in attention to detail work. We had to make sure all the threads matched up and were being pulled through the appropriate slots.
Then we started weaving. The process moves quite quickly once you’re actually sitting down, working the pedals and shooting the thread across.
After cutting our projects off the loom we were told we would have to wash our pieces to let them “bloom”. I also had to fix up the edges and sew a loop for a dowel before I could hang it up.
The finished product has been hanging on my wall for a couple months now. I used to think it was a little strange, but I made it and love it’s weirdness and the memories it gives me of that weekend. 🙂