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Learning to Weave 2020-style

In February 2020, we started an introductory weaving workshop, lead by Sandra Hodgins, with six participants: Lisa Miki, Kate Hammond, Genevieve Lalonde-Martini, Sharon Bloedorn, Elise Young and Igor Darmokhid.

Each of them prepared a unique warp and dressed “their” table loom in our guild studio facilities.

With the greatest good fortune, when the pandemic circumstances became apparent in late March, most of the projects were ready to weave.

Once again we were lucky, the looms could be used at home, and the round robin workshop format allowed safe drop off and pickup at the studio.

Unfortunately, Igor was unable to participate in the weaving assignments; we miss him and his good humour.

By the end of October, all the projects were completed in time to be displayed in the SSI Public Library’s lobby showcase.  We thank the Library for this opportunity to show one more way that creativity flourishes on Salt Spring.

The six structures explored were:

1- Rep weave placemats with an original design inspired by Joanne Tallarovic’s book titled “Rep Weave and Beyond” and thoughts of chili con carne.

Rep weave placemats at the library display November 2020

Rep weave placemats at the library display November 2020

2- Colour and weave red/white napkins, another original design with the classic logcabin motif in the centre.

3- Twill colour gamp napkins using 12 different colours of 8/2 cotton.

Colour and weave Napkins at Library Display November 2020

Colour gamp napkins at the library display November 2020

4- Monk’s belt table runner with the two block design woven according to the inspiration of each participant.

MonksBelt placemat

5- Double weave sampler in greens to try weaving (a) 2 layers, (b) double width—joined one side, (c) tubular—joined both sides, and pickup for a figurative pattern of the weaver’s choice.

Double weave Library Display November 2020

6 – Swedish lace runner on a red warp with choice of orange, fuchsia, or dark red weft.

 

Lace Napkins

This round-robin workshop was a unique experience for everyone involved, and took place in other than ideal circumstances.  However, as the instructor, I couldn’t imagine a better group of enthusiastic guinea pigs to test drive a new workshop.  Working in isolation, as was necessary, prevented the usual coaching, feedback, and opportunity to learn from (and about) each other.  They worked well independently, at times revealing great inventiveness.  I predict with confidence that all of them will create interesting, and I hope exciting cloth.

Here are a few observations from the participants.

This was a fantastic project to be a part off and offered such a good look at what you can do with different weave structures and patterns!  It was really great to have something to learn during the pandemic….. Kate

As a new weaver, it would take me months, if not years, to design, setup and weave six different projects.  This round robin was a great opportunity to quickly sample various type of weaving and discover what I like best.  I learned that I enjoy weaving with a lot of variety – the colour gamp, with its twill treadle pattern and constantly changing weft colours, was my favourite project …. Elise

The beginners weaving round robin was such a fun and interesting experience.  We got to try six different techniques that I’ve been curious about, but haven’t tried until now.  It was the perfect pandemic project because we could weave together and yet apart.  It’s been inspiring and given me the confidence to get a project going on my own loom at home…. Lisa

 

Library display November 2020

Display in the library

On display in the SSI public library lobby are the results of a weaving challenge to explore basket weave and canvas weave. These items were inspired by samples woven by our members for the Guild of Canadian Weavers 2019 newsletter. Winner of the people’s choice award was Nicole Onetto.

Left side of the display

Right side of the display

Voting station