This is my first venture into the blogging world. I thought maybe I could use this platform to talk about my current life as a fiber artist and my adventures learning to weave.
As long as I can remember, I have loved the feel and smell of yarn, fibers, textiles, and fabrics. I can spend a wonderful afternoon wandering through a yarn shop or fabric store dreaming about potential combinations.
I learned to knit when I was about 8, thanks to my mom, my grand-mother, and an aunt. I didn’t really have the patience to sit and finish a knitted piece at that age, but then at playground camp I found . . . POTHOLDERS! . . . made on those little metal looms with stretchy loops of fabric. It took a lot less time to make a potholder than it did to knit a hat or scarf or whatever.
Fast forward to college and a bad ending to a bad relationship. For solace, I tried a new fiber craft, and took a weaving workshop. We built simple tapestry looms from canvas stretchers with small nails tapped into the stretcher frames at top and bottom. The warp was some kind of twine, and we made smallish pieces using a variety of weave structures. I still have a wall hanging I made on that frame. It’s in those yellow gold orange brown colors so popular in the mid-seventies and has wooden beads woven into the edges.
But several moves later, that loom was lost and knitting re-consumed my life (it still does) And then a friend introduced me to rigid heddle weaving. I am completely hooked. It’s the combination of color and texture and the meditative rhythm of pushing the shuttle through the warp that totally calms my spirit. I challenge myself with unusual materials like hemp twine and recycled plastic bags. I like the rigid heddle looms because they are accessible enough to try different things without spending hours setting them up.
I have added a 4-shaft floor loom to my weaving tool kit - a second-hand Artisat LeClerc 4-shaft loom. There's a lot to explore, more complicated structures than on the rigid heddle, and better control over tension and pull-in. Twills add a 3-D texture to color and weave patterns. The possibilities and variations are fascinating. I like to make scarves and shawls, with a warp long enough to do 3 or 4 items. Then I can play with different weft yarns and treadling patterns in each item.
In the end, no two items I make are the same. I am always playing with different approaches and combinations - endless variations