Weaving workshop at Stitching Kitchen

New weaving workshops at Stitching Kitchen

loom close up

Recently at Stitching Kitchen I was very pleased to be able to run a weaving sampler workshop, simple and effective and fun!

I have been itching to run a weaving workshop at Stitching Kitchen since January when I visited the Hannah Ryggen exhibition.  But these things take a little planning and I needed to brush up my weaving knowledge. Not to mention that I have been busy with needle felting, Indian block printing, and producing my textile art for exhibitions! After creating a few samples and practising my techniques and also acquiring a range of textured yarns it was time to take the plunge!

 

round weaving on embroidery hoop

I worked on a few basic weave patterns over the months and also experimented with different yarns. The world of crafts attracts the loveliest and generous souls, one of whom is busy decluttering and so I extend an enormous thank you to Ann who donated a lot of the yarn used in this workshop, her support in the early stages of Stitching Kitchen has been phenomenal.

The structure of the session was all set in my head anyway. I started by introducing the tools of the trade, loom, shed stick, shuttle, warp, weft etc. Another craft – another vocabulary. First of all, we got stuck in warping up, using a very simple loom, the trick with warp thread is you need something strong and not slippy, I have a very delicate piece which was woven on a slippy yarn, looks pretty but a nightmare to finish off. I improvised on the shed stick and we discovered that corrugated card only lasts around two hours but will soldier on for three if really necessary. Why I didn’t think of it at the time… a ruler makes a perfect shed stick!

plain weave

Plain or tabby weave. The simplest weave of all, you pass the warp thread over and under each weft thread in turn. Start the next row on the opposite pass and you will develop a small chequer board effect. Very satisfying.

basket weave

Basket weave. This time you do the same under and over but with two matching passes under two and over two – like a double plain weave I guess is the best way to describe it.

soumak stitch

Soumak – best done with a fairly short warp yarn, which you pass around the weft thread in turn from left to right over the weft then back under again – varying the number of threads surrounded with each ‘stitch’. We all got the hang of it although we were a little wobbly

weave loops on stick

Loops are quite easy to create with the aid of a rounded stick or knitting needle. You simply weave a plain weave in the area that you want your loops. Next take your stick or knitting needle and pick up your “stitches” by wrapping them around the stick as shown. It is best to do this higher in the warp so that you have space to easily pull on the weft threads to pick them up. After all the row is on the stick, pull the stick down on the warp so that it brings the loops down to the support rows. Next gently remove the stick so that you leave behind a row of loops. Weave another plain weave row above your loops, making sure not to pull the weft too much otherwise you’ll start to lose the loops you just made.

weave shapes

We also had a go at creating shapes, you can make a template to follow but you just need to plain weave the area where you want the colour of your shape, you can in fill the other areas later if you want to.

rya knots

Rya Knots give a great tassel effect to the finished weaving project. To do these you will need to cut some equal lenghts of yarn to form the tassel. You can wrap your yarn around a card as a template if you wish. Then taking a few (four in the above photo) pieces of yarn thread the short yarn over two or four warp threads and bring the loose ends up through the centre. You can work a second layer above alternating the warp threads for a thicker pile of tufts or tassels which can be any length you wish!

needleweaving

Needle weaving is a lovely way to finish your project, I found that as I removed my weaving from my loom I had more spare warp showing than I thought but didn't want to loose the tension or size so chose to needle weave. There are many stitches to choose from, simple bar, cretan, buttonhole/blanket stitch or overcast/whipping stitch.

Finishing off – there are a number of ways you can secure your weave, most of us sewed in the ends of the weft threads. It is also possible to simple cut the weft from your loom and knot them. Or run another row of Rya knots on the loops of weft when it is removed from the loom.

vee weaving

The big question was would my guests be able to make something within a 3 hour session? Well I am pleased to say they did…. Some really lovely use of colour and we all learnt a lot making these samplers.