Meets twice – Sunday November 5th and 12th from 10:30 am to 1 pm
You’ll put multiple warps on your loom over the course of the two sessions (and at home in between if you like!) and will gain a much higher comfort level with this process than can be obtained in an introduction. The workshop will include variations on direct warping (with the peg), indirect warping (with a warping board), and additional tools and techniques to help with the process of setting up your loom, including tricks for working with mixed fibers. Pre-requisite: Intro to Traditional Weaving or equivalent experience.
Materials: We will provide a 10″ rigid heddle loom you can take home between sessions (please note that if you break or damage the loom, you are responsible for the replacement cost). You will need warping and weaving materials; we recommend that you bring 2-4 partial or full balls of sock-weight, fingering, or worsted weight yarn.
I’ve been thinking about getting a floor loom for a while (I’d been using a few rigid heddle looms, and my mom taught me on her Schacht floor loom), but when I was visiting weavers in Ireland, I finally crossed the line and decided it was time to get one. Also I had done a massive clean-up job in my basement and finally had room for one! I did my research toward the end of my trip (on the Spinners’, Weavers’, and Knitters’ Housecleaning pages, amongst other places) and communicated with a weaver who was retiring and was within a reasonable driving range from my home.
So, a few days after I returned from Boston, a friend of mine who has a pickup truck (tip: a key piece of equipment for transporting a floor loom!) drove me to upstate New York to retrieve the loom. We got plenty of practice tying knots and arranging tarps in the borderline-harrowing drive home, but the loom arrived in one piece and is now living in my basement, below a ceiling festooned with Christmas lights!
I was lucky enough this fall to visit Ireland for the third time in three years, and especially to spend a significant amount of time in Donegal. I’m very drawn to this region, in part because of its rich weaving history, but as a New Englander, the cheery self-reliance of the people despite a sometimes unforgiving landscape feels very familiar. While I was there, I was fortunate to spend some good hours with a few of the wonderful weavers and craftspeople keeping the tradition of Donegal weaving alive and, importantly, living. I was impressed in both the fiber crafts and in the traditional music to find a wonderful harmony between the traditions and a growing, thriving, creative force rooted very much in the present. This is truly how traditions survive and don’t just become museum pieces.