For many years I said 'I am not going to learn to weave'.
This bag is the reason why I DID learn to weave. I went to a
workshop led by the very talented and experienced weaver Kath Allen who like
me was a member of Alsager Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. It was to
be a 4 shaft weaving taster day, when we were not using a loom we were going
to weave a bag round a cardboard box to make another bag.
The genius thing about the day was that Kath had warped the looms and arranged
for us to weave in a honeycomb pattern. The nice thing was we weren't bogged
down with the mechanics of setting up the loom, we were using quality yarns and
seeing some of the potential of a 4 shaft loom. ( the weaving round a box was
also successful but allowed us to chat as well. Given that we always had an
incredible shared lunch on workshop day as well it was a brilliant day.)
So in fact I wove a short depth of a good width for the pattern and just loved
the effect. My mind was thinking about all the things I could do with
fabric that I wove myself. If could already knit any fabric I wanted (
virtually) and with. Loom I could sew with my own woven fabric too.
So I turned the sample into this silk lined evening bag and treated it to a
lovely clasp and to this day I treasure it. (The waste weaving formed the
top of each side.)
My next step was to get a rigid heddle loom so I could learn things like
warping, choosing appropriate yarn for the fabric needed, how much to beat down
and the important technique of getting good edges - the perfectionist in me!
My first scarf woven on my Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle Loom. I
used many textures of yarn in both the warp and weft.
There is more about rigid heddle loom, which I still use and love,
When I retired I treated myself to a floor loom and a small sampling hand loom
that I could transport to meetings, workshops etc.
So I am now the proud owner of two 8 shaft looms. The floor loom allows me to
weave material that is about a yard wide. Wide enough to make clothes from and
not so wide that the actual process of weaving is a chore, I didn't want my
shoulders to give up at this stage. The material for the skirt on the website
front page was actually planned to be a handbag! Now I am pleased that I wove
plenty of cloth as this is the best winter skirt I have ever made and as I wear
it I can visualise the sheep in Shetland that provided the wool.
I have now woven more red and black material - in a different pattern so as time
allows the handbag will eventually be made.
floor loom - weaving the latest black and red handbag
material (this has used all 8 shafts). The loom is a Schadt Mighty
Wolf which I love!
You can find out more about weaving on a shaft loom
There are other looms of which I
use an inkle loom which you can find more about
here and a weavette or pin loom
which you can find out more about here
My favourite weaving accessory: the pirn winder - such fun to make the
little bobbins for the weft
My most important tip: Label everything you do, with as much information
as you can ( there are templates available for this - so that you can repeat
exactly what you have done in a sample.
I am still adding more information here and I regularly blog about current
Individual or group teaching; demonstrations, talks, presentations and workshops