Thursday, February 10, 2011

wooly weaving

i hope we don't get to the point
where we have to have the cat stop
chasing the mouse to teach him
glassblowing and basket weaving.
-joseph barbera

actually, i think jude has already taught him basket weaving and glassblowing. and it is wonderful!! ha!

again, i'm having so much fun in her advanced boro workshop. she knows how to lead one down a familiar road and present you with something entirely new and different. you never think that you've already been there before. for long. any time you start to think that you can rest on your laurels, as it were, you find her tossing whatif's in your path and you learn something again.

i've been weaving for years. weaving wool yarns. weaving rag strips. tabby weaving. twining. salish weaving. knotted rya weaving. i have looms. big looms. little looms. gargantuan looms. so you'd think that there wouldn't be much for her to get me to think about when we entered this segment of the workshop. naturally, she still had a few tricks up her sleeve and needled me out of the comfortable rut i'd worn and into a new direction!

having spent much of my time weaving rugs of one sort or another, i hadn't really thought about weaving a piece of fabric from fabric strips. you'd think i would have. it's what we've been doing on a foundation. but to fashion a loom. or to re-purpose an old loom for a new technique? then use it to weave fabric strips into a new piece of whole fabric? not a rug. not a tapestry. but a piece of fabric? ha! push. push. push. get out of that box!!!

i purchased these balls of pendleton selvages on ebay many years ago with the thought to weave them into a rustic rag rug. life had other ideas at the time and they were safely stored away with many other fragments to await more halcyon days...  i came across them the other day while rummaging through one of my caches of treasures and had the idea that, using jude's technique, i could weave them into a wonderfully shaggy wool scarf instead of a stiff and trod upon rug. they were delighted with the possibility, so i quickly got to work warping the loom (one i made way back in the 80's, sans the heddles and harnesses). i warped it with only the thought of creating some form of repetition, but not any particular pattern in mind, and then set to weaving the wefts. i really love the tumbling "T" pattern that is forming and the shaggy nature of the cloth created by the wefts of the selvages.

i'm stabilizing the weave as i go with a neutral variegated quilting thread by yli, but have plans (ha! i ought to know better than to plan...we'll see what truly happens) to use wool or pearl cotton to stitch again. lending new color and texture while further stabilizing the weave. i had thought to felt it a bit...but am thinking most likely not since i really love the shaggy quality of the piece as it is.

so...this old dog is once again delighting in learning yet another new trick!!



  1. fun isnt it. I have never been a weaver but I can see huge possibilities with this class, just need a few more years!

  2. ha! so true, penny! with time, all is possible. so glad you are enjoying the workshop. so thankful that jude has offered it!

  3. Beautiful work Joe - love the texture.


  4. Ah yes, I did see this. It's amazing.