I made it through weaving class! As I mentioned in a previous blog post and various twitter and facebook posts, I was taking a Weaving 101 class at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, NY. Last post I couldn't help but express how insane setting up or dressing the the loom was but once I started actually weaving everything was so simple. It was calming and I'd zone out for a while just going through the motions.
To kind of (but not really since that was kind of ranty) pick up from my last post... The last thing you do when you're dressing your loom is pull the warp through the heddles (metal wires with a circle for your yarn to go through), then through the reed combs (check out this loom diagram), and tightly tie the warp around a bar connected to the loom. Then you can start weaving! Your warp is the "structure," in my images it is the dark gray yarn going through the loom. The yarn pulled through the warp is called the weft. Yes, kind of sounds like "left." The weft is one way you can create patterns.
But there are also warp patterns which depend on what order you pulled your warp through the heddles. So for instance, I was working on a 4 harness loom, that means I had four sets of heddles to pull my warp through. When I began pulling my warp through the heddles I used a 1, 2, 3, 4 repeat pattern. In the middle of pulling the warp through the heddles I switched it up and used a 1, 2, 3, 4 - 2, 3 - 1, 2, 3, 4 repeat pattern. So if you look at my photographs you can see that the left side of the weave looks very different than the right side. Though I was using weft patterns through the entire warp, the warp pattern ultimately determined the overall outcome. That means that there are endless pattern possibilities while weaving and I found that out firsthand by experimenting.
And really the most challenging thing once I started weaving was remembering where I was in the pattern. In the image above you can see that I wrote the pattern out on a sheet of paper, however I would often get lost and forget which of those 8 lines I was working on! At the beginning of the class I just didn't understand what was going on but everything started to come together and made sense in the end. The experience makes me want to purchase a loom for my studio even if it's just for pleasure!
FYI: Our teacher let us flip through The Handweaver's Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon, which is where my 2/2 Twill pattern came from. This is a fantastic resource of patterns and how to make them.
Might I mention that in the last post I was unable to recall hardly a single word from weaving, and look, I am retaining all sorts of things!
Well...what do you think?