Monday, April 22, 2013

Oh my!

Goodness, Kerry and I have gotten waylaid by a very exciting development. Not too long after the last post was written we submitted a proposal to teach a Weaving I (weaving for beginners) course at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens here in Norfolk. They accepted our proposal and we started working on the details of our syllabus, renovating/fixing the looms that were donated to the Hermitage, and readying the weaving room (Kerry: Weaving Lab). We were hoping for, but not really anticipating, enough sign-ups to meet the minimum# of students. In reality, the class filled up and we are into our second full week of classes. We are learning a great deal about teaching weaving to multiples and how different it is than teaching one person at a time. And the students seem motivated and satisfied.

Feedback has been that a Weaving II, something a little more advanced, would be welcomed. For this summer we have proposed a wool dying class, and a Weaving Open House, and a fall Weaving II class where any student who has dyed wool in the summer workshop can use that in exchange for the materials cost. The fall workshop will focus on overshot pillows, where cotton is the warp and tabby, and wool the pattern weft. (oops, another edit where I had to change towels to pillows...more coffee required, obviously)

I would love to do an entire series of classes based on Madelyn's Twill Thrills book when it is finally reprinted. We'll see. For advanced students we might be able to do two 4 week sessions plus open studio. I know it's helpful to have dedicated weaving time where you aren't distracted by the everyday things going on at home. I'll be thinking about that. But I'll keep my day job!

At the Hermitage, Kerry is threading a rag rug project on a donated 40" Macomber 4 shaft B5. At home, I mis-sleyed a red & white cotton towel at 30 epi instead of 20 epi (note to self: read the notes I've jotted in the margin - except I had two sets of notes and only one of them was related to the project at hand) and so I am re-sleying at 20 epi. Yes, it means some wasted warp, probably a couple hundred threads. Or maybe I'll save the remainder for a similar but narrower project.

Edited to add: one of our students came in with an adjustable shower chair to use at her loom. I love her creative solution to finding the right height chair/bench! These are so much less expensive than "loom benches" that I have one in my Amazon cart right this minute. Maybe I'll weave a very dense twill upholstery-type textile and sew a slipcover. They aren't as pretty as a custom wooden but they certainly are functional and the price is right.

In Weaving II, if Kerry let's me, I'll teach back to front warping. Time to construct some raddles!