Saturday, June 22, 2013

Getting ready for Rags, Dyes, and Overshot

A whole host of classes coming up, all of them at the wonderful Hermitage Museum & Gardens in Norfolk, VA. The Visual Arts Studio is located in the old stable and it is such a treat to use the space for reintroducing  Hampton Roads to the addictive craft of hand weaving on a traditional floor loom.

BUT: to butcher a famous Saturday Night Live line...send us your looms! Seriously, we need more looms. We have five, but we can accommodate more. Know someone with a loom that they haven't used in 20 years? Suggest they donate it to the Hermitage, a 503c designated organization - which means the a tax write-off for the giver. Got your own loom that is up in the attic/gathering dust in the little used parlor/sitting in the garage or basement and waiting for a yard sale? Do you have one too many looms? Does it need a little TLC? A lot of TLC? We'll  take looms in pretty much any condition and we have the means to pick it up (e.g., a pickup truck) and refurbish it for use. PLEASE contact Truly Matthews at the Hermitage at 757-423-2052. Kerry and I can travel up to about 300 +/- miles to pick up looms, and we have done so in the past. Or you can drop it off. Don't hesitate to call Truly, or even contact Kerry or myself, Erin, via the comments on this blog.

So enough with the begging, on with the show.


This fall we will be teaching an overshot class at the Visual Arts Center in the old stables at the Hermitage Museum & Gardens. It is an open class, meaning that beginners and non-beginners can register. Experienced weavers will be able to more or less work at their own pace, while beginners will learn how to weave using the overshot technique. It could be argued that that's too complicated for a newbie. We agree that it takes some focus but we think it is achievable.

The key to success for the fall class is to be present. The class is held Monday and Saturday, and both nights are class nights. I point this out strongly because there was some confusion last session. Anyhow, Wednesday nights were Open Studio nights during the spring session.  While Open Studio was entirely optional, we found that the students needed/wanted the additional time. We will make a couple of the Open Studio nights required this fall. The overshot threading is more complex than a straight twill and we'll need the extra time to get it done.

Details: Two sessions per week with optional Open Studio. Saturdays 10:30 am to 12:30 pm and Mondays 6:00 to 8:00pm. Open Studio is Wednesdays from 6 to 9pm. The first THREE Open Studio sessions are required. There are five looms, so the class limit is 5, but if bring your own loom and we can expand the class!


Fun rugs for new weavers! This class is a day of weaving on workshop looms that have been set up for rag rugs. All you need to do is show up, pick your colors, and we'll show you how to weave. No experience necessary!

Details: Saturday, July 13, 10:30 to 3:30 pm. Bring fabric shears!


Kerry is a super awesome kettle dyer and is always coming to the party with some new never-to-be-reproduced-again yarn colorway. Hand her a set of ingredients and a skein of wool yarn and she'll come up with something wonderful, no recipe required. Erin is a more deliberate dyer and likes to paint the yarn with sponge brushes and "wrap it and zap it."  We'll both be on hand to walk you through the dye process using food-safe dyes and common kitchen equipment.

A special bonus: the yarn you dye in this class can be used for your overshot project in the fall, should you decide to register for both classes.

Details: Saturday, July 27, 1:30 to 4:30 pm

You can register for all these classes at the Hermitage Museum and Gardens Visual Arts Studio web page. The overshot class isn't listed yet but will be soon - keep watching this and their site for updates.

Happy Weaving

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