Saturday, June 09, 2012

Pebble Weave Workshop

Our workshop today was in the multipurpose room of the library. We came with warped looms and with an inch of header already woven. Suzanne and Jennifer, fellow guild members, taught the class at no charge to us. I was thrilled to have a learning opportunity, any learning opportunity, right here at home.
All of the looms were table looms except for the Baby Wolf, the Wolf Pup that Elizabeth is weaving on (Jennifer's sister, Jennifer's loom) and then of course, Jeanne's Gilmore Gem that I'm weaving on. I had no idea what this weave structure even looks like when I signed up. I just wanted the chance to take a class.
Pardon my blurry shot, but I want to show that we're weaving pictures. This technique is from indigenous cultures and creates pictures in a background pattern of spots, called pebbles. Jen has collected about a dozen books on the subject and created a workshop book for us with many pages of patterns.
We were all struggling and it was all Suzanne and Jen could do to check in with everyone and keep us on track. Jennifer was my first weaving teacher, and as a retired instructor from the Forest Service, she has turned her skills to teaching weaving. I assure you her skills are top notch. Never a smoke jumper, she instructed them and made them proficient. You get the point.

It was a five-hour workshop and I finally caught on in the last half hour. It just clicked and that felt fantastic. At one point, Kathy said to me, don't you wonder what equipment the Bolivian women use. That made me laugh. They make their superb cloth from looms crafted from twigs and string. Here we were with thousands of dollars worth of equipment and were flummoxed.
I put the loom in the dining room when I got home. As you can, I struggled for the first five inches, but I'm finally forming the pattern and getting the steps. My pattern is taped to the beater bar and I also brought home a couple more to try. The difficult part for me is picking up the pattern out of the ground with knitting needles. Once again, as in Navajo weaving, I have a profound appreciation for these native peoples who have created such fantastic art.
This is the status of our garden and it's June 9th. Morning temperatures have hovered close to freezing and it didn't get above 62 today. I'm all the more thankful for our CSA box of fresh produce every Tuesday. I stopped by Kiernan's baseball game on my way home and watched for about an hour, until I got too cold. It's sunny, so it's deceptive. So the garden has a late start again. I just want tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes. I'm not sure I've ever had more than I wanted. Grow! Oh, and Ian weighted himself and then weighed himself again holding Charlie. Charlie has gained a pound. Speaking of growing things...... :)


Theresa said...

Hooray for Charlie! And hooray for you and the pebble weave. Your start looks promising! As does your garden. It has been cold weather this summer so far. Heck, it snowed yesterday morning for a bit.

LA said...

What a wonderful Guild activity! Pebble weave looks so beautiful...and it's always fun to try a new weave structure! Hoo-Ray for Charlie!!! He's on the mend!

Valerie said...

Looks like a fun day!! There's always so much to take away from a weaving workshop. Not only the topic being taught, but the chance to see how someone else has solved the same problem you struggle with. Or the little tips people share just in the process of the workshop.

Yay for Charlie! Here's to his health! (raising my iced tea in salute)

Wool Enough said...

You are making weaving look more and more intriguing and fun. I think I might be in danger here.

Nina said...

That workshop sounds like it was a good day. I sure is an interesting technique.