Here’s the sampler I wove in the Weaving Course I recently took. It was my first time on a floor loom so it really is just that, a sampler, a series of experiments and mistakes and tiny victories. It will serve as a great reference guide for future project as it’s really just a quilt of swatches.
As I explained in my last post we tried 12 different patterns, including plain weaves, twills, basket weaves, etc. Between the different patterns (each with their own tie-up and treadling), the way we threaded it (warp threads) and the weft colours we used we got to see a lot of different combinations. The good, the not so good, and the really great.
When I started I was pretty uptight about picking the right colours. I has this polished looking blue and white table runner in my mind that would look just divine on my kitchen table. However, it didn’t take long for me really mess up the edges and I started to relax. It was no longer going to be a piece I was going to use so I was able to let go and just run with it. I didn’t overthink anything or dwell on mistakes. In fact I almost encouraged myself to make mistakes, just to see what they would look like. I figured I may as well take advantage of this forgiving mindset while I had it! Sometimes it really was bad and sometimes they weren’t mistakes at all, they were beautiful little swatches!
It’s of course no surprise that as soon as I let go and stopped fussing over colours I ended up with a combination I really liked (that orange/blue/green shown above). My favourite sections are at the end here where we started weaving with two different coloured bobbins (weft threads). I hemstitched this end by hand. I also experimented with twisting some of the fringe for fun, there’s a little gadget that helps you do it.
My sampler in all it’s glory, every time I see that yellow patch I just shake my head… You see those off patches in the blue square? That’s because I messed up my treadling. I’m proud to say that I did not mess up my warp or make any threading errors (tiny victory!) all my mistakes are due to treadling errors or the way I was passing the shuttle (those uneven edges). I can definitely see a difference between this end, the one I started one, and the one I finished on (first photo). I’ll credit my improvement to practice and adequate caffeination.
I quite like the way this purple section looks, it’s 1/3 basket weave. The black section is 2/2 basket weave, the one below is the plain weave I started with.
I love this houndstooth! From bottom to top: 2/2 twill with two colours to produce houndstooth, 2/2 basket weave, plain weave with two colours, 2/2 herringbone, 2/2 reversed twill pointed, 2/2 broken twill. Also note this was done in 4/4 cotton and these photos were taken after I’d washed it.
Again, I’m so glad I got to take this course and that I got to do it with my Mum. It really was the perfect introduction and our teacher Alena was amazing. An expert herself (she’s completing her Master Weaver’s right now), she was so patient in answering all our questions and guiding us through our mistakes. As she said, “There’s no mistake in weaving that can’t be fixed!”