Why I weave

 Home Tuition My weaving Handwoven Scenes Handwoven Scarves Why I weave Weaving Terms  

The reason is that I will never be bored.!

I keep gaining new ideas. For example at a Leisure  Fair in Wantage I was asked how to do Waffle Weave. I did not know but came home and looked it up in a book and found it could be woven on the point twill threading on the demonstration loom I had at the Fair so I could try it with no effort. I had already decided the point twill threading was great as it can be used for basket weave and canvas weave as well as point twill. I have since woven a cushion cover on my eight shaft loom 

How did I become obsessed with weaving?

My interest in weaving started in 1978 when my Mother bought a Rowan Frame Loom on a holiday in the Lake District.  She then did a course and became very involved in spinning, weaving and natural dyeing. She lent me the frame loom and I made one side of a bag.

The other side of the bag was made on her four shaft loom when I stayed with her at  Christmas. I was fascinated by the range of patterns that could be made with a weft faced weave and a simple threading. The bag was completed with  a strap woven on an inkle loom. I still use the bag and have only had to replace the strap

I did an evening course in Oxford for two years. The first year I made a tapestry sampler and fabric sampler and the second year my first rug. However, as a science teacher who did a lot of sailing and enjoyed gardening, I did not have much time to weave or spin except when I visited my Mother.

I took over my Mother’s Varpuru Rita floor loom when she died in 1989 and continued weaving a  cover for a garden chair using weft face twill which  she had started. (While this was on the loom  I made a rug on a course with Martin Weatherhead near Cardigan. When I returned home I was able to complete the covers with tidier edges. I then wove some rugs using ideas I had taken from Martin. The next year I did another course with Martin when I Ikat dyed a warp and wove curtains.  www.snail-trail.co.uk for information on Martin's courses.

Martin taught me many basic techniques including his method of warping which I always use. This allowed me to develop my skills over a number of years by making  more rugs, as well as curtains, table mats, cushions and scarves.  I particularly enjoyed experimenting with overshot weaving. However, time was limited as I was working full time in London as a Civil Servant and had a large garden.   

In 2001 I bought a Louet 8 shaft table loom and did a week’s course with Riitta Sitkonnen Davies. As a result I had so many ideas that I decided that I must find more time by working part time.  My pictures are the main outcome of  Ritta's course but I have also enjoyed experimenting with double weave. Two days on weaving theory with Janet Phillips in 2002 helped me develop ideas.

Although I enjoy experimenting with weave structures, I also like working with colour. Plain or simple twill weaves are often the most effective way of using coloured yarns.  I love weaving with silk and so helped by a days dyeing with Janet, I started to dye my own yarns using acid dyes.  

Even if I limit myself to making scarves and pictures I have enough ideas to keep me  weaving for years. However, I also want to find time to weave some more cushion covers and some linen place mats using double weave

I am a member of the Kennet VAlley Guild of  Weavers, Spinners and Dyers. It provides great opportunities for sharing ideas.  I. One of the pleasures of weaving is gaining ideas from other people. I particularly enjoyed helping a student to set up a loom to make an undulating twill runner. This gave me several ideas to develop further.