Friday, October 17, 2014

My seven year old grandson visited me this summer and asked if we could make a blanket for his friend. So together we warped up a small rigid heddle loom and then he did all the weaving.  I've been meaning to share this image since then, but misplaced the picture.  It was so much fun to do this together!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Beginning Weaving Workshop

This past weekend I hosted a beginning weaving workshop in my studio.  We've been putting up signs around the studio grounds to point out where our individual studios are, so I thought in preparation for the weekend, I'd get mine up.  I wove this one and used a warp like the one for the workshop, but wove a 2/2 twill using plastic bags as the weft.  It's fun to see the bag edges blowing in the breeze!

 It is always lots of fun to help people get started weaving on a harnessed loom.  Most everyone used an Ashford table loom.  Those looms are so easy to tote around as they fold up flat and don't weigh too much so I really like using them for classes.  

As usual, the first day was spent preparing the warp.  Everyone wound a warp of 72 threads to be put on a 10 dent reed for a 7" wide sampler.  In this class, I teach front to back warping.  Most everyone used 3/2 pearl cotton so the warp would be easy to work with.  First, they wound their warps.  This is always more challenging for some people than it is for others.

Then by the beginning of the second day, everyone had sleyed the reed, threaded the heddles, and tied on the to back beam.  By the time we get to rolling the warp on the back beam, the fun really begins.  You can see the warp chain laying in front of the loom all ready to be tidied up and rolled to the back.

Here is a warp all ready to go.  It's always a good feeling to see all the threads lined up properly, with the tension just right and set up for good weaving.

Although most everyone was weaving plain weave and twill, a couple of students chose to thread a rose path threading and weave interesting patterns.

Here are a couple of samples that were finished and taken off the loom.

The final step in class is putting knots in the fringe to hold the weft in  After everyone goes home, they will wet finish the fabric and trim any overlapping threads.

Welcome, new weavers!

Monday, June 2, 2014

In the studio

Last week I did a live web seminar for Interweave on rigid heddle weaving and making a stash buster scarf.  The whole thing came together in about 3 weeks from the time I started working on it until giving the presentation last Thursday.  It was lots of fun in spite of how nervous I was and I was pleased with the final result.  If you'd like to check it out, click on the link above.

It seems my weaving life goes back and forth from teaching endeavors to production weaving, which keeps it interesting for me.  So this week I'm concentrating on getting things woven for the Contemporary Crafts Market in Pasadena on June 20 - 22.  Here are some things I'm working on....

Baby blankets

Narrow ruanas


Rayon and silk scarves


Warping for rayon chenille scarves

Selecting yarns for more rayon chenille scarves

Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Road to Teaching at Convergence

Convergence is a wonderful weaving conference that is held every two years.  Ever since I began weaving, it's been a high point for me to attend, hang out with friends, and see what's new and exciting in the weaving world.  As a weaving teacher, it is great to teach at Convergence.  I get a special thrill when I get my name badge that says "Leader" on it!  It makes it worth all the work it takes to get there.

When I've taken classes in the past, it hasn't occurred to me how much preparation might be involved for the teacher.  I thought it might be interesting for you to see the process for  presenting a class at a conference.

I will be teaching 3 rigid heddle classes at Convergence 2014 in Providence, Rhode Island. My classes will be a two day workshop on Pick Up Pizzazz, or using pick up sticks to create patterns in the woven cloth, a second 2 day workshop on Double Heddles and Double weave to explore patterns, layers, tubes and pockets in the cloth, and a 3 hour seminar on Taste of Rigid Heddle to introduce the curious to the wonders of weaving on a rigid heddle loom.

Pick Up Technique

Double Weave

Preparing a teaching proposal can be a daunting task and takes lots of planning and organization.  Here are some of the steps involved:

  • Proposing an appealing class description with defined goals for the class
  • Making a complete supply list for students
  • Determining any audio/visual needs
  • Setting materials fees for anything I supply
  • Creating images for the project or technique being taught
  • Planning for looms to be supplied or if students can bring their own
  • Thinking about shipping supplies to the venue

Sometime during the next year after the class is accepted I need to:

  • Write the handout for the technique or project
  • Then go back and make the project or do the technique strictly by following the handout
  • Clarify things, correct mistakes, and add anything I overlooked on the first pass
  • Take pictures of my project so I can insert some in the handout where images are helpful
  • Re-edit the handout and set it aside again
  • Coordinate with the loom manufacturers to supply looms for the class

Glimakra, Schacht and Ashford rigid heddle looms
A couple of weeks before Convergence I'll need to:

  • Print the handouts
  • Gather samples
  • Review techniques
  • Ship everything

Class Samples

When I finally get on the plane to travel to Convergence, I'll be so happy that really, all the hard work is behind me. Teaching is the fun part, seeing everyone learn a new technique or get excited about what they are weaving is the reward and the thrill that makes all the preparations worthwhile!

Proud and happy students 

You can join my classes at Convergence by going to, or see all the places I’m teaching by looking at my website at  On May 29th, I’ll be giving a live web seminar for Interweave on Beginning Weaving for Knitters which you can find by checking my website.