To get back on topic, yes, this is the second to last week of my residency. I gave some thought to what I wanted to get done in these last two weeks. One thing that hasn't been working out as I had hoped is the community weaving. I can't quite remember how long I made the warp, but there's lots left and it won't all get used if I leave it for other people to weave. I just don't get that many visitors. I've decided to spend time weaving on it myself. I was going to leave it behind as a gift to the community, but since not that many community members have actually contributed to it and I've done most of the weaving on it myself, I think I will keep it as a reminder of my time at Leigh Square.
This week I wound up what I call a "magic yarn ball' - a ball of random yarns of different lengths tied together, and did some weaving with it. I love how random the weaving is, with little bits of nubbly texture from the knots which just get woven in wherever they land. This is the technique I'm planning to have people use in the "Weave a Scarf in a Day" workshop that I'm doing at Muckabout Studio on December 3rd.
I also did some patterns using two shuttles with two different yarn colours. It is so simple for beginner weavers to get some interesting patterns this way. When I was weaving in Mexico, they called this type of weaving "pick and pick". The students in last week's classes really enjoyed working with these patterns.
Speaking of last week's students, Joanne came by to visit and brought in the weaving that she started last week. She's already finished it and says she has lots more ideas that she wants to try out. I think her next plan is to make some journal covers.
I spent a lot of my time this week setting up a loom to do 1/2 twill. There are two ways to do 1/2 twill on a rigid heddle loom:
.1 Using one heddle - it's faster and easier to warp, but you have to use a pick up stick and repick every third shed.
2. Using two heddles. This is slower to warp, but supposedly the weaving part is more straightforward. Since this is a very long warp (for a rigid heddle loom in any case), I decided to spend the time up front and warp with two heddles. When I wound this warp, I had not planned to use two heddles, and in hindsight it probably was not the best choice. It has three different yarns. The light pink is tripled (it was wound into balls this way, and I didn't bother to separate them). The dark pink yarn is quite thin, and the red is slubby. To complicate things further, I decided to move some of the warp threads around rather than just put them on the loom in order. It took me all of Wednesday and well into Thursday to get it set up, and along the way, I remembered why I don't like to do two heddle weaves. Let's just say it's very creatively threaded. Admittedly, I was distracted on Wednesday as Joanne came to visit. It was fantastic to have the company and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with her, but perhaps the complicated warping sequence was not the best choice of activity to do with someone else around. I'm hopeful that it will give some interesting results, just like the creative student warp last week. We'll see.
I also rethreaded a simple blue warp. It also somehow ended up with a few funky things going on. I didn't notice until I started weaving on Thursday night. I've certainly been reciting the mantra "there are no mistakes" a lot this week.
I started work on another tapestry on my Salish loom. I've been wanting to do a Sakura themed weaving since the cherry blossoms were blooming last spring. I'm really enjoying this loom with the chunky yarns for tapestry. I took it along to the Dyepot Club meeting on Friday and someone asked why I started weaving from the top, and I said "That's what Debra does". She said it doesn't really make sense when there is a fixed bar at the bottom. There are some vertical frame looms that just let the warp threads hang, and in that case you have to start weaving from the top, I've been enjoying the challenge of thinking about the image from the top down, but maybe for my next project, I will start from the bottom.
I have a short "to do" list for next week. Let's see how much I get finished.