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How did you get started

naturalfibres's picture

I'm always interested in hearing how people got started weaving. So what got you going?

As for myself, I have to say that I'm not really sure.  My first real memory of seeing someone weaving was when I was a teen.  The dad of my friend, Pat, taught at the local community college - Georgain College in Barrie, ON - and so one day we were at the college, just wandering around the buildings and came across the weaving studio.  The weaving instructor was there weaving and I thought it was neat.

Fast-forward five years, I applied to the college for the Design Arts program.  During the first year of the program all the students take the same general courses - life drawing, colour theory, 2-D design, 3-D design, drafting.  Then for the second and third years, we would specialize - there were several disciplines from which to choose, Interior Design, Fine Arts, Pottery, Industrial Design, Weaving & Textiles, Metal/Wood/Glass.  I had thought to go into Industrial Design, but somewhere during that first year I changed my mind and took Weaving & Textiles.

Weaving just sort of made sense to me.  I seemed to understand it right away.  So now I've been weaving for just over 25 years, mostly as a hobby but I have sold my work at craft sales and had it in some shops.  I worked for a summer, between my second and third years, in a weaving studio where I learned about production weaving.  Also, I worked for about 13 years as a home-production weaver for a studio, Loomcrofters, in Gagetown, NB.  Enid, the manager, would wind the warps and provide all the yarn, and I would get paid per piece.  Unfortunately, Enid passed away last fall, so I'm not sure what is happening with the studio.  The nephew of the lady who started Loomcrofters owned it after she passed away quite a few years ago.  I really enjoyed doing this kind of weaving, as I could do it at my own pace, and my daughter was a toddler when I started, so I was at home anyway.  As soon as I put her down for her nap, I would head to my loom and get in a good solid two hours of weaving.

Bonnie Datta's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Hi Everyone.  I started

Hi Everyone.  I started weaving because I was an avid embroiderer and wanted to make fabric.  I learned embroidery from my grandma who never had crayons but always had floss and a scrap of cloth.  She would fashion a hoop using a metal sealer top and a rubber ring.  In my teens I learned Swedish weaving (aka huckaback embroidery) from an aunt who had learned it in Brazil.  For years I worked with the cotton towelling that comes in rolls, always on the lookout for better quality, wider fabric.  Then another aunt, who wove occasionally, showed me that it was possible to weave huckaback.  So I have been weaving for about 20 years now and have explored many structures and techniques.  I derive great joy from the weaving process and from having finished pieces throughout my home.

Bonnie.

 

Susan Harvey's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
I had wanted to join a

I had wanted to join a weavers guild in the Vancouver area but it was postponed due to a move for my husband's career. Our new community had a weavers guild and I joined in the spring of 1996. It worked for me in so many ways as my husband was working as a locomotive engineer and night shifts. I had to find something to occupy my time that was quiet (while he slept)  and weaving fit. I also didn't know anyone in the new town so the weavers guild was a great social network too.

So I was primarily self taught but did manage to take many workshops and happily found some wonderful mentors. I also worked my way through the basic level of the GCW test program which sets you up marvelously well for thre basic weave structures. ( I may move onto the other levels in time)

A couple of moves again and where we are now on Vancouver Island has  weavers guilds within an easy drive and a great bunch of gals to get to know.

 

Susan

doreenmacl's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2009
Hello all- I remember

Hello all- I remember noticing weaving at an art show in Kamloops in the late 70's. I had done the knitting, embroidering, cross-stitch stuff and was immediately fascinated by the idea of handweaving. In 1981, I moved to Grand Forks BC as a new public health nurse and soon I realized that the unit clerk knew everything about everyone in the community- so when I asked here if there were any weavers there, she sent me down the street to meet the guild president, Elena. Four moves and three more guilds later, I am still a happy weaver. I am now semi-retired from my public health nurse work and have expanded my fibre art interests to include spinning (first with a drop spindle and then with a wheel), and dyeing. All the more special yarn for weaving and knitting. There are never enough hours in the day to do it all, but I stay connected and grounded thru my guild friends. Must get back to untangling that skein of fine rayon now- it is going into the next warp!

SaoriSaltSpring's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2009
My start to weaving was just

My start to weaving was just by chance.  I lived in Edmonton at the time and took a week off work in the summer to take a class at a community arts centre.  I went to sign up for the Quilting class, but it was full!

I already had the week off and so they said to me "How about Weaving?".  I said "Sure, why not"!!  Twenty-five plus years later I'm still weaving and loving it. 

I never did go back and take that quilting class.....

Happy Weaving,

Terri

Evelyn's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
 I have been weaving since I

 I have been weaving since I walked by Romni Wools on 10th Ave.  in Vancouver  in 1978.   There I took spinning classes and learnt of Diane Mortensens classes in Richmond at Craft Cottage which I did for the winter .  Linda Heinrich later introduced me to the Guild of Canadian Weavers and the Master Weaver program at her workshop on Linen.

I do have memories of my grandmothers weaving rag rugs using a rigid heddle that was somehow hung from the ceiling  with the warp spread  at the top and bottom on bars.  

I don't weave very much any more, but love to experiment and sample and am enjoying blogging and sharing my samples.

Evelyn

 

 

ottawa_fiber's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/09/2009
How I became addicted to
How I became addicted to fiber
 
I had a particularly bad spring at work, and was browsing a local yarn shop, when I picked up a drop spindle kit. It was as if lightening struck, and I fell in love with spinning when I realized that the first textiles would have started with a twist. I spun with fervour for months, then started a business, and then discovered weaving as well as my customers asked about carrying weaving supplies.
 
*sigh*
 
Not enough hours in a day to spin, weave, dye, run a business and do all the things I would like. I look forward to many years of learning, laughing, and enjoying the connection I feel with history as I spin, weave and knit.
 
I worked as a camp counsellor at Georgian college as a teen, and now I wish I had taken more time in their textile arts room...
 
Heather,
Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts.
doreenmacl's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2009
Hi Heather- I am so happy to

Hi Heather- I am so happy to connect with a weaver in the Ottawa area. My son, daughter-in-law and 2 grand daughters live in Ottawa and I usually visit them in the spring and the fall. Thanks to you, I found the Ottawa Weavers website and will try to plan my next visit around an opportunity to connect with even more weavers in Ottawa- maybe for the sale? Or a meeting? Are occasional guests welcome? Maybe we can get together in real time with drop spindles in hand, over a cup of coffee?

Doreen

dnquimby's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2009
I started weaving after

I started weaving after marrying into a family of weavers. They had so much 'stuff' and spoke about things I'd never heard of. Fortunately, I was into crafts before so this was a relatively natural step. I took a class in Halifax and when we moved to Cape Breton (where the weavers lived) I got to be part of the group who studied and wove at my mother-in-law's house. An instant social network and I could 'speak the in-laws' language'. Having the group to field ideas and questions helped us all to grow as weavers. My in-laws were well established in the arts community and I just was fortunate enough to be able to live here and do it too! This was over 12 years ago and I have my own studio space now and belong to several groups. I love to see what others produce and what I can produce. I love the yarns and equipment that goes with weaving. I am now starting my 7 year old twin grandchildren at their own table looms. The boy loves watching how the treadling works and the girl loves the colours! Weaving just keeps on being a blessing in many ways! Dianne in Cape Breton

fleurdefibre's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/07/2009
 Luck or fate? My

 Luck or fate?

My introduction to weaving first started with my introduction to hand spinning.  Love hand spinning, knitting not as much... However, I just happened to have married into a top notch weaver's family, namely my now deceased mother-in-law... So, first tackled a tapestry, followed by a borrowed table loom, and voila, a few years later and many workshops, conferences and a master weaver course (partly finished) I am still at it.  Must say, I don't weave all the time.  My time is divided between spinning, dyeing, wet and dry felting and weaving.  I don't care to specialize in an area of weaving or other media.  I go where an idea will take me!

weaver53's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/15/2009
I never really intended to

I never really intended to weave. I always wanted to spin, and finally could afford a wheel in 1983. In 1986 the Guild of the Handicapped closed down in Bristol and sold off all their looms (old 1930s Dryads) for 100 pounds (sterling) each. I thought why not, and bought one. I had 6 hours of private lessons with someone I knew, and have never looked back.

I now sell my weaving through Vancouver's Eastside Culture Crawl as a nice addition to my teacher's pension, and it never fails to keep me excited to see what I can make next!

Thumper70's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/10/2009
hello, I started as an

hello,

I started as an offshoot of spinning - and a desire to be able to do more with the results of my spinning.

I started spinning with a drop spindle because of my PhD research on late antique images of the Virgin Mary - she is often shown with a drop spindle, and many of the early texts use weaving and spinning images - I wanted to *really* know what the hell they were talking about! To my surprise I discovered that you could still buy a drop spindle - and that opened an entirely different world of creativity for me. I was hooked.

A year later I got my first loom - and I'm loving every minute of playing with it. For me it is just that - play - I learned many years ago that if you see these things as anything else you loose the joy of doing it, and it becomes a chore, a "must do" and a burden  no fun that. We adults need more play in our lives not more "things to do".

 

Bonnie Datta's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2009
Hi Everyone.  I started

Hi Everyone.  I started weaving because I was an avid embroiderer and wanted to make fabric.  I learned embroidery from my grandma who never had crayons but always had floss and a scrap of cloth.  She would fashion a hoop using a metal sealer top and a rubber ring.  In my teens I learned Swedish weaving (aka huckaback embroidery) from an aunt who had learned it in Brazil.  For years I worked with the cotton towelling that comes in rolls, always on the lookout for better quality, wider fabric.  Then another aunt, who wove occasionally, showed me that it was possible to weave huckaback.  So I have been weaving for about 20 years now and have explored many structures and techniques.  I derive great joy from the weaving process and from having finished pieces throughout my home.

Bonnie.

 

Susan Harvey's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2009
I had wanted to join a

I had wanted to join a weavers guild in the Vancouver area but it was postponed due to a move for my husband's career. Our new community had a weavers guild and I joined in the spring of 1996. It worked for me in so many ways as my husband was working as a locomotive engineer and night shifts. I had to find something to occupy my time that was quiet (while he slept)  and weaving fit. I also didn't know anyone in the new town so the weavers guild was a great social network too.

So I was primarily self taught but did manage to take many workshops and happily found some wonderful mentors. I also worked my way through the basic level of the GCW test program which sets you up marvelously well for thre basic weave structures. ( I may move onto the other levels in time)

A couple of moves again and where we are now on Vancouver Island has  weavers guilds within an easy drive and a great bunch of gals to get to know.

 

Susan

doreenmacl's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2009
Hello all- I remember

Hello all- I remember noticing weaving at an art show in Kamloops in the late 70's. I had done the knitting, embroidering, cross-stitch stuff and was immediately fascinated by the idea of handweaving. In 1981, I moved to Grand Forks BC as a new public health nurse and soon I realized that the unit clerk knew everything about everyone in the community- so when I asked here if there were any weavers there, she sent me down the street to meet the guild president, Elena. Four moves and three more guilds later, I am still a happy weaver. I am now semi-retired from my public health nurse work and have expanded my fibre art interests to include spinning (first with a drop spindle and then with a wheel), and dyeing. All the more special yarn for weaving and knitting. There are never enough hours in the day to do it all, but I stay connected and grounded thru my guild friends. Must get back to untangling that skein of fine rayon now- it is going into the next warp!

SaoriSaltSpring's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2009
My start to weaving was just

My start to weaving was just by chance.  I lived in Edmonton at the time and took a week off work in the summer to take a class at a community arts centre.  I went to sign up for the Quilting class, but it was full!

I already had the week off and so they said to me "How about Weaving?".  I said "Sure, why not"!!  Twenty-five plus years later I'm still weaving and loving it. 

I never did go back and take that quilting class.....

Happy Weaving,

Terri

Evelyn's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2009
 I have been weaving since I

 I have been weaving since I walked by Romni Wools on 10th Ave.  in Vancouver  in 1978.   There I took spinning classes and learnt of Diane Mortensens classes in Richmond at Craft Cottage which I did for the winter .  Linda Heinrich later introduced me to the Guild of Canadian Weavers and the Master Weaver program at her workshop on Linen.

I do have memories of my grandmothers weaving rag rugs using a rigid heddle that was somehow hung from the ceiling  with the warp spread  at the top and bottom on bars.  

I don't weave very much any more, but love to experiment and sample and am enjoying blogging and sharing my samples.

Evelyn

 

 

ottawa_fiber's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/09/2009
How I became addicted to
How I became addicted to fiber
 
I had a particularly bad spring at work, and was browsing a local yarn shop, when I picked up a drop spindle kit. It was as if lightening struck, and I fell in love with spinning when I realized that the first textiles would have started with a twist. I spun with fervour for months, then started a business, and then discovered weaving as well as my customers asked about carrying weaving supplies.
 
*sigh*
 
Not enough hours in a day to spin, weave, dye, run a business and do all the things I would like. I look forward to many years of learning, laughing, and enjoying the connection I feel with history as I spin, weave and knit.
 
I worked as a camp counsellor at Georgian college as a teen, and now I wish I had taken more time in their textile arts room...
 
Heather,
Ottawa Valley Fiber Arts.
doreenmacl's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/09/2009
Hi Heather- I am so happy to

Hi Heather- I am so happy to connect with a weaver in the Ottawa area. My son, daughter-in-law and 2 grand daughters live in Ottawa and I usually visit them in the spring and the fall. Thanks to you, I found the Ottawa Weavers website and will try to plan my next visit around an opportunity to connect with even more weavers in Ottawa- maybe for the sale? Or a meeting? Are occasional guests welcome? Maybe we can get together in real time with drop spindles in hand, over a cup of coffee?

Doreen

dnquimby's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/08/2009
I started weaving after

I started weaving after marrying into a family of weavers. They had so much 'stuff' and spoke about things I'd never heard of. Fortunately, I was into crafts before so this was a relatively natural step. I took a class in Halifax and when we moved to Cape Breton (where the weavers lived) I got to be part of the group who studied and wove at my mother-in-law's house. An instant social network and I could 'speak the in-laws' language'. Having the group to field ideas and questions helped us all to grow as weavers. My in-laws were well established in the arts community and I just was fortunate enough to be able to live here and do it too! This was over 12 years ago and I have my own studio space now and belong to several groups. I love to see what others produce and what I can produce. I love the yarns and equipment that goes with weaving. I am now starting my 7 year old twin grandchildren at their own table looms. The boy loves watching how the treadling works and the girl loves the colours! Weaving just keeps on being a blessing in many ways! Dianne in Cape Breton

fleurdefibre's picture
Offline
Joined: 07/07/2009
 Luck or fate? My

 Luck or fate?

My introduction to weaving first started with my introduction to hand spinning.  Love hand spinning, knitting not as much... However, I just happened to have married into a top notch weaver's family, namely my now deceased mother-in-law... So, first tackled a tapestry, followed by a borrowed table loom, and voila, a few years later and many workshops, conferences and a master weaver course (partly finished) I am still at it.  Must say, I don't weave all the time.  My time is divided between spinning, dyeing, wet and dry felting and weaving.  I don't care to specialize in an area of weaving or other media.  I go where an idea will take me!

weaver53's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/15/2009
I never really intended to

I never really intended to weave. I always wanted to spin, and finally could afford a wheel in 1983. In 1986 the Guild of the Handicapped closed down in Bristol and sold off all their looms (old 1930s Dryads) for 100 pounds (sterling) each. I thought why not, and bought one. I had 6 hours of private lessons with someone I knew, and have never looked back.

I now sell my weaving through Vancouver's Eastside Culture Crawl as a nice addition to my teacher's pension, and it never fails to keep me excited to see what I can make next!

Thumper70's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/10/2009
hello, I started as an

hello,

I started as an offshoot of spinning - and a desire to be able to do more with the results of my spinning.

I started spinning with a drop spindle because of my PhD research on late antique images of the Virgin Mary - she is often shown with a drop spindle, and many of the early texts use weaving and spinning images - I wanted to *really* know what the hell they were talking about! To my surprise I discovered that you could still buy a drop spindle - and that opened an entirely different world of creativity for me. I was hooked.

A year later I got my first loom - and I'm loving every minute of playing with it. For me it is just that - play - I learned many years ago that if you see these things as anything else you loose the joy of doing it, and it becomes a chore, a "must do" and a burden  no fun that. We adults need more play in our lives not more "things to do".