Nubie Weaver needs basic help

  I have acquired a Gallinger 4 treadle, 4 harness, counter balance floor loom which I am planning to repair. I have been in touch with The Mannings where the loom was made. But I don't know the first thing about starting to weave. Do I start with a written pattern? Will it tell me how much yarn I need? Where do I get some basic, beginner patterns for a 4 harness loom? Where is the best place to buy good quality yarns for a reasonable price? I live in northeast Georgia, USA.

  I would like to make a scarf from silk or wool for my first project. I am not interested in making rugs. I also would like to make some dish towels from nice cotton.

  I have looked a a few tutorials on You Tube, but I can't get the whole story in one place as to how much yarn to buy, how to read a pattern, where to get a pattern, how to put the yarn on the warping board... when one tutorial ends, I don't know how to find the next one in order. Is there a good DVD set I could buy which would show me from start to finish without a lot of extra stuff a beginner doesn't need? I have a book by Osma Gallinger Tod called The Joy of Handweaving, but it has a lot of stuff not specific to my loom nor to what I need to know.

  I would love to take a beginners class but there isn't one in my locale and I can't afford to travel. I haven't found any weavers near me.

  I will keep searching the internet for answers to all my questions, but I would really appreciate a little help. Right now it seems like an insurmountable mountain.

Ann

Comments

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 17:17

Hi Ann,

Is John C. Campbell Folk School anywhere near you?  It's not too far from Young Harris, GA.  There are many classes for weaving taught there throughout the year.

If you're near Rabun County, GA you might see if you can contact Sharon Grist.  She's a weaver and lives near Dillard.

In Dahlonega, the University of North Georgia offers weaving classes.

About a DVD, Deborah Chandler has at least one video about basics of weaving and I think you'll find many more.  Check the Yarn Barn in Kansas' online catalog to find out more DVD titles.

Good luck in your search!

Tommye

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 17:27

There are plenty of written resources on how to read a draft & calculate amount of yarn needed.  Personally, I like Deborah Chandler's Learn to Weave book, but there are many others, too, and good videos.  I think it's really hard to learn the basics - particularly how to get a warp on a loom - from videos or books.  No matter where you live there's probably a weaving or fiber arts guild fairly close, and most weavers would be happy to give you some one-on-one if there are no classes.  Do a google search for a guild in your area.

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 18:53

Tommye,

  John C Campbell is 60 miles from where I live. Right now they don't have any basic beginner classes on weekends. I don't think I can afford a weekend class, I know I can't afford a week long class, even tho' I would LOVE to do that.

  I will look up Deborah Chandler and also the Yarn Barn in Kansas.

thanks.

Ann

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 18:56

Peg, I did a search because I expected to find a guild in Sautee-Nacoochee but there is not one that I could find. No one in my quilt guild knows of a weaver's guild near here.

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 19:07

Ann - If you live in Union, Towns, or Fannin counties, John C. Campbell offers 50% discounts on tuition on a stand-by basis for classes.  I taught myself on an Easy Weaver rigid heddle loom.  But what got me going on the floor loom was a week long intro weaving course at JC Campbell taught by Elaine Bradley.  She teaches regularly through the Chattahoocee Handweavers Guild down in North Atlanta.  Deborah Chandler's Learn to Weave has been my go-to reference as I gained experience learning to dress the loom after I got home and purchased a 4 shaft Artisat.  But I don't think I could have done it just by myself.  Having a person guide me along really helped.

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 19:48

Ann,
There was once a fiber arts guild that met near there... Yonah Mt. Fiber Arts Guild. It was active for about 25 years. However, it ceased to be about 8 or 9 years ago. Membership had dwindled and/or gotten older and no longer able to get out each month for a meeting.

Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild is in Atlanta and they offer classes quite frequently--and fairly inexpensively. Elaine Bradley is one of the people who sometimes teaches through CHG. You can find their website through a google search.

The person who teaches weaving at the University of North Georgia is Jo-Marie Karst and she teaches privately when she has time. If you're near Sautee-Nacoochee it might be worth your while to contact Jo and ask when/if she's teaching next. Or if she'd be willing to come to you for a tutorial or two or three. Contact me privately so I can send you her email address, if you're interested.

Tommye (in Dahlonega)

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 22:19

Try the series of videos known as "eLoomination" on YouTube.  In a series of 9 videos, Elizabeth Wagner does a wonderful job explaining how to dress a loom, weave, and finish a project.  She takes you through an actual project, a wool scarf, from beginning to end. Check it out!  This is how I learned how to weave on a floor loom.  

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 21:00

Tommye,

Thanks. I knew about CHG but they meet in Atlanta which is 70 miles from me. I live in Habersham County. The Gainesville campus of University of North Georgia is a definite possibility! I will privately contact you.

Ann

Posted on Fri, 09/06/2013 - 21:03

I live in Habersham county! I, too, feel I really need a class or personal tutor to get started.

Ann

Posted on Sat, 09/07/2013 - 02:06

... is at Dahlonega, Ann, not at the Gainesville campus . Sorry!

I emailed you back with Jo's info--hope you got it. Pat Williams is a tapestry weaver who lives in Clarkesville. She has also woven with floor looms. I don't know if she teaches other weaving other than tapestry now or not, however.

Tommye

Posted on Sat, 09/07/2013 - 21:52

i so needed that...      big difference compared to what i do, but amazing to watch.  i'm about half way through.. i feel like i'm taking a weaving course today!

Posted on Sun, 09/08/2013 - 03:49

I too am a new weaver. I enrolled in 2 really good classes from Craftsy. They have 1 class for floor loom weaving. I weave on a ridged heddle loom.

Posted on Sat, 09/28/2013 - 13:52

Another thing that might help is to get a kit.  Most of the major suppliers (Halcyon, etc.) carry weaving kits.  This would be the amount of yarn you need and instructions for the project.  Some have the warp pre-wound.