beginners "period" projects

In my local group, not many people weave, besides some who tablet weave. I'd like to introduce those who are interested to floor loom weaving and I have a portable, 4-shaft loom that I think we could use. My plan is that we calculate, warp, thread etc  togheter as a group, and then the loom will circulate between the members of this study group, so that each person get a good sized piece of fabric from this exercise.

My first thought was to warp it up with cottolin (because it's cheap, and I like it as a beginner's warp), and then each person can chose weft, linen or what they want, and maybe we can all get a dish towel or napkin to use at events.

Do you think this could be a good introduction to weaving? Do you have any ideas of easy projects that will still be of more use than just a regular sample? I like the idea that they will be able to use and show off their weaving - maybe that will make even more people interested.

Any ideas or commets are greatly appreciated!




Posted on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 21:51

I think your idea is a great start.  When I first began weaving a lot of my friends got dish towels as gifts.  The ones who cook really appriciated them.  Since you have a 4 harness you could have your study group add a repeat or two of a basic twill to add some interest to what might other wise just be plain weave.

Posted on Thu, 07/16/2009 - 22:16

In some of my early weaving classes, the instructor (AKA my weaving mother), used cotton rug warp for these early projects. This yarn is available in many colors, is very cheap & very forgiving. One she did was a bird's eye placemat of many colors. There might be 8 or 10 colors across the warp. We used one shuttle to weave them with a heavier weft - cotton Sugar'n Cream, which is available even at Joann's & other inexpensive retailors.

Placemats are a great way to make something useful & there are tons of 4H weaves out there that lend themselves to these projects. Learning how to do the figuring for weaving is a great next step to weaving. My "weaving mother" was a great proponant of this - learning to draft & thread is improtant to learning how things work together in weaving - getting into the mechanics!

Joan in Jamestown

Posted on Fri, 07/17/2009 - 16:21

Thank you for your comments. I like to tie up my loom with one treadle per shaft, so it's easy to switch between plain weave and twill, and was thinking that we might threadle the weave in birds eye pattern, because it's one of my favourites, and it really makes an interesting fabric that I think will appeal to many.

When vacations are over, I'll ask the people in my group if they like this idea, and hopefully we'll have a small study group when fall arrives.

Thanks again for your input.