Sunday, 23 January 2011

Teaching Lace Weave

I got caught on the hop earlier this week by being asked questions about the drafting of  lace weave. Kennet Valley Guild runs a weavers course for 6 weeks in the spring and the 'improvers' are all doing lace weave. Everyone had selected their pattern and yarn and the first day was on Saturday - yesterday. I was looking forward to a day answering questions and generally helping out. Instead of which I realised when asked these questions that I needed to give a talk about drafts for lace weaves because they are not standard and Atwater-Bronson can be difficult to understand. I prepared a handout and more than an hour first thing on Saturday was taken up with discoursing on this topic. I am not entirely sure that I was very clear. Anyway they all spent the rest of the time, getting to grips with their looms. Half of them are now weaving, some will be weaving by next Saturday and two had just finished designing their weaving. So on the whole progress. Meanwhile Rosie and the beginners got on like a house on fire. They all made enormous progress.

My only gripe about the day had to do with lunch. My daughter Anne came over for the day to look after Michael and I knew of their plans to cook a Japanese meal. They were cooking something I rather like - ekonomiyaki. So I told them to keep me some. But they ate it all!!! So no lunch and a very miffed Pat who had gone without lunch at the class for the sake of this treat!

The combination of a class at Bourneville on Friday, taking Michael to Worcester Royal on Friday afternoon and going to Newbury for the weaving course on Saturday meant that the downstairs part of the house was littered with bags and boxes so I spent part of this morning tidying up. I rather think that what has happened is that the litter has gone upstairs!!

These are the washed cottolin towels in Summer and Winter. It is a cold grey day today and I decided to try taking a photo outside. The colours have come out well. The shrinkage in width was 10% and in length was 16% which amounts to 5 inches in 30. A lot.

I have not been happy about photos for some time  and have been told that an overcast day and outside is the best. Certainly the colours have come out realistic.

Our tutor, Annette lucas, at Bourneville has insisted that we stop doing samples of varied techniques and deal with one piece only, developing it into a finished piece.

So this is my piece which contains a great variety of techniques. The starting point was a screen print of paper doilies onto the back of a piece of scrap furnishing fabric. This was cut out and Bondawebbed onto a piece of red  tweedy fabric. I also did some individual prints of the same motif onto another scrap of fabric. I added wire round the edge and machine stitching in the middle to make 3D motifs when cut out. There is also a place where I have used Mola work to cut through the printed layer of fabric to the red fabric backing. In the lower right hand corner, the same shape has been stitched on Aquafilm and then the film washed away.  The violet piece in the upper left is a piece of cotton dyed by me and appliqued on. So that's it. The loose motifs are just tacked on in case I change my mind. At the moment, it is pinned up at the end of the corridor for me to ruminate about.

I am not at sure about this piece. One of Michael's carers said (very shrewdly, I thought). 'You don't like it because you can't see what to use it for'. Well yes , it can only be hung on the wall and we have better things around than that. I have had a great idea for decorating one of the calico shoppers and have started by dyeing one brown.  I can see Annette disapproving of this so I had better incorporate some of the fabric I have created at Bourneville!!


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About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.