Sunday, October 18, 2009

On Re-Discovering Plain Weave



....or the joy of being able to weave without thinking....

A few weeks ago a friend asked if I had any of my painted warp scarves woven in plain weave that she could use to illustrate an article she was writing. (Hi Tien!)

I didn't, but assured her that I could and set about dressing the loom with a scarf warp, intending to weave one scarf in plain weave, the rest in a 'fancy' four shaft twill.

Well, this was about the time my bp had gone all wonky and being able to just sit down at the loom, treadle plain weave and throw the shuttle was great therapy. Mentally as well as physically. :) Not to mention that I was really liking what was happening on the loom. So I wound up weaving off the whole warp in plain weave!

Since then I've done several scarf warps - all in plain weave - and it's been wonderful. The current warp is shades of pale turqouise to a dark royal blue. The first two scarves were woven with a turquoise (almost cyan). The last two are being woven with a darker mid-range blue.

I've also been doing a lot of thinking about the 'future of weaving' - how to encourage more people to take up the craft, on-line resources, such as Weavolution, WeaveZine, WeaveCast etc., etc.

And last night I talked myself into ordering a rigid heddle loom. I know, I know - me of the "if I'm going to weave just let me toss that shuttle and weave as efficiently as possible" philosophy!

But given the cost of floor looms and the state of the economy, I'm thinking that a whole lot more people are going to be open to weaving on a rigid heddle loom as an introduction. Sooooo - I guess it's time for me to take that step and really learn how the tool works so I can - perhaps - offer classes.

So which loom? Well, an Ashford because a friend is an Ashford dealer and is willing to give me a really good price. The rigid heddle (not the Knitter's Loom) because you can get the two heddle kit with two 12.5 dent heddle - which means being able to weave a lot more than plain weave - joyous as that is.

In the end, I may be heading to Syne's for lessons on rigid heddle weaving............right, Syne?

On the bp front, that seems to be stabilizing since the last tweak in medications. And the regimen of weaving plain weave for at least an hour every day. :D

9 comments:

Benita said...

Weaving Therapy! My weaving teacher was a 70-something lady named Betty LaFara, and her doctor "ordered" her to weave an hour a day on her rug loom because of the exercise it gave to her legs, in which she was quickly losing all feeling. I remember her laughing about being ordered to weave. She was having a blast weaving rugs and coming up with different designs - all in the name of health.

Sharon Schulze said...

Oh my... I just learn to weave fast and my teacher opts for slow again! hahahahaha

Laura said...

Ironic, isn't it....otoh, I still intend to weaving on a rigid heddle loom as efficiently as possible! :DDDD

Cheers,
Laura

Sandra Rude said...

Well, we knew weaving was therapeutic.....

Laura said...

Therapy - another good excuse to enhance stash! :D Mind you, a rigid heddle doesn't compare to a Jacquard!

Cheers,
Laura (just a little green with envy!) :)

Delighted Hands said...

But sometimes the basics are the best-weaving plain weave is pure pleasure! Glad you will be breaking into this area-you will enhance it very progressively!

Dorothy said...

I've seen some lovely scarves that were woven on a rigid heddle loom, I've been impressed that simple looms can produce beautiful things. It's a great way to offer the craft to beginners.

Nancy C said...

Plain weave really shows off the lovely gradations of a painted warp. I had done two scarves on one warp a couple of years ago, one in "wagon wheels" and one in plain weave, and I swear the plain weave was prettier...even looked more sophisticated.

Peg in South Carolina said...

You know that Alice Schlein still actually weaves on her RH from time to time?! Indeed, years ago I went to a workshop she did. The table was spread with many many examples of her beautiful complex weaves. But the one that stood out as being the only one really beautiful in its own right, was a small piece woven from her handspun on a RH.