July 1, 2014

handcrafted | weaving resources


left: the recently finished weaving #2 | right: the beginnings of weaving #3.

 As a continuation of my previous post about my current summer obsession, I thought I'd share a few links and tips I've found helpful since taking up weaving! Since that post was published, I've finished the one weaving that was in progress, and have started on weaving #3. I think we can safely assume this is my "it" craft for the summer! I'm taking a lot more time with this newest piece to plan out exactly what I want to do and let it evolve organically. Which means some evenings I come back to the previous day's work and rip out half of it and start over. But it's been fun to try some new things and wrap my brain around weaving techniques. I have purchased a few inexpensive yarns, but I am mostly working from my stash or using yarns I've spun myself. Which makes this an excellent stash buster craft! I actually want to try incorporating some strips of fabric or even vintage lace into a future piece...


Firstly: I think I should note that everything I've learned is purely from websites. My library didn't have a lot of materials for simple loom weaving--everything was for the large, harness looms. But the internet (and most importantly Pinterest) has been a great resource to get me started.

Looms can be simple scrap cardboard, an old picture frame, a discarded drawer, or a more involved peg loom (which is a bit different to weave with). I used four, inexpensive canvas stretcher bars to make a custom size frame roughly 20"x32" (about $10 with coupons for the bars) and attached short finishing nails along the 20" sides to loop my warp threads over. Very similar to this loom here. Works a lot better than the picture frame loom I was using to keep tension and the warp threads even. (I realize there are loads of other DIY looms, as well as those that can be purchased ready made. But I'm focusing on simple looms, as that was my original intent when researching for myself.)

There are so many possibilities when it comes to techniques! I honestly feel like for some of the more involved styles of weaving, a book might be a great option, but I don't have any recommendations. I did find a YouTube channel (since I learn visually, videos are always a plus) that showed some basic techniques and "fun" things you can try. Here are some beginner level weaving tutorials that I found helpful:

 Then there is the inspiration. I love Maryanne Moodie's wall hangings so much. The color, use of texture and pattern, how she evokes moods through her weaving. Fascinating and beautiful. I get a lot of inspiration from just browsing some of the pro's work (like Judit Just's shaggy weavings and Meghan Bogden Shimek's peacefully modern pieces) and seeing what color combinations they use and how they layer everything. Weaving, in some ways, challenges my hangups about proportion and symmetry. I almost feel like while I'm weaving, I hear a particular art teacher I had in college asking me those challenging questions (as he always did during critiques) about choices of color, spacing and proportions. Somewhat refreshing to feel as though I need to step back and consider what I am doing on the loom, as I feel like my brain has been through a long hibernation period the past year or more!

Just a short and sweet little roundup of links! I don't know about you, but now that summer is here I feel like I'm spending less time in front of the screen (whether that's a computer or some other electronic device) and more time doing. Hopefully this will inspire you to do and discover this season as well.
 
Also: What is it with the overhead feet shots?! Obviously I need to get more creative with photography... lol.

4 comments :

  1. I love your weavings! I learned how to weave on a simple cardboard loom in vacation Bible school in the 80's when I was a kid. I don't think I've done it since. With all the beautiful new weaving pieces popping up on the internet it might be time to try again.

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  2. I have a TON of weaving tutorials on my blog -- my students love weaving! The pouch weaving is their fave: http://cassiestephens.blogspot.com/2012/06/in-art-room-weaving-part-1.html Have fun!

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  3. Darnit Casey! I had JUST decided that the new crafty hobby I was taking up this summer (in addition to sewing/knitting) was polymer clay jewelry making....you're making me reconsider and now I want to do weaving! Great inspiration at those links.

    Like Lana, I did some cardboard loom weaving at elementary school in the 80s and haven't touched it since.

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  4. My aunt is a talented artist who uses weaving in her work and lives in Africa, so she always incorporates bits of beads and pottery and other organic materials like reeds, or unwoven fibers into her pieces. They are so organic and stunning.

    Your weaving looks great! I don't have time for anything new this summer, but I'm intrigued, I've gotta say it!!

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