Thursday, September 10, 2009

Inspiration for weaving

I have resigned as president of our local weaving guild in order to lighten the load this year. Being president means casting the vision for the year and organizing projects and workshops in our guild. Since its a very small guild -- just 15 people -- the Joybilee Farm clan makes up 20% of the guild membership. And does more than 20% of the work.

I noticed that I am not getting any time to weave nor much time to spin, in the two years since I've been president. So I'm hoping that by bowing out for just a year, I will have more time to actually weave. I have two warps wound and hanging over the loom ready to wind on. Its actually the warping time that I'm lacking. I know that once the warps are on, the weaving will be fast.

Another aspect that I'm looking forward to this year is the student's final year of high school. She is actually in grade 11 by age, but we sat down at the beginning of summer to organize her curriculum and realized that she will be short only two courses -- English 12 and Advance Biology 12 after June. So rather than go through another year of school at home, she will be tackling her course work more aggressively in order to complete her graduation program by June. That means giving her more time to study and cutting back her schedule for other things -- like guild meetings and barn clean up.

Since homeeducation is "self education" that will allow more weaving time for me. I need to be available to answer her questions and help her with problems but essentially she "teaches" herself by doing, making mistakes, learning from the mistakes and moving on. I need to be close by -- my floor loom is just around the corner from her desk -- so we both win. I get to weave or spin and she has mom available if she needs a question answered. I think this will be a wonderful and inspiring year for both of us.

I'm sure we'll both be weaving more, too. She can't resist a tight but empty warp on the loom, nor a soft, colourful roving begging to be spun, nor a stark white skein of yarn begging to be dyed with natural dyes.

For weaving inspiration I often go to the online weaving resource weavezine. It is full of great ideas, interesting teaching articles, and projects that can be done quickly on small looms -- like bookmarks, and washcloths woven on the rigid heddle loom. We love weaving on the Ashford knitters loom and have both widths. I may try weaving with the handspun linen using two heddles instead of one. I hadn't thought of that until I saw the bookmark pattern on weavezine designed by Syne Mitchell.

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