Weaving lessons available in Goochland, Schuyler, VA and Buckeye, WV (near Cass).

13 10 2012

I’m now set up with looms and spinning wheels in 3 locations to teach. If you are interested in learning to weave or spin, scribble out an e-mail and let’s get something booked. Lessons are $50/hr. Count on 2 hours for the first lesson. If you are working on a rigid heddle loom, that might be the full session you need. If you are on a floor loom, it’s a more time-consuming process. Spinners should count on a series of 4 one hour lessons and homework in between. Things you might want to bear in mind as you consider classes:

1. The process is the same whether you do a bookmark or a blanket, so start out with a bookmark, because what you really need to learn first is how to dress the loom. A bookmark might take you 1.5 hours to set up, where a blanket might take you 15 hours of instructional time. That’s a $ difference of about $675.00! I know it’s difficult to shell out $100 to weave a bookmark, but you aren’t paying for the bookmark, you are paying for Knowledge and help in becoming a weaver. It’s an investment in your future as a weaver/craftsman/woman.

2. To begin with, inexpensive yarns, like RedHeart are great to learn on. Move on to finer yarns as your skills improve.

3. If you book a lesson, show up for it on time.

4. Your best improvement will come from practice, so plan on doing homework. 

Hope to hear from you soon! maidensweaver at earthlink dot net





It’s done and delivered!

13 10 2012

The chiengora commission was delivered yesterday. Here is how the final piece looked: 

I wish I could upload a tactile file, so you could feel it! Very soft. And the client who commissioned it picked it up with the fiber donor, Tess. It was Tess’ birthday! Here is Tess and her owner, with the piece made from Tess’ fiber:

She is a precious, retired therapy dog who was rescued rom a puppy mill. As a breeder in a puppy mill, Tess was not allowed out of her cage, but rather, treated like a production machine to pop out puppies and nurse them. She is very lucky to have been rescued. To the right of Tess, is her brother, Toby. One day, I look forward to spinning/weaving Toby also, as his owner posesses his puppy fur! I’ve enjoyed my connection to this family, as with all the chiengora families I’ve met.





Completing a commission

8 10 2012

Today, I’ll remove the current chiengora commission. It’s both hand-spun and hand-woven. It’s been a joy to work with, and now, I begin the grieving process that accompanies the releasing of each of my more time consuming and personal pieces. It’s tough. It will be delivered on Friday.





How long has it been?

2 10 2012

Progress has been slow as I work toward getting back into the work mode. All that begins to change, though, with not one, but 2 studios getting set up for me. I’m pushing hard, to fill a commission that was due yesterday! Yikes. It’s both hand-spun and hand-woven. I’ll try to get some pictures of the studios and the work posted here soon.

The new studios are in Schuyler, Va and Buckeye, WV.  I visited one of my former places of employment today. The Visual Arts Center of Richmond. My, how it’s changed. There is an interesting fiber arts/woven exhibit on display. Transparancies. not complex in their structure, but extremely large and almost photo-like in their appearance. The techniques used: painted warp and plain weave. Don’t remember the artist’s name.

Would have been nice to visit, but my, how the faces have changed.





Long overdue

22 01 2012

Since closing my studio to travel the US by bicycle, I’ve not been able to sit at a loom often. I’ve been home twice since leaving in April, and each time has been for a couple of months. Each time I’ve been home, I’ve worked on putting a studio in my home into working order. It’s fairly easy to do that with the sewing aspect of the studio, but getting the weaving/spinning/felting aspect of the studio squared away has been nearly impossible.

This weekend has been a perfect opportunity to get my looms more accessible, and my yarns equally so. In preparation for the Rigid Heddle Weaving workshop, I had to re-organize my storage cabinets and closets, as well as locate specific yarns for the class. While doing those things, I got much put away, thrown away and put in working order. Since Saturday at 4 pm, I’ve dressed one of my rigid heddle looms and woven a merino/mohair scarf for my Dad’s wife and picked up threading the large Toika free-standing tapestry loom. Hooray! It’s good to be back at the loom. I’m a long way from opening the studio for group weaving classes, though. There simply isn’t room enough in my house to accomodate that right now. I’ll have to pick up some very compact floor looms again and a few more warping boards. Then we’ll be back in business, right?

I’m thinking about offering a wet-felting workshop on a Sunday in February. We will work on either hats or rugs. Anyone interested? Cost would be about $125 for a 6-7 hour workshop. Maximum # of students would be 6.

 





Rigid heddle workshop – jan 21, 2012

21 01 2012

Today was the scheduled Rigid Heddle Workshop. There were 4 openings in the class, 3 registrants. As the day greeted us, it was cold and very wet. I was glad to have a workshop scheduled, rather than a bike ride.

We began at 9 am with winding yarn balls from skeins, and found this a good way to begin class since students often arrive in stages and yet the first student should be able to begin at the scheduled start time.  by 9:30, we were well on our way to measuring out the warp.Each student in class had her own loom and each loom had a stand. This makes for easy weaving, I think. The warp is Louet’s washable merino. Perhaps Pearl. Each student’s project was to be a 10″ scarf. One student had dressed her Kromski Harp previously.

The student with the Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom direct warped her loom, while the Kromski owner measured her warp on the warping board on the back of the loom. Using this method of direct warping, we sley each slot and dot, rather than double sleying the slots only, then re-sleying after beaming. It was easier, however to double-sley from a front installed set of lea sticks on the Kromski. The loom owner said this was more clear for her than the method she used previously. Love to hear that! The looms were dressed in record time.  Since the Ashford loom arrived with a cardboard version of warping sticks, we used them: For the Kromski, we simply used bathroom tissue for warp separator.  Both ladies were weaving very quickly after lunch. We had a warm bowl of chicken soup and biscuits for lunch by a fire provided by my DH. Quickly back to work, the weavers began their work.

Progress was quick and the only real question of the day was about those darn edges!!!!! I’m of the opinion that you shouldn’t need to fidget with them, and yet….. if that’s the only thing that brings results for you…….   The ladies did convince me that the selvage loops are a result of my method of beating…… humility is a very good lesson;0)

The student using mohair for weft opted to remove her piece from the loom although it wasn’t complete, so I could demonstrate hem stitching, and she was a quick study and did a great job. We then moved to the sink with the sample fabric (approx 18″ long) and wet-finished it. At that point, the ladies pack it up and we said our Goodbyes.  I’m thankful to have met/re-met these ladies and hope they are new friends. On student asked about a local guild and I told her that Richmond used to have, and may still have 2 weaver’s guilds. James River Weavers was one guild and Richmond Weavers Guild is the other. There is also a spinning guild in Richmond: Clothos Children. I’ve heard that Clothos Children are active in a variety of the fiber arts.

Weave Joyfully!





Loom for sale near Richmond, VA

20 01 2012

For Sale: 45″ Leclerc Mira counterbalance loom in Goochland county, Virginia. Comes with swift, warping board lea sticks, raddle, bobbin winder and spool rack. This counterbalance loom is in good condition and weaves well. The price includes a very convenient cubby storage for your yarns and other weaving paraphernalia.
Local pick-up only. Contact: Stu at stukirkland@kirklandmedicalgraphics.com or 804-873-0422
$800.