I can see why Madelyn decided to move her Weavers’ School from Missouri to Whidby Island – with views like this, who wouldn’t? Just off the tiny downtown of Coupeville we discovered the village wharf. It was home to a tiny museum-like display about whales, a fun gift shop and a cafe. Becca and I went one day for lunch and did our souvenier shopping. I was really proud of her – we shared a seafood sampler and she actually tried an oyster. Didn’t eat it, but she tried! Most of the time we spent weaving as these photos, mostly from the last day, show.
Becca and John – who came from England and spent two weeks at the School – were the only ones to weave on the Oxaback draw loom. He made little Halloween witches, she wove her doodles: mushrooms. To give you perspective, each of their pieces took more than a day to weave.
The class at work.
Sometimes work is hard. This is Becca. Lucky for me, no one had a camera out when I took my noontime nap!
This is the Louet Megado loom, the big sister (brother?) to the Octado we have at Heritage. The Megado is a 32-shaft computer driven loom that can do some really incredible things. I spent a little while with it so I could compare it to how the Octado works and found that it weaves about the same way. Moving that many shafts up and down isn’t difficult and, in fact, is almost effortless. It is a joy to weave on.
When we were all done weaving we cut off our projects and measured them. All together we wove more than 40 yards of fabric in the five days we were there. If you’ve had a chance to look at the current Handwoven, you may recognize the double weave windows on the left. In Handwoven, Madelyn shows how to use this same warp to make a table runner, napkins and tablecloth. The black and white sample on the right is deflected doubleweave in 10/2 cotton. This photo was taken after it was washed, allowing the yarns to move and the more circular structures to appear. Fun stuff with great potential.
Every class needs a class photo. The one above shows all of us, with Suzie (one of our helpers) and Madelyn in the front row. The photo below shows us with all of our individual samples. Wow! We worked hard!
Now that the class is a couple weeks behind me, I am very grateful to have a two reference books to go back to: Madelyn’s Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers and the workbook she sent us home with. Both are invaluable resources because it is going to take more than just this week to make the structure side of weaving easier for me. I’m glad that we are just starting another Weaving Boot Camp because that will reinforce for me what I learned about weave structures over this week. Madelyn reminded us frequently that there are two kinds of weavers: “structure and pattern” and “color and texture.” I really enjoy the structure and pattern and want to learn more about it because it is endlessly fascinating. As for color and texture, I really enjoy playing with it on the rigid heddle. Not that it can’t work on a larger loom, but it seems more like “play” on the simpler loom.
Bottom line is I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the Weavers’ School and wish I could stay and play on Madelyn’s looms forever!