On a very cold, wet, sleety February day, six members of The Weavers’ Workshop went on a visit to the Handweavers Studio in London last Friday to investigate what was on offer and purchase wool, books and equipment for a variety of weaving projects. The owner, Dawn, hosted a very informative session on what to think about when selecting wool and considering design elements and textural quality.
Weaving, while on the face of it a simple process, involves a host of decisions on colour, texture, drape, handling and amount of shrinkage as well as the suitability of the spun wool for the project in hand. Who would have thought fuzziness versus shiny-ness would require particular consideration when calculating numbers of warp ends per inch. There is no doubt that loom weaving is a creative and technical skill with boundless possibilities and Dawn’s sound advice was to create sample pieces before launching into the main project – she assured us that samples provide a valuable insight into how materials behave when woven and washed and reduce the potential for abortive time and effort.
Armed with their new found knowledge, TWW members browsed the contents of the shop and came away armed with all sorts of goodies to keep them busily weaving over the coming months.
The visit would not have been complete without a trip to a suitable tea shoppe and Honey and Co in Warren Street provided the vital sustenance needed for the journey home at the end of a cold, wet day.
We all agreed it had been an enjoyable outing and appreciated Margaret’s efforts in setting up the trip.
Our aim as a group is to promote the craft of weaving, its use as a creative medium and its place in Coventry’s history. As part of the celebration of 1000 years of Coventry, we were asked to produce a panel depicting weaving. In total there are 11 panels each representing 100 years of Coventry’s history.
This piece of work demonstrates the process of weaving from fleece to this completed panel.It has been designed and executed by all of the members of the Weavers’ Workshop.This is a short explanation of the methods and techniques used:
The fleece at the top of the panel is spun using a drop spindle, the yarn is then dyed using the woad plant (Isatis Tinctoria) , which produces the natural colour “Coventry Blue” from the leaves. The embroidery shows how the plant appears in the Weavers’ House garden.The squares have been made by using a pin loom.
The Weavers’ House depicted is an fine example of tapestry weaving. This was created by Beryl van Wijgerden. The gardens have been woven using weaving sticks and enhanced with blue stitches. The paths were created by using a lucet weaving and braiding tool. Crochet was the technique used to make the hens and twig weaving for the fence.Assembly of the work was carefully sewn by Sara Maycock.
Please visit us at www.theweaversworkshop.org/
Cost – £3 for the session which includes trying simple weaving and cup of tea or coffee and biscuits
An enjoyable morning spent in the company of Coventry Haven’s peer support group. Weaving skills were quickly picked up and flowers, snails snakes and belt were soon rolling off the weaving sticks.
It was a very busy week at The Weavers’ Workshop last week – Open house on Monday and Thursday as part of Voluntary Arts week and Open Day on Saturday at The Weaver’s House. Some pics below of both successful events.
We held our first open house session for Voluntary Arts Week 2016 today. A glorious sunny day meant we could give our new banner its first airing. See below for some pics of the day. Don’t miss our next session on Thursday 12 May 10 – 3pm FREE and suitable for all – no weaving experience necessary.
Voluntary Arts Week
The Weavers’ Workshop is taking part in Voluntary Arts Week again this year (6 – 15 May). Voluntary Arts Week is all about celebrating creative participation and inspiring more people to discover the joy of taking part, aimed at individuals and communities right across the UK. If you are interested in getting involved there are lots of ways to do so and plenty of advice and support on the Voluntary arts website click here for more info.
This year The Weavers’ Workshop is offering two taster sessions Monday 9 May 10 – 12 and Thursday 12 May 10 – 3pm. These drop-in sessions are free and suitable for complete beginners. Just drop in and stay for as long or as short as you wish, we will show you how to use some simple weaving equipment and have you weaving in no time at all.
Last year we had six new visitors come through the door, aged between 2 and 82. All enjoyed trying out a new skill, a visit to The Weaver’s House and the opportunity to sit in the garden, relax and be creative in the sunshine. Several bought weaving sticks to enjoy their new found skills at home.
We will be creating a mini craft bomb window dressing at The Weaver’s House to draw attention to our event – so look out for that in the next week or two.
Last Thursday four members of The Weavers’ Workshop travelled to Hockley Heath to sample the fun at Ashford Spin and Weave Day, hosted by Fibre Hut at Boxtrees Farm. The lovely Kate Sherratt of YouTube fame had travelled all the way from Ashford, New Zealand and kept visitors entertained all day with her unique and fun-filled demonstrations. Morning was devoted to spinning wheels and the afternoon to new and wonderful ways of weaving on rigid heddle looms. This included variable spaced reeds for weaving spaced and crammed cloth, adaptors for using double heddle techniques to make double cloth and double width cloth as well as well as how to link warps to make ‘ikat’ cloth. The possibilities were amazing – a real eye-opener to the versatility of the simple rigid heddle loom. At the end of the day we all had a little splurge in the Fibre Hut shop and came away with the potential to get creative in new and exciting ways.
Ingrid and Pam meet Kate.
Twiddlemuffs are just like any other hand-muff except that they have items attached which a patient with dementia can twiddle in their hands. They have been found to help stimulation and are a simple and valuable tool for patients in dementia wards.
On the last Weavers’ Workshop session before Christmas we dedicated the morning to twiddling. Using lengths of weaving and odd bits and pieces we created an amazing 13 finished twiddlemuffs to donate to a local dementia ward. A very enjoyable, sociable and productive way to spend our time.
Find out more about twiddlemuffs here
We had a great day out in Lower Precinct on Saturday. Arriving at 8.30am we set out our stall, tied our backstraps to the railings in the pocket park and set to. We were delighted that many were drawn to the unusual sight and took time out to enquire what we were up to. Several brave souls joined in with the weaving. By 11am the first scarf was off the loom and many more were to follow. In total we completed 11 scarves, a further two were inches away from finishing when the light faded and we had to down tools. These will be quickly finished on Thursday at our next drop-in session at The Weaver’s House. That will make a final total of 13 on the day. Add to that 10 donated scarves hand-woven by members of The Weavers’ Workshop and we will have a grand total of 23 scarves to donate to Carriers of Hope. An amazing achievement. A very big thank-you to the shoppers in Coventry who stopped to say hello or who helped progress the weaving. The volunteers from The Weaver’s Workshop who gave their time and expertise. And to the management of The Lower Precinct for suppporting us with the perfect venue.