The course was held at Loddington Grange thanks to group member Frances who has been a weaver for many years and learned long draw spinning last year. Judith, our course tutor is pictured here demonstrating the warping mill; in fact she was whizzing it round at furious speed early in the morning in order to get Rachel's warp made before she arrived on the Tuesday. It was four days of great fun - plus a little bit of frustration for Julie and I (Pam) due to the vagaries of untried looms. On day three it was decided to take all the heddles off Julie's loom and put them on Pam's making at least one loom that worked out of two that didn't (you don't know your loom is faulty until you try to weave on it?). By day four Julie had only a few inches of weaving done - but claimed to be becoming an expert in loom maintenance and warping! Amazingly she was still smiling and took the loom home to finish off the project. Such determination. Others had it comparatively easy...
This is Sue who was off to a flying start weaving on a lovely little Harris loom. She was using two shuttles at the same time in different colours by her last day and talking to no-one as she was concentrating so hard. In this picture she is working on her first, simpler, sampler.
A partly threaded reed
Warping up a loom is a time consuming process and we needed the full four days in order to literally get weaving. On the Tuesday we were joined by Erica, Ross and Kate who took over Frances' beautiful drawing room and joined the weavers upstairs for refreshments and much discussion... There was such a lot to learn. Initially I'd thought we would just slap on a warp and go for it, like in rug weaving but no, Judith had something much more sophisticated in mind for us. I should have known! I amaze myself when I look at the patterns I did on the last day. All I need now is the time to finish the whole piece off!
Judith with her double weave sampler
Without Frances and Henry's kind hospitality this first Weaving School would not have been possible - we are very grateful to them for their patience at a difficult time. Frances has now decided to maintain the 'temporary' weaving room she set up for us at Loddington and we may be able to use it the future. Judith has agreed to tutor again early next year pending Frances' agreement. By then we will be equipped with more tried and tested looms for people to learn on. Pam Austin. 28.10.2011