About The Country Wife Blog

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Harrisville, NH Weaving Workshop

Quite a few years ago Aunt Freda very kindly gave me her Harrisville Designs 36-inch, 4-harness floor loom.  It came up soon afterwards that the Harrisville Designs people in Harrisville, NH had a 5-day Learn To Weave Workshop.  By a miracle I was able to attend that program.

Tom Jipson was the teacher.  We met in an upstairs studio and worked on 22-inch looms with the beautiful Harrisville weaving yarns.  There were two different weights. I used the heavier weight for my projects.  I have forgotten the reasoning but that is what I used.

We had the assignment to make four (or was it five) different stitch samplers.  These were actually a nice size for a scarf when they were done.  By the end of the week I had completed all but one of the samplers, which made me very happy.  I don't think anyone completed all of them.  There were some intermediate weavers who did just plain stunning work. I wish I had pictures of their work to share.  One of their assignments was to use most of the Harrisville yarn colors.  They wove a throw on larger looms.  The squares of colors marched across the throw  in diagonals.  So fabulous.

Here are some shots of one of the samplers I made:

One end of one of the samplers is below. The fringe was  fun to make but took a little effort.  Well, every new thing takes effort.  In this case, I believe it was worth the effort.

This section shows several errors.  I still like it.  You can see that the warp was composed of two colors, pink for the lower half and blue for the upper half.  The weft was different for each section.

These squares show some pretty simple work and is mostly correct.  What a surprise!  Weaving is really enjoyable.  The most work is selecting yarn, winding and cutting it to the correct length after doing some nifty math problems...length of fringe, length of project, length of sample at the beginning, take up, etc, etc, etc.  (And that is just the warp!  You still have to figure the weft, and then wind the bobbins. ) Once the math is done, the yarn is wrapped and cut, then you have to dress the loom (with the warp). I was so grateful to have a great instructor there who always answered all questions.

This first project was completed late the first night. 

The  studio was open 24 hours I seem to remember so you could go in and work whenever you wanted.  Most mornings I was there by 6 AM and worked until 9 or 10 PM or later.  Nearing the end of the week I had to let up on the long hours and went back to the rooming house to visit with the other weavers who were staying there.  We had such a great time together.  We kept up with one another for a while but then we sort of drew apart.  Sad.  They were wonderful women.  So talented in so many different ways. 

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