Friday, March 27, 2015

The Weaving Class!

The mediocre teacher tells.
The good teacher explains.
The superior teacher demonstrates.
The great teacher inspires.
~ William Arthur Ward

The two and a half day workshop on Andean Pebble Weave was absolutely awesome!  Laverne Waddington is an amazing teacher - possibly because of the way that she had to learn backstrap weaving...

Her first "teachers" were a mother-daughter team whose idea of "teaching" was to let her watch while they wove .

They barely spoke to her - it was actually a couple of days before she even realized that the daughter spoke Spanish!  But even though the daughter could speak Spanish, they both refused to answer any of her questions or to slow down their fingers so that she could see what they were doing...

It's amazing that she picked anything up at all!

But she did learn how to weave and she also learned how to teach backstrap weaving!  ;)

She started out by inspiring us by showing us lots of gorgeous samples:

Aren't these beautiful?  

Next, she was SO organized - you should have seen all the supplies she brought for each student!  We each had a little plastic tub with rubber bands, small wooden swords, small dowels to form cross sticks, an un-pick tool to remove all our mistakes - you name it!  

She even prepared two warps for each of us!  

Of course, her real skill was in her ability to demonstrate the techniques and explain the structure of pebble weave.  She used these square magnets - rearranging them as necessary - to illustrate how plain pebble weave is formed, and then how certain rows are changed to create beautiful patterns.  

Once we understood the basic structure, she taught us how to read simple pattern charts.  

Here is the basic set-up - minus the weaver!  ;)

We used C-clamps on tables to hold one end of our warps and dowels and backstraps to hold the other end to our bodies.  

So, on to my efforts!  

Here is the first sample band I wove in pebble weave - it is a pattern of X's and O's:  

When I first started, Laverne thought I was putting the warp under too much tension and beating my weft too hard, so I focused on easing up on everything while I worked on this design.  

For my second band, I tried weaving hearts.  The bottom heart in this picture is one of mine.  Laverne thought that now I wasn't beating hard enough!  She wove the middle heart to show me what it should look like.  I wove the third, top heart - I think I got it, don't you?  ;)

(And I barely grumbled at all about the fact that the day before she had told me that my weaving was too tight!)  ;)

Here are a few more patterns on the second warp - a scroll and some "ojitos" (or little eyes):  

The tricky bit about the ojitos is that they include horizontal lines, which require a bit of extra manipulation of the warp...  

At this point, we had used the two warps that Laverne prepared for us, and so we learned how to prepare our own warps.  Using my own warp, for my third band, I tried the meandering river with islands pattern:  

On Sunday morning, I prepared a fourth warp, but I didn't get to work on it until I got home.  Luckily, once home, Oliver took over Laverne's job and kept a close eye on my tension:  

I tried a vine and leaf motif, and I am pretty happy with how it came out!  

Since then, I moved on to the design that I've been wanting to weave since I first saw it - a llama!  Check it out!  :)

Is it adorable, or what?  I am so happy with it!  

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  :)

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