At Making Space in Wells there's a growing place for craft, in the heart of the community. I was delighted to be invited along to run a workshop for the evening group by Sarah and Deborah. Used to weaving on my table loom, I took some time to think about how I could make a more accessible workshop that still had weaving at the heart of it. I am currently planning to get some rigid heddle looms that are easy to transport for workshops - coming soon hopefully!
I liked the idea of creating something in miniature and working within the confines of a small space; something satisfying to make progress on in one evening. It had to be weaving with an embroidery hoop. If you've tried it before, you'll know that once you get going, it's quite straightforward - and hugely addictive!
So I popped along with hoops in hand as well as my table loom, for people to take a look at should they be interested. It was such a lovely, relaxed evening. We worked through the 'warping up' together and as the evening progressed people became absorbed in conversation as they wound their weft around their wheels, creating some really lovely pieces. It was such a refreshing opportunity to spend time with a craft collective and chat about all kinds of things, from crafting techniques to campervan trips around Spain and the challenges and joys of work. It was certainly a great place to spend the evening on International Women's Day.
The collective welcome various craft practitioners to help facilitate the group, fortnightly on Tuesday mornings and evenings in Wells. Previously they'd had a session focussed on Japanese Boro and created some really beautiful bags, that a few people had brought in to share progress with each other. They are next planning a shared trip to Fibrequest at Fernhill Farm, where I'll also be exhibiting next weekend. I'd really recommend popping along to Making Space if you're local to Wells.
Thanks so much for having me, Making Space! I was so pleased to see some photos the next day. Some of the weaving had grown overnight and one was already in use as a coaster...
If you'd like to try weaving on an embroidery hoop at home, here's a quick guide.
What you'll need:
- An embroidery hoop. I recommend using a small one to start with, for example 16cm diameter.
- Some yarn or fabric scraps torn into strips.
Choose your yarn or old scraps of fabric. I recommend using the same style of yarn or fabric scraps for the 'warp' that you will use to weave with.
Cut approximately 3 metres of your chosen warp yarn or fabric scraps.
Wind the yarn or fabric scraps around the inner hoop in a repeated figure of 8. It can be quite fiddly, which is why I recommend starting on a small hoop. This enables you to reach across with one hand to tether the wayward threads down, while the other hand takes care of the wrapping.
Once you've created an odd number of 'spokes' on the hoop, bring your tail thread back to the middle to leash the spokes together and create a centre point.
You should pull quite firmly to create the centre point, making sure that it is in the middle of the hoop.
You're now ready to start weaving!
Choose your weaving yarn or fabric scraps and tie on to a 'spoke' at the centre of the hoop. Don't forget to leave a few centimetres excess that you can sew in when you've finished.
You can then wrap under and over each double 'spoke' and watch your weaving grow!
When you have finished, you can either cut your work off the hoop and sew in the edges, or you can leave it on there if you'd prefer to hang it on the wall.