I've finally managed to download the photographs I took at the Ravelry UK Weavers Rigid Heddle Week-end that was helt at Flitwick on the 8 and 9 May.
The week-end had been organised by Janet Ellison and she had worked so hard that it had been fully booked well in advance and she had already thought about a second week-end before we even started the first!
It had been billed as a beginners week-end, with "trouble shooting" for those who could already weave. 14 lovely ladies had booked on the course and soaked up all the information that I could give them!
Here is Jan, our wonderful organiser, weaving "pick and pick", in other words, weaving one pick or weft thread in one colour and the next in different colour.
Jan is very modest, her work, whether knitting or weaving, is so beautiful, neat selvedges, beautiful colours and sett.
The hall at Flitwick was huge and very light, as you can see. I've never seen so many women, so quite! Everyone was getting on with their work, totally engrossed in weaving.
Brenda had borrowed a loom and had been given suitable yarn from her local guild. Her first attempt had been excellent. Beautiful straight selvedges, although the yarn had been a tad too thick for the heddle on the loom. She had so enjoyed the processes, though, that she purchased a loom and can be seen, here, weaving a beautiful pink and grey alpaca scarf.
There had been a range of rigid heddle looms, Ashfords, both the Knitters Loom and the rigid heddle, Kromski's, old Dyrads and Becks brought a beautiful little "two way" loom she had got from Ebay. It was lovely to see her weaving her own handspun on this little loom and here is the result.
A range of skills were learnt, and on the left you can see Elaine knotting her ends against the fell of the cloth (where the last pick, or weft thread, meets the bare warp ends, or threads). She used some lovely textured yarns which gave the impression of a beautiful bluebell wood!
You can see three blue stripes in the scarf where Elaine had a really good go at chaining.
Here, Beth is working a hand manipulated technique called Brookes Bouquet. In this technique, groups of warp ends are wrapped with the weft yarn and anchored with a half hitch.
Beth's little scarf had slit woven at one end so that it would sit snuggly round the neck. She had used a lovely harmonious range of textured yarns.
After taking the scarves off the loom, they were all checked for skips and then mended before washing.
Chelle can be seen mending her vibrant scarf on the left. Mending is a really important skill, knowing whether to mend the warp or the weft and where to cut the mended thread. She can be seen mending warp skips with a new weft thread.
The group were shown two methods of finishing ends on their scarves, knotting and hemming. Jill can be seen hemming the beginning of her second scarf. She used a range of yarns including eyelash yarn and fancy tape yarns.
There were two sets of Mothers and Daughters. Jill shows her textile training, here with her eye for colour and texture. Her daughter Ellen had been booked on the course by Jill, who knew she would love weaving and she was right. Ellen took to it like a duck to water and her second scarf can be seen below!
Ellen can be seen here using her Mum's Kromski loom and weaving her Mum's hand spun yarn as the weft of her second scarf.
When Jan had first advertised the course, way back in January, Emma had been so excited and had emailed me to order a rigid heddle loom.
She can be seen on the left almost at the end of her first scarf in green and blue. Her selvedges were so neat and I can't wait to see her "finished" scarf.
Jaq had quickly woven her first scarf, she wasn't a complete beginner, having woven one piece previously, and re-warped her loom with her own hand spun yarn.
To show off her yarn she had chosen a wide sett and wove her weft with a "crammed and spaced" effect. It was really lovely and can be seen below.
Here is a close up of Jaq's hand spun and hand woven "crammed and spaced" scarf.
The other Mother and Daughter duo where Lynda and Becky.
Becky used the "meet and separate" technique in her second scarf of wool and linen from Louet. I'd heard about this yarn, but never seen it and was very impressed with it.
Here is Lynda, showing off her "finished" wool and linen scarf. Notice how good her selvedges are!
Jill is picking up groups of warp ends to enable her to make a different patterns or inlay thicker yarns.
Catherine had already done some weaving before and has a 4 shaft table loom. She had never done any rigid heddle weaving before. She rose to the challenge really well, producing two beautiful scarves. Her second had some lovely texture in the warp and enhanced that at either end with chaining.
You can see the "till roll" used to determine the length of the weaving, placement of detail and slits that Catherine used.
I had a really enjoyable time, tutoring this workshop, and was amazed how far some of the students had travelled. Eastbourne, Manchester, Southampton and Bridgenorth were but a few of the places they had travelled from.
By the time the week-end was finished, nine people had booked on the 2nd course in October, but by the middle of the following week it was fully booked! Well done Jan and thanks for asking me to tutor the workshops. I find it so rewarding when I'm allowed to pour out my knowledge to such responsive people.