Teaching Grace to Weave

I have been teaching Grace to weave.  Last fall I offered to teach my niece, Grace Clymer, how to weave.  We didn’t get very far last fall because our schedules had a hard time meshing.  Grace only lives 30 minutes from us, but someone has to bring her up to my house and we all have busy schedules.  This summer, however, we have had better luck with scheduling and Grace is making good progress.

Grace is interested in fiber arts and has a wonderful eye for color.  She understands more about hue, tone, tint, and shade than I do.  Weaving is a wonderful artistic outlet because it allows the weaver to put colors together in unique ways.  Grace learns quickly.  She started out that first lesson slow, but when she came back she got faster and faster.  Teaching Grace to weave has been easy because she catches on so fast.

Grace at the loom

For Grace’s first project, I warped the loom for a twill pattern gamp.  This is a sampler of some different kinds of twills she can weave.  Because the pattern keeps changing, it keeps the weaver engaged.  I expected this to weave four towels, each about two feet long.  Instead, we wove six towels each about 14 inches long.  We could have woven one more but the tension got messed up and we decided we had enough of the sampler.

Close up of the gamp

Grace wove for a couple of hours each week and I wove in between, so it was a joint project.  I didn’t weave too much because I wanted her to practice following the patterns.  One of the fun things for Grace was picking out the different colors for each towel.  Once we took it off the loom and washed it, she finished each towel by hemming it.

First finished product

Grace is now working on her second project.  I warped my little loom for overshot mug rugs with fringe on all four sides.  I thought she would enjoy seeing the bright patterns and overshot is challenging to weave at first.  Grace caught on to overshot right away and is doing a great job weaving the mug rugs.  She is handling working with two shuttles like a pro.

Start of the mug rugs

After Grace finishes the mug rugs, her next lesson will be warping the loom.  So far I have been warping the loom for her, but you can’t be a weaver unless you can do the warping yourself.  That will be the true test of whether or not this is something she can, or wants to, do on her own.

I have really be enjoying teaching Grace to weave.  One of the joys of doing something you love is teaching it to someone else.  I hope this will be something Grace can do and enjoy as much as I do.