The rug weaving homework


School means homework and right before Fall vacation, we got our full assignment for something we started at the start of the year:

Assignment: Starting from a picture that speaks to you, make two different yarn-wraps using the colors/texture/… visible on the picture. Then using the two yarn-wraps weave three samples: wrap 1, wrap 2 and a combination of wrap 1 & 2.

At the start of the year we chose a picture and wrapped two strips of cardboard with yarn. The point was that we would have woven our samples in class, but because we are advancing so slowly (sigh) with our other weaving we ended up taking this home.

The problem was, because I’m always by bike and by train, I always travel “light” to school, meaning I never bring along spare bike bags. And of course we needed to take home a frame for weaving and the yarn we had picked at the start of the year.

Some people will know that it frustrates me that I could not have been warned at least a day beforehand that I would need to transport all of that. So I wasn’t happy. I already passed on taking a weaving frame home and once I got home, I really wished I hadn’t taken the yarn cones home. Things were off to a great start ;-)

I put off starting the assignment because of the yarn, I had zero interest in weaving a sample rug with lace or cobweb yarns. What a horror. So I dumped the cones and the yarn-wraps in a corner to be forgotten and opened up my box of my handspun. I waded through the colors, picked yarns that felt right with the picture above and got started.

Inspiration picture and yarn-wraps.

I used leftover white, gray and black shetland which I’ve spun ages ago, aka an uneven 3-ply. The orange is BFL spun from colored roving I bought or was given to me. The brown yarn is a blend of colored BFL and Manx Loaghtan. And lastly the greenish orange is a merino/silk blend called “cinnamon” which was given to me years ago.

I love these yarns, and I have been struggling finding projects for them, but a small sample rug seemed like a marvelous idea.

4 rug samples. From the bottom: yarn-wrap 1, yarn-wrap 2, a mix of wraps 1 & 2, testing out techniques inspired by one of my weaving books.

It seems like my little rug curls up, right? Well, it doesn’t, it is just that we have been instructed not to weave in our ends. So I’ve been trying to resist weaving in the ends and finishing the top and bottom of the piece. But I like the way it has woven up. The samples aren’t 100% straight because of the lumpy handspun and I didn’t want to fit in a reed for a 10 cm wide sample. I’ve also woven out a bit as I went on, but that is my own fault because the weft-twining I did to set the threads per cm on the top wasn’t as tight as on the bottom. And the selvages could be better…

But this is the softest rug! And I the way it came out, even with its obvious points of improvement.

I’ve woven this on a very basic, small table loom that wasn’t exactly fit to weave what I’ve woven, but I managed. It was a bit like weaving on a piece of cardboard…

In regards to the technique, this is end-to-end weaving, a plain weave.
I’ve been browsing through Peter Collinwood’s “Rug weaving techniques, beyond the basics” for inspiration on how to manage color lines/columns/etc.

Maybe I’ll try some inlay work next.

The rug weaving homework

First day

I honestly missed going to school. There’s something about being challenged to discover new things and being able to share them with fellow students that has me all exited.

This year I’ll be following only one module, Tapestry Weaving, because it runs until almost the end of the school year.

If I’m completely honest, for a long time I wasn’t really excited about this module at all, that’s why I kept it until last. It would be stupid to start a module I don’t feel excited about when there are other modules that do catch my interest. Last year though, I discovered Sylvia Heyden and things changed. I think something about the way she talks about her weaving and her process, has me wanting to get my box of colour pencils out and start sketching ideas. Maybe it is the movement in her pieces that captivates me. Maybe it is her use of colour. Maybe it is all of that and more.

The new issue of Väv magazine is all about tapestry weaving and I have asked my mother if she could miss her copy for a bit, because I’ll have to read it front to back.

Considering I still have a piece on both my draw loom and my regular floor loom, I won’t be starting a tapestry on one of my looms any time soon. But I am excited about what we’ll get to learn this year. Though, Sylvia Heyden’s way of weaving isn’t on the program, nor is inlay work (like gobelin). But maybe if I progress quickly enough through the regular program, I get to pick my teacher’s brain about it.

My teacher definitely caught my interest with different sample pieces she showed us. I can’t wait to get started.


First day