Beginner Weaver Retreat


On Friday October 22 Poatina once more saw an influx of weavers. This time it was a workshop for beginner weavers. I had been waiting patiently and with some excitement since enrolling, so I was a little alarmed when Hobart went into lockdown. Thankfully the workshop went ahead.

I can remember as a child weaving sags I had pulled from along the river’s edge at my grandparent’s property and being so happy with what I had created. My next experience was standing in front of a loom at a spinners and weavers weekend at Tullah some years ago. So weaving was something I had wanted to do for a long time.

I can now say with some confidence that I’m a weaver.

Poatina provided me with the opportunity and dedicated time to learn basic skills and I graduated from the L plates which Jillian gave us all at the introductory talk to P plates which we received when we left on Sunday.

As with many things there was a variety of experience within this beginner’s group. Some who had never tried weaving before, some who had a collection of looms but hadn’t used them often or for a long while and others who had just a little more experience. Our tutors, as well as being highly skilled weavers were also very adept at teaching us and they managed, it seemed effortlessly, to cater for our individual needs. To me they offered clear direction, encouragement and supported freedom to problem solve, and practice my new skills. There was a great balance between group instruction, individual help, and the opportunity for participants to mingle, chat and share experiences as well as use the language which is peculiar to the craft of weaving.

I used my new Ashford four shaft loom although there were others using looms with more shafts and rigid heddle looms as well. We learnt how to wind a warp, put the warp onto the loom, sley the reed and begin weaving using a herringbone draft. The importance of good record keeping was also stressed. There was also an opportunity to see some of the range of goods offered at our Guild shop. Being from the North West Coast I appreciated this.

Many thanks to everyone involved in the organization and running of the workshop. It really was a great experience and one that has given me confidence to go ahead and enjoy weaving.

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