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Weaving Lace Fabric

This past weekend I introduced three weavers to the small but beautiful group of weave structures that produce lacy fabric. They also learned how to create weaver-manipuated lace such as leno and Brooks bouquet and used hemstitiching variations to make lines of openwork in their fabric. Enjoy these photos that provide a glimpse of the class at work and the weaving underway.

As an interesting aside, those of us who enjoy lace weaves such as Bronson lace, Swedish lace, huckaback and canvas weave might be surprised to learn that only handweavers typically consider these woven structures as lace at all. Textile experts and historians hold that “real” lace is either needle lace, made by single thread embroidering over a foundation of threads, or bobbin lace, which is made from many threads, each hung on a pendant-shaped bobbin, moved around, under and over each other.

But certainly a lacy cloth can be created using other methods including knitting, crochet, knotting, tatting and, of course, weaving.

Click on any of the photos to look at a slide show of these pictures full-size.


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A Wonderful Group of Weavers

In the Fall of 2012, seven weavers enrolled in a six-week rug weaving class here at Blue Flag. The group not only embraced weaving rugs with a passion, but thoroughly enjoyed each others’ company to the extent that most of them choose to continue meeting after the class finished. It was decided that I would offer a six-month long “rug group” for them that would meet monthly and be part study group, part workshop, part show-and-tell and a great deal of laughter and camaraderie.

Twice a year, a new six-month session begins.The group has moved far beyond just rugs. Attendees have come and gone over time, but the group still includes three women from that initial six-week class that took place over three and a half years ago.

The second meeting of the current session took place on March 31. The group is now made up of those three veterans – Kathy, Patty and Marilyn – as well as six others. Most have been attending for at least a year or two.

I can no longer really call them my “students.” They have all grown into accomplished weavers of rugs and many other textiles. They teach me as much as I teach them and we all gain inspiration and encouragement from each other.

Here are some of the lovely things they brought to share last Thursday. All of the photos may be viewed as a large scale slideshow by clicking on on of the thumbnails you see here. Enjoy!

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“While We Teach, We Learn”

Shaft switched rag rug“While we teach, we learn,” said the Roman philosopher Seneca. According to an article that appeared in Time magazine back in November 2011, students who teach others as they learn themselves, researchers have found, work harder to understand the material, recall it more accurately and apply it more effectively.

The article notes that it’s the emotions elicited by teaching that make it such a powerful vehicle for learning. Instructors feel chagrin when their pupils fail; when they succeed, teachers feel what is described best by the Yiddish term nachas: “Pride and satisfaction that is derived from someone else’s accomplishment.” Continue reading “While We Teach, We Learn”