A Weaver’s Tale

About a week or so ago, the kids wove paper mats. They loved choosing bright colors and they loved the finished project, but the work of weaving the strips in and out, over and under proved tedious–and after one mat each they were finished.


Friday the lovely Mrs. Smith, a weaver with a local guild, came with her portable loom to my house to give a demonstration for our family and Kathy’s family.


We found what happens on a loom is the “warp” threads (the main threads that you weave through and over) are connected to pedals that raise and lower them.


It’s as if you’re picking up all the ones you’ll go under at once, and shooting the “woof” (threads you use in pattern)through in one fell swoop.See the separation where Brooke’s pushing the “shuttle” through?


Ahead of time, the weaver wound her own bobbins on a hand-crank with internal gears and set them into the wooden shuttles, some of which have wheels to make the weaving easier.


After sending the shuttle through and releasing the pedals, which aligns all the “warp” threads in a single line again, you pull back on the bar and tighten up that row of weaving.


You can see right away if you’re on track–you can follow the pattern and even predict what the next line of weaving should look like.


Left is a new placemat pattern she’s working on, playing with pattern and color. Right is a tea towel she made in the pattern called Cats Paws and Snails Trails. The kids loved this one the most. I think the colors are delightful.


Thank you, Mrs. Smith.


6 responses to “A Weaver’s Tale

  1. this looks like an amazing day, how did you find this lady? Does she do demos for others groups, I am thinking our teen gorup is doing handiwork and this would be an awesome thing for them to see. I really want to try it too:-)

  2. This is soo neat!

  3. Cool project, Deb! Kali and I were able to do this years ago at a shopping mall locally. It was National Weavers Week, or something similar. It was a lot of fun and we learned a lot! Looks like your little guys really enjoyed the experience :O).

  4. Thanks again for a memorable day! Kids are currently obsessed with weaving colored paper. I see a small table loom in the future!

  5. Pingback: Felted Wool Easter Eggs « As We Walk

  6. More proof that your kids are some of the most blessed children I know!!! They look like they had fun and learned a lot, it’s so awesome that this lady was able to come to your house. What a great experience!

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