Wednesday, April 25, 2007

My Knotty Weekend

I spent last weekend at CNCH in Asilomar learning how to weave knotted cut pile rugs with Sara Lamb. It was easily the most enjoyable workshop I've done in years.

Asilomar was lovely, even though the weather didn't cooperate very well - it was rainy on and off throughout the weekend. I don't remember seeing any deer at the conference two years ago, but they were out in abundance this year.

When we first walked into the classroom, we were presented with an assortment of copper piping. The first order of business was to build our looms. The design is absolutely ingenious - the loom is both portable and adjustable, and the warping method is pretty simple. Most people had their looms assembled and warped and ready to go by lunchtime.

The actual process of weaving isn't all that difficult. You weave a couple of rows in plain weave, and then tie all your little lark's head knots, and trim them as you go, following a chart. Easy, but time-consuming. As you can see, in roughly two days, I got about 3/4 of the way through the 5"x5" pattern. But speed isn't necessarily a goal here. I probably won't finish the piece (a bag) until I get a proper beater - I don't have anything heavy enough to do the job right.

While I don't expect to be weaving new carpets for the house at any point in the future, I can see a lot of possibilities for this technique, and I find it much more attractive than tapestry, which is just too right-brained for me. I couldn't draw my way out of a paper bag.

For inspiration, see Sara Lamb's web page.