4 Shaft Weaving with Kathryn Kusa

Helenweaving reports0 Comments

 The topic Kathryn chose for us was Summer and Winter. I had heard weavers talk about this type of pattern, but had never attempted it, so looked forward to learning more.

wp37bc60ab_05_06Seven of us, with varying skill levels, attended the workshop. Kathryn had sent out instructions for warping the loom (good, clear instructions in ordinary language), so most of the looms were already warped at the beginning of the day, leaving more time for weaving. Kathryn started the day by talking about Summer and Winter and showing us samples she had woven.

Summer and Winter is a block pattern, traditionally worked in dark and light colours, and giving a firm reversible fabric which is predominately light on one side and dark on the other. It is often used for furnishings, throws etc. and would make very nice table mats. It is said to get its name from its use for bed covers – the light side being uppermost in summer when more frequent washing was possible, the dark side in winter. The threading is in blocks of four. The pattern is generally woven with a thread which is twice the thickness of the warp, and in a contrasting colour, with a tabby row between each pattern row in the same colour as the warp.

After demonstrating the basic weaving sequence, Kathryn gave each of us a set of instructions and sent us to our looms to try a variety of patterns while she came round giving help and advice as needed.  Later in the day she showed us how to use a pick up technique to vary the patterns. This was a really good workshop, with a nice, relaxed atmosphere. I feel I learned a lot from it. I tried the pick up after I got home, and also experimented with reversing my pattern and tabby colours – I liked the effect of this too. I can see a lot of possibilities for further exploration, and now I know how it works, may go on to try other block weaves.

Stephanie Hoyle,

with thanks to Mary Paren for the photographs.

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