Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

It's a Beautiful Day: Prairie Sky Weaving

The first of May graced us with cold weather and snow, left over from a storm earlier in the week.  Who would have thought that children would be making snowmen today?  Yet there they were, several of the cold creatures lined up on the picnic tables when I arrived at Prairie Sky School for the morning weaving session. (I'm referring to the snow people, although the children looked chilly enough.)

Our work is coming along nicely.  We wove sections of the tree trunks for the main tapestry piece and we're almost ready to begin working on a snake which moves across the landscape. Once again, K. has taken the lead.  His bag has been "lost" in favour of weaving on the large loom.  Here he and D. (I think) work on the trees together.

Until today, M. hasn't been too interested in weaving; however, when I explained that he could work on the second of the larger looms and weave whatever he wanted, he was quick to pick up the basic technique, using a shed stick and his fingers to weave some free-form tapestry:

I think that everyone is beginning to understand how slowly tapestry progresses and why I encourage people to weave smaller pieces.  The pace of tapestry weaving surprised Ms. W. (the teacher); just when she thought her bag was nearly finished, she discovered what happens when she pushed the weft yarns firmly down on the warp:

Those warp threads at the top of her bag need to be completed covered, so that the loops on top will secure the weft.

When the students needed a break from weaving, they could practise spinning:

S. discovered a ball of multi-coloured hand spun wool yarn which she added to her bag:

The colours and design of this bag are wonderful.  Notice how nicely it's woven:

That was our morning.  After the weaving session, Kathy P. and her daughter, Hannah, who are visiting from Edmonton, picked me up for lunch at an East Indian buffet.  I met Kathy at Olds Fibre Week several ago, when she attended some yoga sessions. It was fun to catch up over a meal and a visit to Nouveau Gallery and Tatanka Boutique, a new store featuring the work of local aboriginal artists.

I strolled home and, although it was cold with flecks of snow in the air, the sun was shining and the sky was a clear, spring blue.  Pleasant work with wonderful students, a leisurely meal with friends and a walk home to a quiet evening among family-how could a day be more beautiful than this?


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