The day I completed my houndstooth pattern black and green stole I all but danced around the charming weaving studio watched most amusedly by a few 20 something textile designers and office staff. I swerved and posed, delighting in my newly found ability to weave a simple pattern. I insisted they take photographs, which they did without complaint, and generally created a small happy ruckus.
But then Shuttles and Needles is a happy place. In a small side street of Indira Nagar, Shuttles and Needles brings the hobbyist face to face with India's ancient art of weaving. A bright, modern studio space, it has little of the huge heavy looms we are used to seeing. Instead what we see are small light, table-top looms easy to work on for the novice learner.
A new hobby is often about learning new skills, but I found friends I had forgotten: dexterity in fingers used largely for typing on a keyboard; proficiency in calculating how much yarn I needed to make a stole, patience to stand with others and gaze at cones of yarn, each shade just a tad different from another till I best figured out how to replicate the delicate shade of purple and blue in a pigeon's throat. My teacher on the other hand, found my compulsive search for errors: “Is it ok? Is it ok? Is it ok?” I went; “I think it is a little crooked, I think I should do these lines again; I’m going to undo this,” and on and on and on obsessively. But finally, the most enjoyable of all, I found I had created a length of fabric that was exactly the way I had imagined it.
Many years ago I had flirted with the idea of studying fabric, but I abandoned it not even knowing what options were available. The past has come back again, or maybe the past is always embedded in the present, but today as I play seriously with colours, yarn, textures and learn how materials behave on the loom, I come back home with a deep appreciation for all the weavers who have made each of the handloom treasures I have stacked in my cupboard.
Shuttles & Needles has a wide variety of workshops on Hand weaving, Hand spinning and felting. Pl check here for details.