My experience at Shuttles And Needles has been wonderful. Since the start, everyone has been kind and patient with us. We started off this quarter at Quest, by exploring different looms to see which ones we wanted to do. Some of us chose the Rigid Heddle loom and some of us chose the SAORI. I chose the Rigid heddle loom. The Rigid Heddle loom is a loom that is completely manual.
The loom is a small one, which means you can clamp it to a table and weave. It has a stand too if you don’t have a table to clamp it to. We change the position of the reed manually, and we beat the yarn manually too. We “beat” the yarn after each row so that we get a uniformly even piece of cloth.
The Rigid Heddle is extremely good for techniques such as bouquets and medallions. A bouquet is where we create holes in our cloth by bunching the warp threads together. It is an extremely interesting concept and is amazing for over 2 colours. It is also good for a technique called medallions for which we use crochet hooks and pull through the yarn from previously woven rows.
We learnt how to warp up the loom and set up the first warp for our trials and explorations. We learnt different techniques over the course of 2 months using the same warp, before starting our final project of the quarter. For our final project, we planned out what we were going to make and we also drew the patterns that we wanted on our project. We planned out the colours, the length of the project, the techniques we were going to use, and the length of the sections with the different techniques.
I chose to go with a simple scarf with bright colours and many patterns. Rather than using all the techniques I learnt, I chose a few which I wanted to showcase with my choice of colours. I found that my approach helped with making smooth transitions from one technique to another because I could easily integrate more colours making a seamless transition. For the next month or so, we worked on our projects, showcasing everyone’s personal creative talent. We all had very different outcomes, some bright with colours, some not. Some are filled with patterns, some basic but eye-catching. Even then, we all had fun this quarter at Shuttles And Needles, and I hope we have many more to come!
Maithreyi is part of the Learning community at Quest, the enablers of self-directed learning for children. Shuttles & Needles curates tailor-made weaving programs for homeschoolers in addition to regular schools