Spring in Vermont: new tapestry weavers!

The Vermont Foundations Retreat went  off without a hitch. We gathered at Good Commons in Plymouth, VT last week. It was a group of new tapestry weavers and they all took to it quickly. Many had woven some before, some had not woven at all. We all had a great time! You can find more about the structure of the retreat HERE.

One of the best things about retreats is watching the participants come together as a group. Here we're admiring Lauren's pieces as she takes them off the loom.

Lauren's work during the retreat.

Lesley started with a loom that wasn't working for her and then switched to one with more tension. Once she had a sturdy warp to weave  on, she wove these three houses in no time flat. Good tension on a loom is really important especially when you're just starting out. The difference  between the loom with poor tension and one with high tension was astounding. It was immediately clear that the issues Lesley was having with the weaving were due to the loom because these are fantastic.

Lesley's houses. These are about 3 inches square at 8 epi.

Marlena and Kathy both jumped into the class wanting to try a circle. I tried to dissuade them, but they both made circles that were quite excellent. I often find that new weavers want to weave a circle right away. I don't really understand this urge since circles are quite difficult to weave on a gridded structure. But perhaps I shouldn't try to talk people out of this exercise. They both clearly learned a lot and their circles were miles better than I thought they'd be.

Marlena and one of her pieces

Central Vermont in May and June is always beautiful. It rained quite a bit, but things were green and I had some nice walks around town. The trillium were blooming.

Birthdays at Good Commons! Tesha Buss is the owner of this property and she is also a fantastic chef. I have been lucky enough to have her cook for us for all of my retreats. She has a four-year-old daughter who found out it was Yancey's birthday on Saturday and the whole day was filled with childish delight at making cupcakes and icing and using candles. Yancey was a wonderful sport and those cakes were really good!

And of course some weaving was completed. Here are a few images of the weaving as it went along. Click on the thumbnails for larger photos and hover with your mouse for captions. Most people did not finish their work and cut it off their looms, but a few did. Of course there were many other fantastic weavings and I just didn't get photos of them!

Kathy is working on bubbling here. One way of managing weft tension while weaving tapestry is to use weft bubbles to increase the amount of weft that goes into the weaving so that there is enough to go over and under all the warps (more on weft tension HERE if you're interested). Different tapestry weavers manage this in various ways lest you think that this is the only way to work with the weft. Bobbin users who are building up shapes 100% of the time get more weft in by beating small sections at a time with the point of the bobbin.

Bubbling and weft tension... some of the trickiest things to grasp at first in tapestry weaving

It was a great group. I can't wait to see what they weave next!

Vermont 2018 Foundations Retreat
Back two rows: Lauren, Marlena, Ramona, Lisa, Lee, Karen, Lesley, Joyce, Eileen
Front row: Rebecca, Yancey, Faye, Kathy