How everything started

How everything started

One winter day on 2011 I went to the Whippletree Junction in Duncan BC. I went there to visit The Loom yarn store but behind the store a red building with red door called my attention. It was an inviting color and in the entrance there were lots of teapots, flowers and plants full of beautiful colors. I went to follow my curiosity and discovered Leola's Studio. Inside there was a whirlpool of colors, yarns, textiles and looms. Leola approached me with a friendly conversation and all her creative energy. I told her that I wanted to learn to use a table loom that our friend Ryan (owner of Knotty by Nature) had gifted us, but we did not have a clue of how to use it. 

alpaca wool in balls and weaving shuttle

I signed up for my first weaving project right away. I showed up to Leola's studio the next day with my table loom and a bunch of Peruvian alpaca wool that I brought with me when I flew into Canada. I had already knit a bunch of hats with Alpaca wool and I knew that I wanted to use that yarn for my first project. I was so eager to start using the loom but no- the first step of the creative process was to develop a mood board with inspiration. In those days I was inspired by stars and fall colors, so I wanted to create a table runner using a pattern that had a similarity to the Andean cross that is part of the Peruvian textiles.

table loom with the beginning of a weaving project

Then Leola showed me how to make a warp. At this point it was still my first three months in Canada and my English was not fluid, but that did not stop me. I wasn't interested in learning the terminology, I just focused on her hands. I was comfortable just doing what she was doing, so after some hours I had my warp ready to be put on the loom. I remember her being at the back of the studio on her sewing machine working on some projects while I was completing my warp. After the warp was ready we embarked into dressing the loom- same approach, just follow Leola's hands. I was not interested in asking questions, I just wanted to learn how to create cloth.

table loom with a weaving project with alpaca wool as warp and weft with yellow, green and grey colors

Then I took the loom to my house to weave the remaining warp. It was me, the loom, a piece of paper with the weaving pattern sequence and my yarns. I remember vividly standing in front of the loom and following the piece of paper. I was so fascinated with the appearance of a piece a cloth- cloth that did not exist before and now there it was with my favorite motif and my favorite yarn. The Peruvian elements that I wanted to be part of my new home.

table loom with a warp that have missed the warp beam

After finishing my table runner I started the adventure of making a new warp and dressing the loom by myself without the help of Leola. It was funny. I made so many mistakes (yes, I beamed my warp in the wrong direction and skipped the back beam) and at the same time I learned so much about this new craft. One day a friend gifted me a wider table loom and I remember going to Leola's studio to make warps with whatever yarns I had available at home to just weave. I wove some overshot patterns- I just opened the weaving book to any interesting pattern and tried to create it. No questions about the history or technical terms. It was like "This looks cool, I want to make it."

table loom with overshot patter that is being woven. colors are white, purples and pink

Close to the end of winter 2011, Emerson and I decided to get married- yay! I went to visit Leola and I told her I want to make my own wedding dress. She looked at me and said: "Yes, of course."
I said "Okay, I am travelling to Peru for a month and when I am back I will find you."

 ... to be continued...

 

3 comments

And then the creativity bubble burst into everything you have touched. So creative and inspiring! ❤️

Noni Belland

Love reading your blog about you and your weaving journey. Love you!❤️

Sue Jordan

What a wonderful story! I want to hear more…

Cate Martin

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