Learning to Weave with Peas and Needles

IMG_5565As you’ve probably guessed by now, I love trying out new crafts. I spend far too much time on Pinterest looking at all the different things I can try and dreaming of all the beautiful things I can make.

Attending a workshop is a great way to learn a new skill and meet lots of lovely creative people in the process. I’ve taken a few workshops over the years, but have been meaning to do more. The Old Fire Station announced a while ago that it was holding a weaving workshop, but as it was the Bank Holiday weekend, I’d hesitated about signing up. When I saw the week before that there were still spaces, it was obviously a sign that I was supposed to go! I was also becoming increasingly aware that in six months time I’m not going to be able to give up a Saturday afternoon that easily and thus need to make the most of it while I can.The workshop was run by Lucy from Peas and Needles, and held at the Old Fire Station venue in central Oxford. This was the first time I’d attended a workshop at the Old Fire Station, although I’d sold at the Independent Oxford Christmas market there last year and held my own mini workshop. As a venue, I can highly recommend it, it’s super easy to get to, there’s an on-site café (which makes excellent hot chocolate!), and the space is really bright and airy.

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Onto the workshop itself, there were approximately 18 of us in total for the session, split into smaller tables of 5/6. I was lucky enough to be sat with lots of lovely chatty ladies (a necessity for a good craft class) who would prove to be excellent company for the afternoon. As we sat down, each place was laid out with a large wood loom, and along the edge of the room was a huge pile of gorgeous wool. We started out with a quick introduction from Lucy, and then it was on to making!

The first skill we learned was threading up the loom for our weavings. Although there was a bit of a knack to ensure that the tension was right, Lucy’s expert guidance ensured that we are all completed fairly quickly and ready to get onto the good bits, the actual weaving.

Each weaving started with some tassels, for which I picked a super-squishy white wool. The best description for it was that it felt like one of those really soft dressing gowns you can buy, the ones which make you feel a bit like a giant teddy bear. Making the tassels was surprisingly easy and using the thick wool meant that I could quite easily get some big tassels with minimal effort.

Onto the actual weaving, I selected some grey wool, along with a fluorescent pink jersey yarn. The first half of my hanging was using a simple weaving technique, which allowed me to really practise and get the hang of it. As I reached halfway, I was keen to add a bit more detail. An impromptu choice of a splash of fluorescent yellow worked well, and I then added some further tassels.

As the class went on, Lucy spent time showing us some other techniques including a plait, which I loved. I was soon reaching the top of the loom and it was time to finish off my hanging. As I hung my weaving on the wooden dowel, I felt it was an afternoon well spent!

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Bright colours from my weaving-neighbour Melissa

All the attendees had the option of purchasing the loom to take home and keep. By this point I was hooked and new that I wanted to do more, so eagerly took Lucy up on her offer. The rest of the weekend was spent looking online for inspiration, and then my first lunch break of the week involved a trip to local haberdashery Darn It and Stitch to stock up on wool. First up on my list is a larger hanging to put in our freshly decorated bedroom.

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Lovely new wool from Darn It and Stitch

If you’d like to find out more about weaving workshops, I’d recommend checking out Lucy’s website.

I’ve also started a Pinterest board for ideas, further tips and tricks, and examples of other weavers.

If you’ve had a go at weaving, I’d love to know if you have any tips or tricks, please leave me a comment below!IMG_5631

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