Workshops

Workshop Types

There will be two types of workshops offered at the 2019 IWC Conference: 3 day workshops and 1 day workshops.

The three day workshops will be held all day on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The one day workshops will be held all day on one of the three days of the conference. You can sign up for one three day workshop, or one or more one day workshops.

The workshops are described below.

Download workshop list

3 Day Workshops

CAthlena Burr – What Can I Do with a Draft?

Using Overshot as a medium, students will explore pattern structure and drafting. The goal is to be able to look at a draft and determine if the pattern is suitable to the materials, the desired finished product and how to expand, contract or otherwise customize the design. We will also consider ways to create original drafts. Using a variety of materials, students will weave samples of various overshot patterns, reimagining the possibilities of an old weave structure. This is a “Next Step” class meant to give fairly new weavers the confidence and understanding of the correlation between threading, tie-ups and treadling: to look at any pattern and feel confident that they can weave it.

We will be reviewing the basics of reading and writing drafts, on paper, and taking those exercises to the loom for concrete samples of the ideas explored. Students will warp a loom beforehand and come to class ready to weave.

Experience Level: Beginning Weavers

Deborah Corsini – Pushing Tapestry: Exploring the Eccentric Wedge Weave

In this workshop, students will learn the unique characteristics, basic techniques, and design possibilities to create dynamic and graphic wedge weave tapestries. The workshop includes a variety of approaches to eccentric weaving, combining tapestry with wedge weave, slit techniques, curves, and unusual materials. This is a tapestry class and as the weaving is at an angle to the warp the wefts are packed in with a hand beater. The primary goal of this workshop is for students to understand the basic technical considerations in using eccentric weaves and to encourage individual artistic exploration of wedge weave. Students will be inspired to continue their own journey with the techniques.

Experience Level: This class is geared specifically to tapestry weavers with some experience. It is recommended that students should be able to warp a loom. Floor loom weavers are welcome if they are interested in learning this specific and unique tapestry technique.

Karen Donde – Turned Beiderwand: One Threading, Multiple Structures

Turning a beiderwand draft creates clean pattern blocks, better drape and faster, one-shuttle weaving than its traditional supplementary weft method. The resulting threading also adapts easily to weave other structures. Students will learn beiderwand basics and how to warp and tension a supplementary warp with or without a second warp beam, design turned beiderwand, turn a draft and adapt the threading to weave several different structures. This workshop requires at least 6 shafts, though 8 are preferred. Drafts are provided for more shafts if available. Each participant will weave a variety of samples on his/her own loom, as that’s the fun of turning this draft. There will be several different drafts on looms to offer a variety of designs for discussion.

Experience Level: Intermediate-level weaving experience (or a fast-learning advanced beginner). Ability to read a draft. Ability to warp an 8-shaft loom independently. Familiarity with a variety of basic weave structures: twill, summer & winter, overshot. Basic understanding of block weaves and profile drafting.

Catharine Ellis – Cross Dyeing with Natural Dyes

“Cross dyeing: A method of coloring fabrics made from more than one kind of fiber. Each fiber in a fabric designed for cross-dyeing takes a specific dye in a different color or in variations of a color.” … The Fabric Dictionary

Weavers have a unique ability to construct fabrics that include both protein and cellulose fibers. When dyed, the fibers can be caused to absorb different colors.

The class will experiment with mordant application and an alternative approach to dyeing without mordants. Simple shibori resists or paste resists will be used to accentuate the design possibilities of the cross dyeing. The use of an organic indigo vat will complete the palette.

Students will prepare sample fabrics prior to the workshop, woven (or knit) of both protein and cellulose fibers in natural and white only. Alternatively, there are a select number of commercial fabrics that may be used for similar cross-dye effects.

Experience Level: All levels

Tasha Miller Griffith – Make Your Mark: Stitching, Mending & Embellishment

Bring your handmade textile project and add stitching to give it another dimension of individuality and texture or bring your favorite old holey sweater and take it home better than new. Explore mindful stitching as a way to wear your heart on your sleeve (or your wall), using needle and thread to make marks of all kinds. Everyone is welcome in this workshop, from beginners who have never sewn a stitch before to experienced fiber artists looking for more ways to add unique touches and extend the life of their handmade garments. We'll try out a sampler of techniques including boro-style sashiko stitching, crewel embroidery, duplicate stitch, and needle felting. Combine your samples into a book with more stitching and/or bring a project of your choice (or a few smaller ones) to work on. We'll also take a look at the structure of woven and knitted fabrics and how these influence the best techniques for repair and embellishment. You'll leave with a suite of new skills in your fiber arts toolbox—ready to tackle anything in your mending pile and with lots of ideas for adding unique decorative or practical stitching to both handmade and commercial fabrics.

Experience Level: All levels / no experience necessary.

Sarah Jackson – Color Confidence

The primary goal of the workshop is to teach students how to explore the numerous possibilities for successfully translating color into woven cloth. Students will complete the workshop with a greater understanding of how colors interact in woven cloth. They will know how to sample effectively and how to evaluate ideas for cloth using their sample color combinations. They will leave the workshop with woven samples and confidence in their own creativity. Color is one of the most exciting components of weaving, and… learning to use colors confidently is challenging. In this workshop, participants will explore fresh ideas for developing color studies, learn how various weave structures impact color interaction, and understand how to effectively translate color combinations into woven cloth. This workshop is a combination of presentation, discussion, and weaving; it is not a round robin workshop. Students will complete the workshop with a greater understanding of how colors interact in woven cloth. They will know how to sample effectively and how to evaluate ideas for cloth using their sample color combinations. They will leave the workshop with woven samples and confidence in their own creativity. The workshop includes a pre-wound warp and a selection of over 60 colors of cotton for weft.

Experience Level: All levels, must know how to dress a loom and read a simple draft.

David Johnson – Painting with Yarn: Soumak Tapestry

The primary goal of this three-day workshop is to explore an organic approach to tapestry through the use of soumak knots. The nature of soumak allows the weaver the opportunity to build a composition in a painterly way. Eccentric weaving is enhanced by the knotting which allows much steeper angles to be woven than in plain weave. This characteristic combined with color blending multiple strands in the weft bundle allows for naturalistic representations of organic forms. Plants and animals take on a three-dimensional profile.

In this workshop students will also learn to develop cartoons to create compositions of their own design. Weaving, being a linear process, requires one to plan the design prior to going to the loom. To accurately represent an image a cartoon is necessary yet within this structure we find room for spontaneous and creative decision making in the use of color and pattern. In this workshop students will work on warped frame looms supplied by the instructor. Some weft yarns will also be supplied. Studio activities will be supported by the presentation of “Designing for Tapestry”, a series of design talks, emphasizing the unique ways yarns come together to build a composition.

Experience Level: All levels of experience

Linda Lugenbill – Tweaking the Basketry Traditions

This workshop could also be titled “Function and Fun with Framed Baskets” as we will focus on the traditional ‘hen’ basket which was used for ages to carry chickens to market. (FYI: The shape of this basket did not allow chickens to open their wings and fly out). Being proud of the basketry traditions that I am a part of, I like to connect our present-day styles and interests with those of earlier times. In class we will apply a systematic and simplified approach to cutting and inserting ribs to achieve this iconic shape. Using the foundations of ribbed construction combined with a variety of materials and weaving techniques we will also explore the many individual choices this project will present. Each participant is encouraged to try new materials and techniques. A second project will be undertaken that will adapt this traditional form to create uniquely shaped vessels. This provides another opportunity to re-enforce your ribbed construction techniques, re-working and updating the tradition while accommodating each participant’s style and interests. Alternative approaches to filling in the basketry form should bring the “fun” into this framed basket. For example, one might elect to try random weave to fill this structure!

Experience Level: All skill and experience levels.

John Mullarkey – Tablet Weaving from Around the World

Tablet weaving is truly an international art. We’ll study three different techniques from three different areas of the world and three different time periods. Kivrim, from Turkey which gives us the popular Ram’s Horn design and is fairly contemporary, Coptic Diamonds, from Egypt from over 1000 years ago, and Anglo-Saxon card weaving from the British Isles from around 1500 years ago.

Experience Level: Beginner-Advanced. No weaving experience required.

Rosalie Neilson – Color and Design in Warp Faced Rep

Explore the multitude of designs possible in warp-faced rep by using two different colorways and two different weights of weft. Learn an easy way to tie a wide warp onto the front cloth beam rod, in addition to a versatile treadling method to maximize the number of patterns. Discussions will focus on color, movement of blocks, skeleton tie-ups, and threading systems. Drafts for 4- and 8-shaft looms will be sent in advance, along with color suggestions for the two different colorways of pattern and background. Weavers will warp and thread their looms prior to workshop and work exclusively on their own loom throughout the 3-day workshop. Weavers will also learn the Cavandoli knot and participate in a color wrap session.

Experience Level: Advanced Beginner to Intermediate.

Robyn Spady – A Parallel Threading is the Weaver’s Playground

A parallel threading can provide a weaver with a multitude of options and patterns–from echo weaves and corkscrew twills to turned taqueté and network- drafted twills. Add on top of that weft variations in color and texture and a weaver will find themselves in a playground of possibilities. Workshop participants will pre-warp their loom from a selection of threading’s and during the workshop enter into a journey of discovery and exploration of how to transform a parallel threading into a myriad of patterns. The workshop is a combination of presentation/discussion, weaving, and hands-on exercises. Emphasis will be on understanding the design and drafting processes to empower workshop participants to create their own patterns. Four-shafts minimum. Eight-shafts recommended.

Experience Level: Intermediate to advanced weaver, however “adventure-seeking beginners” are also welcome.

Liz Spear – Sewing Your Handmade Fabrics

Move past the bog jacket and shawl with your handwoven/hand felted fabric, and learn to cut and successfully sew a jacket, shirt or vest. Adding fit and stylistic flare to our incredibly beautiful handmade cloth requires some extra care for results you won’t get with commercial fabrics. Using pre-workshop suggestions/guidelines, you’ll select a pattern appropriate for your fabric. Cutting, marking, seam finishes, pressing, buttons and linings will be demonstrated as you sew through the steps to your new handwoven garment.

Experience Level: Intermediate sewing skills.

Myra Chang Thompson – Colorfully Dyed Fibers

The goal of this workshop is for students to gain new skills in: record keeping while dyeing various fibers and dyes, learning new dye techniques and the use of fiber reactive dyes to create permanent and reproducible colors. Using both cellulose and protein fibers, students will gain a greater understanding of how dyes work on each type. Student will be able to apply color to fiber in a variety of methods to create imaginative and colorful yarns at the end of the workshop. Students will be able to “set” the dyes in a variety of ways to ensure permanency.

Experience Level: Need basic measuring skills of linear and volume measures.

Dianne Totten – Evening Bags to Market Bags

Bags, purses, and totes - create a carrying vessel of any shape or size. You may already have fabric in your stash, handwoven or not, that is suitable for a bag. If not, weave sturdy fabric using yarn or rags. From elegant to simple and functional, choose from patterns provided, have fun creating your own unique project, or bring a commercial pattern. Using a PowerPoint presentation, you will be guided in every step of the planning and construction of your chosen bag. The first session will focus on planning and creativity. The goal is to use the remaining time to complete your project.

Experience Level: Ability to use a sewing machine is necessary.

1 Day Workshops

Friday

Bobbie Irwin – Twined Rag Rugs

Help revive a disappearing folk craft as you learn to make durable, beautiful rugs, incorporating twining techniques that can also be applied to other materials. The pattern diversity of twined rugs includes some intricate designs rarely found in other rag rugs. By making a hot-pad sampler in class, you will learn all you need to design and complete full-sized rugs at home. Working on a simple frame, you’ll make a sampler with three pattern variations, using fabric for both warp and weft. 

Experience Level: Any level; no weaving or twining experience needed.

Annie MacHale – Color: Design and Weave on an Inkle Loom

Provide students with color and design theory for woven bands and then have them put this information to use as they learn to set up and weave on an inkle loom. Students will gain skills in using color theory to design inkle bands and learn the basics about weaving on an inkle loom. Together we will look at hundreds of examples to learn about the vast possibilities for designing in plain weave. I’ll share some great tricks from my four decades of inkle experiments. We'll try out some helpful tools and learn how to weave a quick sample without even setting up your loom. Learn what different effects can come from using different types of yarns. Graph paper and colored pencils will be provided to practice charting designs for plain weave. Using those new designs, you will set up your loom. Learn tricks for weaving and keeping those selvedges even! Look at examples and discuss what makes a good design, discuss color theory, look at yarn choices, experiment with color selection tools, make an off-loom preview, chart patterns on paper, use patterns to set up the looms, learn how to operate the loom as weaving progresses to produce even bands with straight selvedges.

Experience Level: Beginner weavers with no experience on the inkle looms

Jillian Moreno – Yarnitecture: Building Exactly the Yarn You Want

Is the yarn in your head the yarn in your hand? Do you always spin the same yarn? Do you have a dream yarn you just can't make happen? Are you unhappy with what happens to the colors when you spin a variegated top or roving? Do you love your handspun yarn, but don't like how it looks knitted? In this class, we’ll focus on making yarn that inspires you from commercially dyed roving and top -- yarn you’ll love to knit with. Together we’ll build your yarn from fiber braid up to a knitted swatch. We’ll start by talking about the blueprint for a yarn, the yarn vision. We'll break yarn down into all of its parts. We'll build your yarn's foundations by exploring fiber breeds and preparations. The walls – they're the different drafting and plying methods we'll work with. Finally, the roof goes on as we manipulate variegated top and roving to get the colors you’ve chosen just the way you want them.

All along the way you’ll get tips to keeping your yarn’s end use or yarn vision in mind and your yarn consistent. This class will give you confidence to build the yarns you want to knit with!

Experience Level: To take this class, please have the ability to adjust your wheel and make a plied yarn that pleases you.

Saturday

Bobbie Irwin – Circular Twined Rag Rugs and Baskets

Help revive a disappearing folk craft as you learn to make durable, beautiful rugs and fabric baskets, incorporating twining techniques that can also be applied to other materials. The pattern diversity of twining includes some intricate designs rarely found in other rag rugs. Working basketry-style without a frame, you’ll start a circular sampler in class that can be continued to become a full-sized rug, if desired, or can turn into a hot pad, chair mat, or rag basket in class (your choice).

Experience Level: Any level; no weaving or twining experience needed.

Annie MacHale – Baltic and 3-Color Pickup on the Inkle Loom

Introduce students to the many variations which can be woven on the Baltic pickup threading and the 3-Color pickup which builds upon that foundation. Students will learn to warp and weave Baltic- style pickup designs, read patterns for them, and create their own patterns. Through examining examples, they will learn how to create simple and multi-colored variations using this versatile weave structure. Open a new door to designing patterns for use on the inkle loom. Baltic-style pickup is a simple technique to learn but has vast possibilities for creating exciting patterns on a woven band. We will experiment with color placement, pickup, pick and drop. Once you have learned the basics, you will have the opportunity to take it farther by learning the rare 3-Color Lithuanian version in order to shift colors around as you weave. Look at examples to learn the many variations which are possible using the Baltic-style pickup technique, explore simple pickup patterns as well as pick and drop patterns. Learn to read and create charts for the designs. Using the designs, students will set up their looms and weave a sampler of patterns. As time allows and depending on student aptitude and interest we will also learn about a variation called 3-Color pickup. Students can set up their looms with a new warp to experiment with this technique.

Experience Level: For experienced inkle weavers only. Students must know how to warp their loom on their own and be familiar and comfortable doing plain weave on the inkle loom.

Jillian Moreno – Yarnitecture 2: Spinning for a Specific Project

You learned the basics of creating a yarn from fiber to finish in Yarnitecture, now let’s put it into practice! In this class we will spend our time sampling for a specific project. First we will work on the techniques to match a yarn.

From our in-class stash you will choose a commercial fiber to work with to sample through draft, ply, color manipulation, finish and knitting to make the perfect yarn for one of our class-exclusive patterns or for a pattern you bring to class. Will you work toward a lace scarf project, a textured cowl, or a perfectly plain stockinette hat? While you work we will explore how each decision in the spinning process affects your finished yarn and your finished project.

A few of the things we’ll discuss are:

  • Choosing fiber and fiber blends
  • Drafting for loft or density
  • Plying for stitch definition
  • What using a variegated fiber means to your stitch pattern
  • Keeping yarn consistent through a project
  • How to evaluate your yarn.
  • Elements of successful sampling
  • How to sample quickly

Experience Level: My Yarnitecture class is recommended before taking this class, but if that’s not possible please have the ability to adjust your wheel and make a plied yarn that pleases you.

Sunday

Bobbie Irwin – Shimmering Iridescence Scarf

Using open double weave on four or six shafts, you can weave a cowl scarf that glows throughout with four colors! This magical, color-shifting fabric might be the ultimate example of iridescence! It weighs less than an ounce, and it’s easy to weave in a short time period. At the same time, you will be learning about factors that influence and enhance iridescence, to incorporate into your own designs later on.

Understanding what causes iridescence and how to achieve multicolored effects in woven fabric. For those unfamiliar with double weave, this is a good introduction.

Experience Level: Suitable for advanced beginner, intermediate, and advanced weavers (basic skills and familiarity with a loom required).

Annie MacHale – Bar Pickup and Lettering on the Inkle Loom

Introduce students to weaving pickup designs on a horizontal barred background. Hands-on experimentation with several variations: picking one or both colors and picking and dropping. Building on this, students will learn to weave lettering into a band. Students will learn to warp and weave for horizontal bar background pickup designs, read patterns for them and create their own patterns. They will build confidence with the technique and learn to weave several variations. The horizontal bar background pickup technique is commonly used in cultures of the Central and South American countries as well as Native Americans of the Navajo and Pueblo tribes. Discover several variations on this technique and develop your own designs. Once you have experience manipulating threads on this setup, you can learn how to weave words into your design. Look at examples to learn the many variations which are possible using the horizontal bar pickup technique, explore simple pickup patterns as well as pick and drop patterns using one or both colors. Learn to read and create charts for the designs. Students will set up their looms and weave a sampler of patterns. As time allows and depending on student aptitude and interest we will also learn how to weave letters using the same warp.

Experience Level: For experienced inkle weavers only. Students must know how to warp their loom on their own and be familiar and comfortable doing plain weave on the inkle loom.

Jillian Moreno – Colorplay: Stress-free Ways to Spin with Color

Are you ready to change the way you think about spinning with color? Do you have fun when combining colors or is it just a mess of stress? Are you ready for spinning with color to be fun?

Do you have a collection of beautiful braids, bundles and batts in colors you love, but haven't cracked them open because you're not sure how to spin them without bungling the colors? In this class, we’ll throw out the color wheel and learn to work with dyed fiber in a bunch of stress-free ways, no mud or clown barf allowed!

  • You’ll spend a day spinning and knitting yarns from beautifully dyed fibers.
  • You’ll explore several different ways to work with spinning single color and variegated fibers into yarn you’ll love to knit with.
  • You’ll learn what effects color in spinning
  • You’ll learn how to stretch your stash by combining variegated braids with naturals, semi solids and other variegated fibers.
  • You’ll work with drafting, plies, marls and fractals, and spin samples that you can refer to after class is over.
  • You’ll learn how to keep colors as they are, how to blend colors for depth and subtlety, and how to combine colors, all without breaking a sweat.
  • You’ll learn how to design your own colorways at the wheel.

Experience Level: To take this class, please have the ability to adjust your wheel and make a plied yarn that pleases you.

Intermountain Weavers Conference

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