Weaving Class II at Tribe Yarns

This past Sunday, on a day when England were playing a rugby international at Twickenham and the World was waiting to see who would win Britain’s Got Talent 2019, I travelled up to a warm, sunny and very cosmopolitan Richmond-Upon-Thames to teach the second in the trio of weaving classes that have been running at Tribe Yarns since February.

I’ll chat about Tribe Yarns in another post (very soon, most likely, since I spend so much time there!), but for today let’s talk about the weaving class.

Whereas Class I instructs in the most basic of weaving practice - learning to warp the 16” Rigid Heddle Loom, understanding the technical terms and names for things, the difference between warp and weft and, of course, actually throwing the shuttle - Class II builds on this by demonstrating the flexibility of the rigid heddle loom (yes, I know that’s an oxymoron) in creating a much more textured, mixed-weft piece using different weight yarns, ribbons and wool roving. These pieces may then be hung on the wall, mounted onto a canvas, or even, perhaps, stitched onto a larger piece of fabric and used as a cushion cover.

My six students arrived - three of whom brought the looms they had purchased previously after Class I (it’s a big rabbit hole!) - and once we had got past everyone’s sheepish confessions that they couldn’t quite remember how to warp the loom, we got started!

I think fringe is a bit “Marmite” - you either love it or you hate it. I fall into the LOVE IT camp and, fortunately, so did most of the students this week, so we set about using rya knots to make beautiful, long, chunky/short, delicate fringes.


Although the pieces we create are quite small, working with textures and different technique means that it is generally more time-consuming. Measuring, cutting and attaching the fringe takes a good chunk of the class time - however the chat and general fun and banter abounds!

Normally I would then go on to discuss using wool roving, but one of our intrepid students had a specific request - she wanted to know how to weave two colours on the same throw - Clasped Weft Weaving. Everyone was keen, so I added in this technique and, sure enough, all the ladies immediately wanted to apply it to their work!


Next up was playing with the roving, which also went down a treat! Some of the ladies then chose to add ribbon and (my signature) pompoms too!

We ended the class with a discussion about the various ways of displaying the work, and ideas came forth thick and fast. I’ve asked the ladies to send me pictures of their artwork insitu, so I’m looking forward to seeing how they are all presented.

I think the most important principle in my classes is that there is NO WRONG WAY of weaving. Sure enough, there are certain technical elements that make life a bit easier, but as far as I’m concerned, nothing is insurmountable (says the woman who has warped her loom back-to-front on numerous occasions!). I enthusiastically encourage my students to experiment and play with their art and I have to say that there were plenty of squeals of joy on Sunday, as they did just that!

Thank you, ladies, for making my day a Cracker!!!

NOTE: As I write, I am aware that all the currently listed classes are full, but Milli will be listing another Class II and a Class III on the Tribe Yarns website very shortly.

With hugs

Nicky x