October 31, 2011

Looms at Leola's Studio

I visited Leola's Studio in Whippletree Junction near Duncan, British Columbia, Canada.

table loom, warping mill

Leola herself

Here is Leola Witt-McNie at one of her looms.  She kindly let me weave part of a chevron twill dish towel on another loom when I said, "I'm a tourist and I would like to try weaving."

I concentrated.  I treadled 1, 2, 3, 4 over and over.  I left what I hoped were consistent amounts of slack in the warp and beat in carefully.  I re-discovered shoulder muscles.

Then Leola wove.  The treadles went 4, 3, 2, 1, reversing the chevron of the twill.  The eye, Leola said.  She put it at the centre of the towel.

Leola suggested I take a photo of her Cowichan sweater to post because Americans might not know what one was.  Authentic Cowichan sweaters are made by First Nations knitters in a place very close to Leola's location.  If Vancouver Island has distinctive, locally-produced, commercially-available clothing, this is it.

more looms than you could shake a lease stick at!

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