Meeting – March 8th, 2017
by Keith Pierce
Gathering for the meeting presented challenges: A sheet of glare ice covered the sidewalk in front of the defunct electronics store, blocking the only path from the new parking lot to the Guild. We all made it safely. With luck, March will end lamb-like and clear sidewalks before our next meeting.

Attendance was robust, likely spurred by the need to recover from cabin fever: Gary, Kristin, Tyler, Sylvia, Peggy, Karyl, Keith, and Hazel, who returned after a long hiatus (see below).

Many shared their works, or discussed their work in progress. I continue to be amazed at, and impressed with, the variety and strength of skills demonstrated by our members.

Peggy bought a Gilmore “Wave” loom. It’s a small counterbalance loom, with two shafts holding Texsolv heddles, and without a reed/beater. It can be used as an inkle loom, as shown here, or as a card-weaving loom by bypassing the heddles and running the warp from the breast beam over the heddle tower and down to the back beam. She brought her first product, a wide band with “warp floats” motifs. As usual, stunning work from Peggy.
Now I want one of these looms, especially for my attempts to weave Nordic pick-up bands with sticky wool pattern threads.
Gary spent the month practicing double-faced card weaving, producing these very nice bands. He impressed us by designing the flower motif based on a photo from Pinterest. He wove the alphabet band based on letter patterns from Linda Hendrickson, and a gift band for his grandchild.
Sylvia showed us these wonderful little “Singlade” balls. The craft originated in Denmark and Sweden. They’re made by stitching yarn over a ball core. Sylvia described the process of making them as relatively mindless, which I take to mean that you can make them without mistakes while watching TV or chatting with your significant other.
Hazel is an accomplished loop braider, a technique that uses only hands and fingers. She attended a Banditos meeting about three years ago, thinking she had retired and would have more time to devote to her craft. Wrong! Now she says she’s retired for good, and has time to pursue her passion and attend Banditos meetings.
Here are some samples illustrating some of her work. Using supplementary cords it’s possible to loop-braid with up to 40 threads! The gray, pink and white cord near the right shows an example of braiding button holes.At next month’s meeting Hazel will demonstrate loop braiding. We look forward to learning the difference between orthodox and unorthodox braiding. Welcome back, Hazel!
Having woven Nordic pick-up bands using just Perle cotton yarn for both ground warp threads and pattern threads, Keith is trying more traditional yarns: linen for background, wool for pattern. He showed the results of testing wools that he had in his stash, with cotton ground warp. From top to bottom: Harrisville “Shetland”; Bockens “Möbelåtta” (Swedish); Nehalem “Maypole”; Navaho Churro wool “Kindred Spirits” from Swedendale Farms in Wisconsin.

He found Bockens wool enjoyable to work with; it’s a hard, smooth, relatively inelastic yarn, well-suited for warp-faced weaving. The Maypole dye rubbed off, resulting in a bluish cast, probably because the yarn is decades old. He gave up on Harrisville after weaving just a few inches. Opening sheds with such a sticky yarn was almost impossible.

Next Month — April 12th, 10 am at WGM

  • Hazel will demonstrate loop braiding.
  • This month’s agenda included reviving the project to update the Guild’s band-weaving swatch collection, but we ran out of time. Let’s try again next month.