I was recommended to look at the Jane Stafford School of Weaving and I'm so glad I did – I now recommend it to all my weaving friends!
When I was a new table loom weaver I experienced a bit of a learning curve, even after using a rigid heddle loom. I naturally turned to books and the internet for guidance which was great - but then someone recommended that I look at the online Jane Stafford School of Weaving and I'm so glad I did! I now recommend it to all my weaving friends especially table loom newbies!
Jane Stafford runs an on-line course for an annual subscription of $100.00 (CAN) (about £60) and for that you get access to every video she has produced and pdf's of all learning materials and drafts. Each year is grouped by a theme – called Seasons – and there are 7 or 8 lessons – called Episodes – each year. The current season is Season 7 and is looking at Blocks and Profiles. Season 1 started with the basics of warping and weaving your loom, Seasons 2 and 3 look at aspects of design and use plain weave predominately. Seasons 4 and 5 examine a number of different twill structures.
Note: Just to say I have no financial interest or relationship with Jane Stafford. I just found it useful so I'm personally recommending it to you.
While the course is designed to be taken season by season, episode by episode, there is nothing to prevent you from dipping in and out watching and weaving the techniques and structures that interest you at the time. Each episode usually consists of 3 video's - one where Jane explains the technical aspects of the structure; one where she is actually weaving the sample piece at the loom in real time; and one where she shows different woven samples that demonstrate the technique being considered.
Jane encourages playing at the loom and she suggests you put on enough of a warp to fully explore the topic after you've woven the sample piece. She will often suggest you try various different weft yarns, opening up the sett by re-sleying if necessary. A lot of her samples start with 8/2 cotton in warp and weft and then she often changes to a cotton boucle weft, enabling tea towels to turn into hand-towels and even bath towels! I had a little difficulty locating cotton boucle in the UK but now I have found a supplier and am really happy to say that is now available here at Fibrehut.
Available in 40+ colours this yarn is 100% cotton and comes on large 227gm/1051m cones. It works brilliantly as a weft with an 8/2 cotton warp sett at 14ends per inch (plain weave) and 16epi (twill). If used in both warp and weft you can sett at 12epi (plain weave) and 14epi (twill) for a fluffy bath towel.