Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weaving Music

When I teach beginning weaving, I like to suggest to students that instead of listening to their ipods, that they listen to the music of weaving. You get a lot of feedback about your work from the sounds of the weaving--it tells you about your rhythm, which can affect the beat of your weft; it tells you about the smoothness of the weft winding off the bobbin; it can tell you if a metal heddle hook falls off of a pedal. The other day, our 30th anniversary, we decided to change our dining room curtains. I had woven some plain weave linen yardage awhile back, and as an anniversary present, I brought the cloth downstairs to make into curtains. I had three lengths--a white linen, a dark natural linen, and a light tan linen. None of them was long enough to cover the window area, but all together they just fit. At least, they fit until Mark dyed the white fabric in tea and coffee and it shrunk. So I decided to weave some more of the light tan linen yardage, which was a narrower band than the other two.

As I was winding my warp, the warping reel was making loud cacophonous sound and no amount of spray silicon could silence it. Suddenly I got inspired to make a video of this "musical." Mark obliged me by being the cameraman, but when we downloaded it we discovered our digital camera does not have a sound component. I was crestfallen and returned to winding the warp, when it occurred to me that my computer could record sound. I didn't have a clue where to begin, but a few words in google and I was able to read enough about imovie to get started. We recorded the sound and Mark made several videos, and then I assembled everything in imovie, then converted it to a quick time clip. Here it is, my first movie!

Winding Warp Musical

Today, while weaving, I realized the music of the loom was much softer; kinder to the ears. I heard the sounds of the weft unreeling from the bobbin, the sounds of the beater moving the weft into place, the sounds of the heddles moving--especially when I wound the warp forward. So I asked Mark to work with me again, and we made the following movie--Weaving Plain Weave.

Plain Weave Musical

The opening at BigTown Gallery yesterday was lovely. I was thrilled to see my weaving Crabapple on the front wall as you enter the gallery. It was a very festive, happy occasion, lots of wishes placed in the Wishing Wall, and later at our house home made pizza (Mark the chef). Definitely delicious.


  1. Bhakti - several years ago a boy of 10 once listened to me weaving for about fifteen minutes and then walked over to tell me that he could hear the music. His comment gave me such a thrill!! I wish I knew what he is doing now -

  2. congratulations on your 30th!
    i used to weave to the sound of music, but ever since coming back from my trip to japan i weave in silence listening to the loom's music and my own thoughts.

  3. Love it!
    Thanks for recording and sharing. Happy anniversary to you both.

  4. I love the sound of weaving! The winding the warp....not so much. So the sounds match how I feel about the activities too! Thanks for sharing.

  5. These sounds are a rhythm to any weaver's ear! Thank you for fun!

  6. what a lovely thing jean shared.