04 December 2012

Weaving for Small Business Saturday

In addition to being a small business the participated in Small Business Saturday, we were also customers. One of my favorite, local eye candy stores is Elsie's Discount Roving. Elsie has wool roving that I use to felt my soaps and she also spins yarn and weaves with Pendleton Wool. I love color and texture and I could spend hours gazing at the amazing color combinations. 
Elsie offers a DIY Class where you can weave your own rug. I have always been curious and after stopping at her shop on Small Business Saturday, I signed myself and the girls up for the class.
Some of Elsie's Pendleton Wool Rugs

 We got to use a loom hand made by Elsie and Jack (her husband of 38 years). Elsie said she learned weaving from a book almost 30 years ago. I can't imagine warping one loom (threading the yarn that goes up and down) and they have 5!
The nice thing about weaving was that the girls and I were able to work together. The hardest part was picking a color, but we did find one we could all agree on.
At first Jack showed us what we needed to get started. Then, Elsie would wind my shuttles full of new wool for me to weave. The girls kept us all entertained by singing songs and showing Elsie & Jack their magic tricks.

Elise passing the shuttle through the warp.

 The weft is the material that you push through the warp with the shuttle. The reed is the wooden piece you pull back or beat the weft with to compact it into snug rows. The girls were able to help me with both of these jobs. We practiced taking turns and working together; with a 4 and 5 year old these are important concepts.

Beating the weft with the reed.
I love being able to see the process of taking strips of wool or cloth and turning it into something solid. It's amazing.
Counting, cutting and tying off the warp for the next rug.

Our finished rug was a group effort.
 See Elise's bag? Well, it's full of scraps that I'm supposed to use to knit her cousin a scarf! That's my thoughtful girl...
Elise making sure our rug is the right size.

Camille taking it all in.
 Camille said her favorite part was, "pulling that down." (aka beating the weft). Elise's favorite part was, "that we got some strings (her wool scrap stash), we got to eat and see the kitties." My favorite part was taking a day during my busy time and spending it with my girls without TV and phone interruptions. We all walked away with a full brain and happy hearts.

Our finished rug!
Yes, there is an Elise and an Elsie and a Jill and a Jack in this post!
You can find Elsie's Discount Roving at 4210 NE HWY 101, Depoe Bay, OR. 541-764-3997 or chiavarioelsie@yahoo.om
Happy day,

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