Monday, April 27, 2009

Preschool weaving.

Hey, I'm back! I spent half of my free time last week weaving with the kids at Charlotte's preschool and the other half playing Pet Society on Facebook. In fact, last night I sewed the final seam on this pillow WHILE playing Pet Society. I think this might explain why I am not as productive as some people ....

This was a very fun project. I warped up my two-harness table loom (seen here) with orange and yellow pearl cotton, and took in an assortment of yarns for weft. They included lots of novelty fringe & fuzzy yarns, some soft worsted wools, and some sport weight cotton left over from the Blue / Magenta vest.

It was interesting to see what the kids picked. Many liked the eyelash & furry yarns, and expressly commented on the changing colors. Others wanted a smooth yarn in a solid color. Some really liked the soft, soft, soft purple acrylic. Not one child chose the exact same fuzzy yarn in white.

I did this last year as well, though I see I never blogged about it. It was a wonderful experience for me and a lot of fun for the kids, too, as far as I can tell. Last year we wove a scarf-sized piece of fabric -- 6-8 inches wide is plenty for little hands -- and I turned it into the bag that goes home with a school puppet every night. This year I thought we might make a pillow for their library corner.

Each weaver signed the back (some added drawings as well). The kids range in age from 3 to 5, and their manual skills vary pretty widely, too, but all of them were able to weave successfully. In fact, when I took the loom to a park playdate on Friday to finish up the warp, I wove with a not-quite-two year old, who was then able to explain the process to someone else ("turn this").

In general, 3 and some 4 year olds need a lot of assistance -- steady reminding about the next step; many 4 year olds can chug along fine with only the occasional reminder, and five year olds and older just need help changing yarns and advancing the warp. But that's a broad generalization. Helping the individual kids was just fascinating; they all approached it a little differently. Several had woven last year and remembered it well. Some kids wanted to weave for a few minutes and were then done with it; others came back every day for another turn.

Here Charlotte demonstrates the size of the finished pillow.

The color interactions really intrigue me. I like to use two different colors in the warp to help the kids know whether or not they have changed the shed, but it can make for a speckledy result. Here, though, the orange has receded in most places.

And all those fuzzy, furry, hairy novelty yarns are pretty tame in the final product. That bumpy blue yarn adds the only really contrasting note; without it I think the pillow would be kind of boring.

Off to school -- where I hope to get a picture of me with the weavers!

1 comment:

Caroline M said...

I think you are right about the blue, I'd have left that out and the final result would not have been as good. You've got me thinking now about a floor cushion I have that could do with a new cover..