Posted by: lavernewaddington | January 10, 2017

Backstrap Weaving – A Highland Holiday

I am heading up to the highlands for a quick visit with Dorinda, my weaving teacher Maxima and other weavers in the co-op. It will be nice to escape the lowland heat and humidity and breathe some mountain air although the mountains are in their rainy season and so there won’t be any lack of moisture. I just hope the bus doesn’t get stuck anywhere along the way.

Dorinda with the weaving group at Huancarani - what a gorgeous area she is working in!

Dorinda with the weaving group at Huacarani – what a gorgeous area she is working in!

So I won’t be around for my Thursday night post. I thought I would give you a quick update today on the long long silk warp that I recently set up.

Here it is off the warping stakes and with coil rod installed….

long silk warp in living room backstrap weaving

Starting to make the continuous string heddles…

making heddles long silk warp backstrap weaving

And now, I have the first bit of heavy-duty pick-up patterning finished. I did a reversible 3-color pebble weave pattern with motifs in supplementary weft on the side. The three colors are brown, gold and red. On this face, the gold separates the brown and red. On the other face, the brown and red end up being adjacent. This gives a much bolder look. I prefer this face which is much more delicate.

silk 3 coloe pebble weave backstrap weavingI am going to simplify the pattern for the body of this piece so I can move along much faster and then I will duplicate this 3-color pebble pattern at the other end. The 3-color pick-up is quite slow but it’s amazing how quickly I got into this new rhythm and pace. It soon started to feel quite ”normal”.

After winding the warp and then sitting at my loom to look all the way down its length, I had experienced quite a few ”What was I thinking?” moments as I contemplated the amount of time it was going to take to weave this project. But now that it is underway and I am pleased with the way it looks, I am calm and content and looking forward to planning each new section. I did some backing up when my color arrangement wasn’t coming out well and un-wove a 1/2” before getting back on track.

I’ll finish this section with some gold weft-twining before moving on.

I took a break from this to weave some small pieces in 3/2 cotton for a project which must remain under wraps for now. After having worked with the 60/2 silk thread, the 3/2 felt like thick sausages in my hands! It was lovely to be able to zoom along on those for a couple of evenings.

So, I’ll have some time away and lots of bus hours to think about what comes next. There certainly won’t be any lack of color inspiration when I get to meet up with Maxima and the other weavers and see what they have been creating lately with all their gorgeous naturally-dyed hand spun wool.

cochabamba bandsI’ll tell you all about it when I get back.





  1. Beautiful! Have fun on your trip!

  2. Happy New Year, Laverne! Safe travels, and happy weaving in that beautiful place!

  3. So gorgeous! You’ve outdone yourself, again :). The colors are marvelous.

  4. Gracias! como siempre

  5. beautiful your current big project! enjoy the highlands xx anna

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