Members of the Reno Fiber Guild have been eagerly anticipating a workshop with Betty Vera on weaving with neutral colors. The workshop had been planned for nearly a year and the three day weaving extravaganza in November came and went all too soon.
There were 16 students in the class, each with a loom they had warped according to Betty's instructions. Each person used a different threading which was capable of being interpreted in 6 different ways with treadling and color variations.
Weavers started by weaving on their own warped loom, then rotated to another loom for a grand "round robin". The goal was to weave seventeen samples for each of 6 treadling sequences on every loom. Some looms got all the samples woven, and some looms turned out to be very labor intensive and didn't produce as many different samples. The color surprises were everywhere and from time to time, Betty did a grand tour and talked about what was happening on each loom.
A five color gradation in the warp sets off a variety of overshot patterns. This warp was one of the most spectacularly successful in the workshop
Nathalie weaving a lace sample from one of Else Regensteiner's books.
In the photo to the right, Betty discusses the progress of a sample with Kathy. Betty encouraged weavers to interpret the weft color selections she had outlined with their own eye and gut feelings. Weavers were often asked to pick a weft color that they would never ordinarily use.
Betty put together this mixing of neutral yarns with an explanation about how they could change the appearance of the woven cloth. Very good advice and ideas for future projects.
Summer and Winter samples gave amazing results with a warp using black and four different shades of gray.
The photo to the right and the one below show more repeats of the lovely Maltese Cross overshot pattern threading with different treadling sequences and different colors.
Suzanne is engrossed weaving an 8 shaft intermittent twill from G. H. Oelsner
Four shaft crackle (with tabby) taken from Mastering Weave Structures by Alderman
Darla is deep in concentration as she weaves samples on an unfamiliar loom.
This is one of the intermittent twill samples. The warp was a gradation of 6 cold grays.
Gloria and Kathy share the good light coming in through the window at the Wolf Run Golf Course Community room where the workshop was held.
Cheri and Shelley cutting up samples to share
Now, as we look at the fading landscape in late fall, our eyes are drawn to all those lovely grays and browns. Color we used to shun are now eagerly embraced for future weaving projects. Thank you, Betty, for changing the way we look at and use neutrals!