Well, I managed to get there despite the cough and I've had a fabulous two days at the Saori Shed in Diss, Norfolk. I'd never been to Diss before and was pleasantly surprised to find a really lovely market town with many historical buildings and houses and a beautiful mere (lake) in the middle of the town park. Unfortunately I didn't have time to be much of a tourist so I don't have photographs except for one of the market on Friday morning.
The church sits on a hill above the market place, higher than it looks in this photo. The Saori Shed was past the market and up the hill to the left, a bit of a challenge first thing in the morning!
The Saori Shed sits within what used to be a department store in Diss which now houses Designer Makers @21. The atmosphere is welcoming and friendly and people were popping in all day although I was so busy there wasn't time to chat other than with Kim and the fellow weavers. Kim was a great teacher and also a great supplier of a constant supply of tea!
My aim in taking the workshop was to discover as much as I could about different techniques as well as getting the feel of using a floor loom. By way of keeping the techniques in my memory I'm going to record them here. ( I'm short on photos so may come back and edit this tomorrow).
Above, I learned how to make a window in the weave and will be wrapping the groups of warp currently adjacent to the yellow which don't have any yarn on them. The area to the right above the window has an additional warp added in and you can pull that warp to one side to make a detail.
You add the additional warp from cones placed behind the loom.
I liked the effect in the orange area which was achieved by tensioning the warp behind the heddle. It's either a two man job or you can achieve the effect with a rod. The pink and blue yarn above this area was made using the bobbin winder. It's a bit fiddly but fun to make and very random in its result.
Equally this chevron effect was achieved by winding two yarns together on the bobbin winder and then reversing the direction of wind.
Over the course of the two days I managed to produce the piece above which is about 6 feet long. It is purely a collection of techniques and won't be made into anything.
The Saori Shed is an inspirational space for a new weaver with lots of lovely yarns to tempt you and Kim's work hanging on the walls to inspire.
I didn't get time to try this effect but know how to go about it and I really like it for a different finish to a scarf or even clothing.
Of course, some of you will probably be wondering whether I've already ordered myself a Saori loom, being the impetuous type. Weeeeeeeell! Actually, no, not yet. That's not to say I won't ,but for once I'm taking my time. Watch this space!
PS I stayed a short walk way from the centre at Cobwebs Bed and Breakfast on Fair Green. I hadn't realised I was staying in such illustrious company. If you follow this link you can see the owner of the B&B I stayed at, a valued member of the Diss community She has the nost beautiful black cat too and a beautiful home, a perfect base for a short break which I hope we night take before too long. Diss is definitely worth a second visit.