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Yarnworker Weave-Alongs and School FAQ

From Lemons Come Weave-Alongs: How We Began

Weave-Alongs First Generation

Weave-Along Next Generation

How is this funded? (Hint, through your generosity!)

When Will The Next Weave-Along Happen?

How Is the School Progressing?

How Do I Keep Up-To-Date?


From Lemons Come Weave-Alongs: How We Began

weave-along!In the summer of 2016, I had one of those moments when you either can decide all is lost or lean in and have some fun with misfortune. For the first time, I shipped my sample projects for a teaching gig instead of hand-carrying them. Everything arrived safely and I had a grand time teaching new weavers to weave. The host and I carefully packed everything up and shipped it back.

When the box arrived, all seemed well enough, although the box seemed a little light. As I unpacked it, I noticed a few things missing, and then I saw the bottom of the box. It had been crushed and re-taped—about half the projects were missing! Apparently, there had been a train derailment (I’m told no one was hurt), and during the ensuing chaos, a bunch of my projects decided to make their escape.

I imagined them jumping from the train to pursue their dreams—the Bouquet Shawl hitched a ride in the nearest limo; the Simply Striped Rug flew off to find adventure; and the Doubleweave Throw is having a nice picnic somewhere with the Color-and-Weave Towels.

After a deep sigh and a few adult beverages, I made a list of the projects that I needed to reweave and then I invited folks to join me.


Weave-Alongs First Generation

In September of 2016, I started these weave-alongs on a total whim. They were very informal; we gathered in a private Facebook group and on the Yarnworker Ravelry page. I would throw out some dates, suggest a pattern that I wanted to reweave, and we would weave it together. Participants needed to purchase the pattern/video/book, gather their materials, and sometimes there was a kit or other yarn support. I also offered blog posts and videos to help supplement the project material. Soon, my project box was full again! Cheers to the lemonade crew!


Weave-Along Next Generation

Hosting these weave-alongs has been a transformative experience. For me personally, I found teaching online in this way deeply satisfying. There are lots of folks who don’t have access to a weaving teacher and I love helping folks past those stuck places from experiences I’ve gathered from teaching hundreds of weavers to weave.

Not having a real plan when I started, I also found myself and the weave-alongers really spread out. I began searching for one place that we could all hang out and have a more linear experience. In doing so, I found a number of sites that were devoted to self-hosted online learning experiences.  These platforms offered a great way to create a more linear experience and centralize our conversations.

Then I had a lightbulb moment. Wouldn’t an online school devoted to foundational rigid-heddle weaving be cool?  This way, rigid-heddle weavers could take a series of classes that would give them the skills to tackle any project their hearts desired with confidence. The Yarnworker School was born!


How is this funded?

In order to keep the weave-alongs going and build a school, I need some time off the road and seed money to make it happen, so I launched a Patreon campaign. (For a peek into the life of a weaving teacher, check out this rather long blog post.)

Through patrons’ generosity, we have made the first community-funded, virtual classroom for rigid-heddle weavers a reality!

Patreon is a way that content creators, bloggers, podcasters, independent publishers, and video makers such as myself, garner financial support from folks who benefit from the stuff they put out in the world. Rather than put a price tag on absolutely everything I do or put everything behind some sort of secret screen or loading up my content with affiliate links, I’ve asked readers for a small monthly contribution to fund this work. There are rewards for different levels of contribution. Patreon funders get a peek of behind-the-scenes updates and special offers and discounts on classes as a big THANK YOU for their support. They are the first to know everything!

Become a Patron!


When Will The Next Weave-Along Happen?

After we wrapped up the 20th Yarnworker Weave-Along, I pressed pause on the WALs while I finish up the next guide, A Rigid-Heddle Weaver’s Guide to Structures: Making Sense of a Multi-Heddle World due out at the end of 2024. In the meantime, the Yarnworker patrons and I are still meeting and working on a new study group on warping multiple heddles.

This summer, the patrons and I are testing a new platform named YarnworkerU. The public weave-alongs will return in this brand new home in the Fall of this year.


How Is the School Progressing?

The Yarnworker School has been up and running since 2017. In addition to hosting the weave-alongs, my goal was to create a series of foundational online classes for rigid-heddle weavers. With Patreon support we did it!  In addition to the weave-alongs the school offers  a series of project you will be able to master the know-how to enable you to weave the cloth you want. There are six classes available now, Why This Loom, Weaving 101: The Basics Weaving 201: Colorwork, Weaving 202: Indirect WarpingWeaving 301: Pick-Up, and Weaving 302: Swatching.

(Don’t know what a rigid heddle loom is? Check out this FAQ or take this free class that walks you through choosing a loom and makes the case for the rigid heddle.)

Keep in mind, that all of this is mostly me, my cameras, my faithful dogs Azul and Lucy, and the know-how I’ve picked up over the years. I also have support from a terrific group of contractors.

I thank you in advance for your patience and good humor. We have a new home coming in the Fall of 2024, which will add a lot of features the Patreon community has been asking for.


How Do I Keep Up-To-Date?

Becoming a Patreon is the best way to keep current on the happenings. You may also want to hop on the Yarnworker mailing list. I send out a robust monthly newsletter with Yarnworker happenings and weaving news of interest. I’ll periodically update this page as things are happening.

I am so grateful for everyone who has joined me on this journey. Whether you have been with me since the very beginning or are just joining in, you are most welcome. I thank you for your support, your patience, your enthusiasm, and most of all, your willingness to learn together.

Let’s weave!

Liz

P.S. As this project gets passed around, you may not be familiar with me or my work. You can read more about me here.

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