Creative talents, like houseplants and celebrities, wilt without proper attention. Flourish your creative ability with today’s Groupon to The Weaving Shed in Sterling. Check the website for class times. Choose from the following options:
For $17, you get a four-hour basket-weaving workshop (a $35 value). Groupon holders must pay an additional material fee of $15.<p>
For $20, you get a one-day inkle-weaving workshop (a $40 value). Groupon holders must pay an additional material fee of $15.<p>
For $30, you get a three-week session of rigid heddle-weaving workshops (a $60 value).<p>
Groupon holders must pay an additional material fee of $37+.
The expert entwiners at The Weaving Shed foster a love of handiwork with classes that teach students to craft baskets and garments and to use inkle and rigid heddle looms. During a four-hour basket-weaving workshop, weavers of all skill levels craft 8-inch braided-rim baskets in either plain, beaded, or dyed styles that can tote knick-knacks or cradle a newborn squirrel. Instructors teach students to weave narrow items such as belts and bookmarks in three-hour inkle-weaving workshops. Three-week sessions of rigid heddle-weaving classes familiarize pupils with knitter’s looms, which students may take home for practice in between lessons. Instructors impart skills such as direct warping and two-shaft tabby-weave structures and students complete two to three projects over the course of the lessons. Various classes accommodate six to eight participants, ensuring students receive ample instructor attention to ask questions or create student-teacher secret handshakes.
The Weaving Shed
The rigid heddle loom is a relatively simple machine. Jennifer Baum, The Weaving Shed's owner and a juried fiber artist, likes it because a beginning student can set it up and start a scarf within 45 minutes. Along with the loom's simplicity, Jen appreciates the therapeutic value of its rhythmic, back-and-forth cadence. As students work the loom to steadily pull fiber threads into a hand-woven item, they also shed the stress of their day. Jen sees these transformations—both in the progress of the project and the demeanor of the student—as she guides the technique and lends tips to the up to eight students that attend each class in the newly-expanded studio.
Along with classes, The Weaving Shed also spearheads a Farm to Yarn program with local farms. The natural or hand-dyed sheep's wool or alpaca fleece becomes a sustainable, specialty fiber for weaving, knitting, felting, crotchet, and spinning projects. This interest in cultivating local fibers hits especially close to Jen's home, AKA Sunny Knoll Farm, where, with her husband and children, she helps raise an ever-growing alpaca herd. She describes the alpaca as a very "zen-lifestyle animal," even though scientific journals refer to them as "respiring shag carpets." Along with laughing at the "fun family adventure" that the experience has been, she also praises the hypoallergenic qualities of the fleece and its 22 naturally occurring colors.