Dancing on the Loom: The Two Pedal Shift

August 11, 2008.  My right foot goes on the right pedal, and my left foot goes into position behind my right foot, a dance of balance and strength.  This presses one harness down so I can get the shuttle through the loom to bring my yarn across between the heddles.  Then, I do the same dance with my left foot and left pedal, back and forth, back and forth.  We are six people dancing on our looms, none of us synchronized.  We each have our own looms at which to work.  We have chosen our individual color palate from the hundreds of hanks of naturally dyed yarn that hang on the second floor of the Chavez workshop, and as we manipulate the warp and weft of the loom, we each have a unique pattern and variation that we are experimenting with.  None of the people attending this workshop are experienced, yet by the end of the first day they have achieved several inches of beautifully woven cloth.  Federico and Janet are constantly giving each individualized attention to help in the learning process, and soon there is a rhythm to the work, an exchange of ideas, laughter, experience.

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