My Wonderful Turned Weft Ikat Adventure with Bonnie
by Linda LaMay
After meeting Bonnie at our Weaving Guild Meeting, and having seen so many of the beautiful Ikat treasures she brought to share, I eagerly signed up for a three day workshop. But as the day approached I worried that being a new weaver, and having never dyed any fiber, perhaps this class was going to be way beyond me. Was I ever wrong!
From the first hour of our workshop on Friday to the last on Sunday, Bonnie guided and encouraged us and freely shared her amazing wealth of knowledge. I learned how to wrap fiber with plastic as a resist technique, and to actually dye, dry and wind the fiber into balls to facilitate easy warping.
The most amazing step for me was learning how to arrange these lovely stands of color and pattern into a design of my own creation. Bonnie taught us to work in “phrases” or small groupings of yarn, to create groupings of 1 ½ to 3 inches of warp. By concentrating on a small section at a time, it was easy to get beautiful design elements which could easily be arranged and re-arrange until the perfect pattern emerged!
As I watched my towels grow on the loom, I was absolutely amazed at how much I had learned and how beautiful my towels turned out. I can’t wait to try this technique again.
“One of the problems I face when traveling to teach a workshop is I go home and never know if the students ever finish their projects, what challenges they faced in the process, or how the weaving came out.”
So here it is. I’ve taken 2 seminars or workshops with you at the So Calif Handweaver’s conference. At Visalia last year I took Bonnie’s the easy ikat and I did finish my scarf. It goes great with a denim jacket so that’s how I photographed it.
A few years earlier I took one of your color workshops, find the colors within maybe? We did the cut up magazine collages and I still have my little collages. But what I really came away with was the realization that I had been consistently too quiet with my colors. So I decided I had to use black, red and purple. I did 2 smallish tapestries, one became part of a large unwieldy knitted bag.