The Student Inspires the Teacher

I planned to make this table runner
Handwoven magazine Jan/Feb 2014
for our Cherished Neighbor Liz

Handwoven January/February 2014

BUT I thought I’d better check
to see if she liked it first

SO I figured out a sneaky way
to work it into a conversation.

I casually showed her the picture
to get her opinion on the project,

BUT to my surprise, she said she would love
to learn to weave sometime,

SO I offered to give her lessons
(with the understanding that she would most likely
end up the subject of a blog post).

I went to the yarn store to get four more skeins
of the sari ribbon

BUT I just couldn’t choose

SO I bought eleven!

Sari ribbon.

Sari ribbon.  (This is what’s left after we both made runners.)

The pattern in the magazine used silk warp

BUT I thought that was too expensive
(after all, I had just spent a lot of money on the weft!)

SO I used black 10/2 cotton instead,
doubled in the warp for extra strength,
single for the weft so as not to overpower
the silk colors.

I wove mine first, to be sure everything would go smoothly
for the lesson.  I used some of the more muted colors,
and it came out pretty well!

Hit-or-miss table runner from silk sari ribbon.

Hit-or-miss table runner from silk sari ribbon.

Liz came over for her lesson.
I thought I would have her weave just
a few inches of tabby,
and probably, like all new weavers,
she would have some trouble with tension and selvedges —

BUT she would soon get the hang of it,
and would want to pull that faulty part out
before going on to the “real” project

SO I started her off with some just scrap yarn —
5/2 yellow and then red cotton.

I had visions of dispensing lots of weaving wisdom
and calling her “grasshopper”
while she slowly achieved the basic skills.

BUT she got the hang of it very quickly, and
every shot looked consistent from the start!

SO I missed out on any opportunity
to utter pithy and sage proverbs.

It was time to advance into the main project —
one shot of thin cotton weft alternating with
one row of sari ribbon.  I had thought she would choose
“safe” colors since this was her first project

BUT she went with jewel tones.
She didn’t want to unweave a single precious row
of the tabby section she had done in red,

SO she decided to continue the red thread
into the pick-and-pick section with the sari ribbon.

I secretly thought the red cotton
would be too thick and bright
to go well with the jewel-toned
sari ribbon,

BUT it was her project after all

SO I let her try it.


A glowing runner brought cheer to a dreary week.

A glowing runner brought cheer to a dreary week.

Poof!  There went my dream of myself as the Wise Weaver.
I couldn’t believe that I had not even thought
to try such a colorful combination!
It looked so good just on the loom
that I had selfish thoughts about leaving it there forever
just to improve the looks of the loom.

BUT there is always another warp,
after all.

SO I summoned up my better self,
helped her finish it,
and even let her take it home.  🙂

Almost done...

Almost done…

Seeing the complete runner for the first time.

Seeing the complete runner for the first time.

The first project of many.

The first project of many.

The gorgeous table runner.

The gorgeous table runner.  I wonder if it will magically turn up as the header in this blog.

Detail showing the red cotton in the picks between the silk ribbons.

Detail showing the red cotton in the picks between the silk ribbons.

After just a few more lessons
that little loom itself may follow her home,
and then I’ll have room for the big loom in the house!