Posted by: bschutzgruber | September 4, 2021

AGWSD Summer School 2021: The Covid Edition (part 2)

Day 1 – Monday

Julie Hedges, our instructor, gave us a series of samples to work on. Working with a 3 ply cotton cord with 2 plies in one color and 1 ply in a contrasting color made it easier to become familiar with the tool, a gripfid, and the technique of Plain Oblique Twining (POT). One of interesting aspects is the front and back show different colors creating a double cloth. I did OK plugging along in the morning session with the first 3 samples. Learning how to read the patterns would take time but I was getting the hang of the concept.

After lunch we began working on 2 more samples to create POTholes (Ah yes… the humor found in ply split braiding!)

Again, I did OK with Sample #4 but Sample #5 was more complex using a darner to create hexagon openings. Wrapping my brain around this technique was NOT a smooth process! I put in rows…then took them out….did rows again….then took them out. By the end of the afternoon I at least was able to see when I had not done things correctly but I did not have solid understanding as to where I was going wrong. Time to take a break!

The evening program ‘From Spitalfields to East Anglia’ was a talk by Mary Schoeser, an Honoary Senior Reseach Fellow at the V&A Museum, studying 19th century Spitalfield’s silks.

Day 2 – Tuesday

With fresh eyes I took on the hexagon shapes and FINALLY got it!!

After lunch we moved on to working with wool to make a small 3″ base diameter mat. Working with the thicker wool was definitely different from working with the tighter twist cotton. We learned how to add cords which expand the overall size and shape and how to lock the edge so it will not unravel.

The evening talk was given by weaver Melanie Venes, who was teaching the Double Weave course. ‘Design Matters: from tea towels to chocolate teapots’ examined at the role of design, sampling and record keeping in the projects we do.

Day 3 – Wednesday

At the midweek point and a 1/2 day for instruction, we started winding our own cords for the next project – a larger circle using the hexagon pattern. I used rug weight wool for this next project.

The afternoon was a field-trip to relax the braincells and recharge. I took the pre-booked trip to the RHS Garden Hyde Hall, a fabulous botanical garden.

The evening program was the fashion show. It is always great to see what everyone has been working on, especially the ‘Covid Lockdown’ projects. I brought my “Two Sides to Every Story: A Functional Covid Art Mask” and my newly completed just-in-time-to-bring-with-me “Back-to-Back Jacket – 4 Years in the Making from a Romney Fleece”. (I’ll be writing about the making of the felt jacket in an upcoming blogpost once I have lining completed.)

And best of all… I gave a storytelling performance to a wonderfully LIVE audience after 17 months of only telling stories via Zoom!

To be continued…


  1. Your jacket is gorgeous can hardly wait to hear more about it. Sounds like you have been exercising your brain cells with the twinning class.

    • Thanks, Barb. Ply Split Braiding definitely challenged my braincells! I am glad to say that by the end of the week everything clicked.

  2. You are something else! Awesome

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