DianeMiss Minnie, do you plan out your designs before you begin?

MinnieYes, we do. We have tracing paper and we put it on, what do you call it, graph papers, and we put our designs on them to make sure that we have the right-we call these "stitches" like we do knitting.

DianeIt's where other weavers would call this warp, you call that "stitching".


DianeInteresting. You're joining wool right now. In some weaving traditions, they knot the wool, but you do not knot the wool.

MinnieNo, I don't.

DianeDoes that make a better blanket?


DianeAnd the wool just stays from the tension?

MinnieYeah, it's on solid, there's no knots.

DianeHow do you compact the wool? Do you force it down at all, or is it-

Minnie-no. I just use my fingers in between. This here warp is wide, but traditionally we have them really close together. But you were saying that you're wanting to learn, so we use a wider warp. We have it apart so it's easier for you to learn how to weave, and once you learn, you make your own and put it closer together.

DianeI see. When your wool comes to the edge, and it's very very thin, I noticed that you somewhat overlapped it.


DianeDoes that create a problem?

MinnieNo, it doesn't. If you think it's too thin, you just take a little chunk of wool, and wrap it around with that, just like this, and then you wrap it around too, when you're twisting it.

DianeOkay, excellent. Does this ever collapse?


DianeDoes the center, the center never collapse?


DianeWhen you go to start creating a pattern, do you pull the wool apart and start weaving back, or you take it off?

MinnieNo, when you start, when you want to create a pattern, you can go just so far and leave the center part, and then you go back and forth here, and then you work this the same way. You go back and forth, and then, whatever colour you're using, you use that to go back and forth like a diamond, or-

Diane-so you wouldn't necessarily go the full length.

MinnieNo, no.

DianeDoes that create a ridge?

MinnieNo, not really. It all depends on how you'd be doing it yourself. Like when you stop here, I can go back here.

DianeIn some traditions, we would call that a "lazy line".

MinnieOh, maybe you do, I don't know. And then, you see, you start here, and then you start here again.

DianeDoes at any time you interlock the colours?

MinnieNo. You do the one colour, you just keep doing it the same way as I am doing, and then weaving it, like I just add on to it if I haven't got enough colour.

DianeSo the pressure of the wool as it builds up makes sure that there is no holes.


DianeIt seems easier to go from right to left.

MinnieYes, it does.

DianeIs that, have you done a different technique?

MinnieNo, there's lot of people will do it in another way. They make the wool go under, and it makes it look like a braid. Your work looks like a braid, but that's not traditional. Because I'm really fussy, I make them take it apart again. The right way is this way to do, like the Salish weavers have done it in the early days.

DianeI would be taking it apart a lot!


DianeIs there any other weaves that are traditional?

MinnieA lot of them do the herringbone. That gets a zigzag pattern right through.

DianeAnd do you ever do that?

MinnieYes, I've made blankets with them.

DianeDo you have to set up your "stitches" differently?

Minnie"Warp," yes, it has to be a lot, and takes quite a bit, and then when it's too small, you make it the length way. If your loom is not big enough, even that one is too small, but you can make it length's ways, and finish it that way. That's what I did with that blanket.

DianeOh, okay! Fabulous! Well, thank you so much, I know I'm going to learn a lot here. Thank you so much for teaching me.

MinnieYou're welcome!

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