Posted by Amanda on 24th Aug 2016

Q&A With Deborah Jarchow

Deborah Jarchow Weaving Workshop at the Raging Wool Shop in Pembroke Pines

Get your pen, calendar, notepad, or phone out now – whatever you use to make reminders for yourself. We here at Raging Wool Shop are gearing up for our Weekend Weaving Workshop and we don’t want you to miss it. Ready? Ok, circle Sept. 30 through Oct. 2, 2016. That’s when nationally known weaving instructor Deborah Jarchow, seen at right, will come to our shop to teach three classes. (Remember, our Early Booking Bonus only runs through August - see our registration page for more information.)

We want you to get to know Deborah a little bit before the Weaving Weekend, so we sat down (at our computer) and asked her a few questions. Do you have questions for Deborah? Comment below and we’ll get them answered!

Q: Hello! In doing some research for this Q&A, I’ve read a few accounts of your leaving the corporate world and having weaving slowly take over your home and your hobby time. Can you describe how important weaving is to you or why weaving has this big place in your life?

I’d always enjoyed some sort of fiber activity like embroidery, needlepoint, sewing, knitting or crochet. The idea of weaving intrigued me but I couldn’t find any way to learn except from books. I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on equipment as I wasn’t sure I’d have a sustained interest. When I finally found someone who could teach me and I could rent equipment from, it was a happy day. After the initial lesson I knew I was hooked, found a small loom for myself and haven’t ever looked back. Weaving combines my love of fiber with my passion for color blending. So many of my interests come together - design, creativity, problem solving and so much more. I love the methodical way a piece progresses and how sometimes it turns out not at all like I envisioned. The more I weave I realize how much more there is to discover. It never gets old.

Deborah Jarchow Weaving Workshop at the Raging Wool Shop

Q: At the Raging Wool Weaving Weekend we’re offering three classes: Dishtowels, special and decorative textures in a scarf, and a two-day class on using two heddles. Is there a theme to these classes, do they build on each other?

They don’t specifically build on each other but they each build a set of skills. Each class teaches particular techniques that can be combined for future projects.

Q: I’ve watched your interviews on the HeartOfTheArtist YouTube channel from a few years back, and you talk about the enjoyment you get from weaving. What’s the best piece of advice you have for your beginning students who aren’t as comfortable with the process yet, and who might be more apt to be frustrated than zen-like?

It’s important to enjoy the process and not expect perfection in the beginning. Even someone that is a master knitter may be a beginning weaver. It’s sometimes difficult to not achieve the level of expertise they might be used to with their knitting. Slow down and admire the yarn, the loom, and the feel of the cloth as it comes together. Enjoy a new way of playing with fiber.

Q: Do you have a tip for advanced weavers, like a secret you’d share about weaving or a special technique?

Again, enjoy the process. Whenever I try a new technique or work to develop a new pattern, I know the first effort is not going to be my masterpiece. I allow for the project to perhaps have some surprises in store for me.

Q: Let’s talk color selection – how important do you think it is, and how do you instruct students when picking out supplies for a class?

Play with colors you enjoy. And use yarn that feel good to you. Sometimes it’s fun to throw in an unexpected color just to try something new. I do enjoy helping people pick colors to use for their projects so I’d be happy to give anyone a hand if they have doubts.

Q: There’s a lot to learn in a weaving workshop. Is there a central theme or one specific technique that, I you can teach a student nothing else, you hope they come away with?

Most new students beat too hard, so if I can help people overcome that, it’s a good thing. Along with that, helping people know about weaving the right density cloth for the specific project is something of real value.

Q: Outside of yarn, looms, new students, and four days of instructing weavers, what are you looking forward to on your visit to South Florida?

Gosh, that’s already so much to look forward to!

Q: Is there anything you’d like to say to the weavers coming to the classes here, or who may be pondering whether to sign up?

Immersing yourself in successive weaving classes for a few days is a great way to jump start your skills. It gives you an opportunity to reinforce things you learn and practice good weaving habits in a supportive environment. Advantages of taking classes are seeing how to deal with unexpected things in your weaving and learning how to fix mistakes. Many times my students say the little things they learn in class are some of the most valuable instruction they receive. We always have a great time!

We hope you've enjoyed getting to know Deborah. We hope to see you at the workshop! Click here for more information or to register for our Weekend Weaving Workshop.