ABOUT THE LOOM SHED
We are truly excited to introduce you to The Loom Shed. It’s a place where you can learn, inspire and be inspired, be serious, be playful, chat and drink tea. Kick off your shoes and feel at home.
The Loom Shed was born of an idea to create a hub for all textile activities, but also a place to bring the fibre community together. You will find regular weaving, knitting and crochet workshops, then each term we will have a theme to offer you seminars, short courses, talks and sales days.
There will be something for the complete beginner, to those looking for their next challenge. If you’re wondering if you could try Fair Isle knitting, double cloth weaving, nuno felting or natural dyeing we can help.
If you’re looking for some time out, we are true believers in the mental health benefits of crafts. It’s a moment to stop and focus on one thing. It’s rare that you’ll find us without a project on the go.
We hope that you’re excited too. Come and join us.
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Read on for more about Louise Cottey and Liz Croft.
The team behind The Loom Shed.
Introducing the craft to new weavers is a joy, once you get past the amount of time it takes to set up a 4 shaft loom, the possibilities open up before you and you realise the wealth of possibilities that weaving brings. It’s a perfect combination of the creative and the logical sides of your brain.
Weaving also has a meditative quality, like many crafts, it requires focus, concentration and patience and you fall into the ‘flow’ of passing the shuttle to and fro, lifting and lowering shafts, beating the weft into place. Time often flies by, but you feel in ‘the moment’. The joy of cutting off a piece of fabric is wonderful too. Suddenly you realise that you’ve woven 2 metres and it’s actually pretty good! It’s a huge morale boost.
I graduated with my BA(hons) in woven textiles from the then, Surrey Institute of Art and Design, (now UCA Farnham) in 1997. Then to support my interest in teaching, I graduated with a Cert. Ed in 2002. I worked initially for Coldharbour Mill, the Devon Adult Education before setting up my own weaving course in 2009.
My weaving life has taken me through design jobs, interesting commissions and creating my own collections of scarves, wraps and blankets. Whilst motherhood has slowed my weaving production rate, you will be able to find my work at contemporary craft fairs around the country.
I love yarn, be it wool, cotton, lurex and even the odd sequin (ok maybe more than the odd one). It’s not unusual for me to plan a trip to a yarn shop whenever we go on holiday.
I learnt to knit in childhood and used it to make it through all the exams I did, right through to the end of my university finals. It wasn’t billed as mindfulness then, but that’s what it was. I had a bit of a hiatus with all things yarn related when I started work – marketing for Barclays. Hindsight tells me I would probably have enjoyed it more if I had kept knitting.
I started again when I had my son 15 years ago – amazing my husband that I’d made a jumper out of string! Knitting became my go to me time and eventually I taught myself to crochet as I could do that whilst holding a sleeping child. I’m now not likely to find a handbag without a crochet hook in it. In fact crochet and yarn would be up there on any desert island list.
Between 2012 and 2014, I ran a drop-in knitting/ crochet group at the Hub on the Green in Exeter. This was my first experience of teaching others and something that I really enjoyed. In 2015, I found Louise’s weaving classes at Coldharbour Mill. It was a proper lightbulb moment combining my maths background and yarn. So much so that, Louise asked me to be her teaching maternity cover in 2017.
For me the best thing about teaching, is sharing a skill that is so useful. It’s a great moment when someone makes their first jumper, or knits in the round for the first time, or even just remembers how to cast on again alone.
That meeting and shared enthusiasm for all things textiles teaching has given us the opportunity to create The Loom Shed.