In case you missed the title of this here post, let me just reiterate that this is not a weaving tutorial. This is more like a messy tale of that one time that I decided to make a huge wall hanging for my first ever weaving project and nearly jumped off a bridge in the process. But! It’s also a tale of perseverance and figuring things out and realizing that enjoying the process is maybe sometimes more important than a perfectly woven piece of art. So let’s talk about it.
I sat down three or four different times to try to write this out as a tutorial, but the truth is, I don’t feel like I have enough authority or expertise on the subject of weaving. If you’re interested in the details, we made our own loom by hammering four pieces of wood together and then drilling in screws 3/4″ apart on two of the sides. And as far as the weaving part, I used this tutorial for all of the techniques that I applied to the piece. But truly, this thing is kind of a Frankenstein’s monster of yarns, fibers, techniques, and faking it that accidentally came together into something that I truly love.
I wrote a little bit about it on Instagram, and I wanted to say it here too: it was interesting how discouraged I got during the first half of making this. We got the loom all built and then I strung on my warp, plus a couple of weft rows, so that it looked like this:
And at that point, I just about crumbled. It was a mixture of things, I think: lack of knowledge about the weaving process, lack of preparation and planning about what I actually wanted the piece to look like, and total overwhelm at the possibilities of color, texture, scale, and more. There are so many ways to do things, especially in a creative task. I’ll be honest, the first half of making this weaving was just a series of forced decisions, about each of which I felt self-conscious and unsure. For a couple of days, it was something that was just kind of lurking in the corner, waiting to be addressed, and something that I felt overwhelmed by and scared of.
And then a few things hit me. First, there is no wrong answer. So many times I go down rabbit holes of searching for the exact right answer to a creative question, and the trouble is that there isn’t one. The answer to any creative question is to know your mind and go forward. Just keep moving forward. And maybe you end up sometimes going backward later on to fix it, but that’s okay. That’s the process. Nothing is set in stone (unless you’re a stoneworker? 😉 ), and part of the beauty of error or changing your mind is that you learn something in the changing. About a technique, about your preferences, about yourself.
Another thing that hit me is that I don’t ever want anyone to feel that sense of overwhelm or stress as they’re trying to recreate something that we share here on the blog. Guys. That’s not the point! Our purpose is never to send you down a spiral of dread as you’re making. But I understand how easily they can come on. I was spiraling myself, after all. So if you ever happen to be recreating one of our tutorials and you get to that point of overwhelm, please reach out. We share here because there’s joy in it. Not because there’s perfection in it. So about halfway through the project, I set aside my expectation of perfection and even any hope of how it would turn out, and just let my fingers enjoy the process. I decided to just revel in the doing of it, and when I let go of all that, the joy came out of hiding and showed its cute little face. And for the second half of making this monster, I was truly loving the making.
And so. Here we are. With a Frankenstein weaving, a little insight, and NOT a weaving tutorial. I actually made this piece for the empty spot in our master bedroom above the window seat, but right now it’s hanging in the studio and she likes it there. We’ll see where she ends up for the long haul.
Whatever you’re creating today, I hope it brings you joy. xoxo