The other day, I asked a friend for some suggestions on how to design something in spot bronson, a weave that combines plain weave with spots of lace. I’m not very experienced with lace weaves and I want to make some placemats without directly using a design from a book or a magazine. I have several shades of red mercerized cotton that will shine in a spot bronson weave, so those are the colors in the draft. (That’s one project.)
These placemats are to go with some point twill napkins I’m currently weaving. The warp has enough for 12 napkins. The first four have a blue border, but I will use red for the next ones so they will go with the placemats. (That’s two projects, although this one precedes the placemats.)
The next day when we got together, I launched in with my adventures weaving a mohair bouclé scarf. I usually weave with smooth, finer yarns and this mohair bouclé was a bit out of my comfort zone. (That’s three projects.) What happened to the spot bronson placemats? They are still in the planning stage. And the napkins are still on the loom, eight more to weave.
It seems I’m always juggling projects, each one at a different stage. There’s the planning stage, then warping, active weaving, and finally finishing.
The planning stage of a project takes lots of thought. I mull over the colors, the pattern, the yarns sometimes for several days. Then one morning, it will pull together and the project is on its way. Usually while I’m pondering, I will be weaving or finishing something else.
I learned this process from Anita Luvera Mayer, a weaving teacher and artist. She said to always have three things going at once: something being planned, something on the loom, and something in a basket waiting to be hemmed.
There will always be something to do, no matter how much — or how little — time I have. If there’s only half an hour before an appointment, I can still pick up a needle and finish a hem. If I get stiff from weaving for a long period, I can get up and wind the next warp, a process that requires lots of arm movement to loosen me up. And sometimes it’s just nice to have something different to work on. It moves each project along and keeps my perspective fresh.
This process works for me. What’s your process?