Blue and Red Towels off the loom

I’ve often done things the hard way, mostly because of impatience.

In high school, most students took Literature before they took Creative Writing. Except me. I insisted on taking Creative Writing first, then had to go back and take Literature the next year anyway. Would’ve done better in the proper order.

As a college freshman, I thought Prehistoric Archeology looking interesting, but Anthropology 101 was a prerequisite. When they removed the prerequisite, I jumped right to the course I thought I wanted without any real understanding of what prehistoric archeology was. There’s a reason for prerequisites.

Prerequisites in weaving are necessary too. While it’s fun to jump right in and weave something wonderful, eventually you have to know how to design your own project and dress the loom by yourself. Understanding how the threads interact and how drafts work helps determine which weave will work best for your project.

I admire weavers who study a weave structure and know how it works. I mean really know how it works. Through examination and practice (the prerequisites), they build an instinct about the weave. They can look at a sample of that weave and know right off the bat how it was threaded, how it was treadled.

There’s a weaver in our study group who weaves M’s & O’s and ripsmatta. Paula knows M’s & O’s and ripsmatta. Mary Jane can look at a block weave and before too long figure out exactly how many blocks were used and how they were threaded. Jenny is delving into tapestry and has created some amazing little treasures as she adds to her already-expansive weaving skills.

I want to be like them when I grow up.

Opphämta on the Loom

There are so many weave structures that I skipped through in my weaving journey. One or two projects does not give a very firm foundation. On my way to twill and damask, I skimmed over brocade, lace, crackle, summer and winter, pile weaves, trying only a few token samples before moving on. So earlier this year, I decided that yes, I can go back and work on those weaving prerequisites. It’s never too late to make resolutions and review the wealth of ways threads intersect.

In between my usual projects this year, there’ll be lots of reading and lots of sampling. The goal is to expand skills that have become maybe a little too routine, a little too predictable. What better way to freshen perspective than to go back and catch those weaving prerequisites?