Saturday, June 25, 2011

Mistakes in Weaving

 AKA: Disclaimer - I Am Not a Weaver!  I Merely Dabble and Weave with Children!

Sometimes mistakes are just in invitation to think "What If..."
Starting off, again, with high hopes!
Working on my old, well-loved little 'paper-back loom'.  
Anticipating a beautiful, variegated weaving.
I have not woven on it in over a year or more!  And before that...who knows!
Even though I usually don't, I began by warping each notch you see there.
Well...that didn't work!  Too close a warp for too thick a yarn.
Take that one off - set the loom with a Nice Big Space between each warp thread!  See photo above.
*Note: The 'warp' refers to the threads fixed on the loom in a longitudinal direction.  The 'weft' refers to the threads that you weave in & out of the warp, crossing side-to-side and filling the loom as you go.  Hope that makes sense! 

All trimmed up
Oh no, I wove another hourglass!
This has been my challenge with this little loom.  No matter how loose I try to leave the ends, I end up with a beautiful hourglass!  This weaving was to be a gift, possibly used as a coaster-type-thing.  Nope, I wasn't looking for an hourglass right now!  But hey, kinda reminds me of the funky timer in my Winds of Time post!  Ha!
Remembering a creative way my friend used one of her weavings, I framed it  with fabric, thus eliminating that curvy center.  I used that dyed snake-skin fabric because it was handy.  It worked well with the weaving.  Framed it, invisible stitched it in and thought...
I won't have time to complete this...Ahhh, now what?

Thinking of a solution to the infamous hourglass

And I kind of like this weaving cloth.  I think I want to hang on to it for now.  It feels like a friend to the little hearts sampler.  Mmmm...
Re-warp the loom...AGAIN!!!  Laugh to self!

Begin again...more slowly...more carefully!  As I weave I am thinking I should look at this as 'Slow Weaving'...kind of like slow cloth (at least in the pace of things!)
I weave the whole thing with just a tiny hourglass!  "Good enough" I think.
But, as I hurry (I am on a deadline after all) to finish the last weft threads, I miss some warp threads.  This is, of course, only realized once it is removed from the loom.  Before that...while I am working on it, I see the 'back' side of the weaving.  I hold the little piece in my hands.  It is soft and flexible and has several mistakes.  Wouldn't it be nice to be seen this way ourselves?  To be accepted this way ourselves?  I think of different cultures' viewpoints on leaving a mistake in our creative work.  But aesthetically, these missed threads POP out at me and I don't care for the way they look.  I tie on some fringe pieces.  I like this a bit better, but decide to leave some of the mistakes clearly visible.  
This feels right.  This weaving feels complete.

The little light stitches in the middle are the 'mistakes'

The recipient of this weaving hears the end story of the mistakes and how they can remind us that we are not perfect and that is OK.  We can learn from our mistakes...or not...and we are still OK, for within each of us is much beauty, uniqueness and strength.
Ah, beautiful imperfection!
I look at it and think, "How symbolic that the 'mistakes' let in some light to the center, to the core of this weaving."  And I like it.  The 'product'.  I am satisfied.

Photos by NAE @pomegranatetrail ©2011


helen said...

Oh! Nancy! This post is imperfectly perfect! Does that make sense? Perhaps it ought to be 'perfectly imperfect':~) This week a dear Flickr friend and I were trying to remember the word the Native Americans use for those deliberate mistakes....still hasn't come to me.

Where I sit here at our computer, there is a woven coaster on the desk - from a set I found in a boot sale over ten years ago. It is similar to yours, but has a Native American design in its centre.....aaand.....its imperfection is the opposite of yours....a barrel waist :~)

I love what you have done with your first weaving....and that variegated wool ~ oh!

And the light coming in at the centre of the weaving ~ perfect :~)

As Leonard Cohen says:

There is a crack in everything,
that's how the light gets in.

Happy Sunday to you Nancy ~

Nancy said...

Ah, yes Helen don't you love those funny little coincidences. I always seem to marvel at them.
The funny thing is: this is not my first weaving on this loom! I just keep trying to loosen up the middles and find that hourglass shape repeating itself! Usually I create a more narrow weave...fold it in half - stitch that closed, add a long strap and is a small 'medicine bag'! I have made several of them and the act of folding it usually hides the hourglass 'mistake'.
I had forgotten that Leonard Cohen quote. It's perfect!
Thanks for stopping by!

helen said...

I forgot to say how much I like your loom too. Did you make it?

Medicine bags...yes. What a brilliant idea, and satisfying.

Vicky~ stichr ~ said...

hehe...have you tried to start in the middle? I too think these are grand! even the wefties in the second one.

Nancy said...

Helen- No, I bought it at this darling little shop that used to be in business near me. It was called The Weavers Cottage back then. It offered yarns, materials, classes etc. It was in an old house with a picket fence shaped like shuttles. SO cute! I took a class there on how to make the little bags and I bought the loom there at that time. I also took a couple of basket weaving classes there. It was a special place and time, know what I mean. They closed their shop and started selling from their home. Here is a link:
I really enjoyed my time there!

Vicky- No I have not started in the middle...kind of hard to 'beat' the yarns (packing them together) that way! Ha! But I have considered working from one end to the other, then that tricky part would be at one end and maybe less visible!

Nancy said...

PS Look at their web site on the services 'linings'...doesn't that sound intriguing?!

jude said...

well i am a weaver. and i love this

Nancy said...

Thanks Jude! My weaving experiences include this little loom and weaving with children age 2yr. & 3 months to about 10yr. or so. For the very little ones, I set up the 'loom' in a big tub (that stood about waist high to them) with the weaving fibers to choose from in the the tub itself. They got into the practice of a child standing on each side of the tub passing the fiber through the holes to one another. They would ask each other, "Do you want to pass to me?" when looking for a partner to weave with. Ahhhh...good memories.

I re-warped my little loom last night. I need a new medicine bag!

Laurie said...

Oh my, my, my. We are truly two peas in a pod. I have loaned out my 8 shaft loom indefinitely and my 4 shaft loom is growing cobwebs while I revel in cardboard looms and little tapestries. So nice to discover you and be in Jude's class with you.

Nancy said...

Laurie - are your looms like this one? I found the tag saying this is a 10 dent. I have a million weaving ideas from weaving with young children, but I have not done cardboard yet! It's fun to be doing this again! I'm glad to be in class with you also.

Judy Beckemeyer said...

OK...just started to "attempt to weave" I'm using a Doug & Melissa children's loom. My first "placemat" look great on the loom, but when I took it off, egads!...I used the dowels that came with the loom on the sides. Benefit, straight sides....disadvantage, well, the dowels are not tiny so they left wide gaps on both sides of the placemat and it looked totally wonky when off the loom. I took it apart with good humor. I mean is was my first attempt. And, it did look awesome while on the loom. Attempt 2, more of a loose, t-shirt yarn weave with a cool technique that looked like a good beginner project. Not so much hourglass, more like a funnel!!! I put it away for now. More research looking for the right project for attempt number 3. Why does this look so easy when watching a youtube!!!

Nancy said...

Judy~ Welcome to the trail! I have no idea how you found this old post! But, I'm glad you did, as I got to reread it and enjoy the memories! I am still using this little loom and making medicine bags, some with the funky hourglass shape. It also seems from bag to bag I forget or change how I finish off the edges! haha
I love your story of working on your loom. It is tricky sometimes isn't it?! Keep trying, you'll discover something you like. Also, you should have seen me trying to learn to crochet with You Tube videos!! haha