Just Some Thoughts

Pushing Yourself Creatively

Push your weaving creativityI’m going to start this post out with some questions, because I would love to have an open discussion on this topic. How do you push yourself creatively when weaving? Is there a new style you’re trying out or maybe you’re trying to master just one style? For me I’ve found that I like to try a lot of different things and learn from each, which also means I don’t have a cohesive style.

When I was first starting out, I went with shapes for my first three weaves, but then I quickly moved on to weaving loops, which I really liked making. I think the loops were especially nice to weave as a beginner because they are much more forgiving. The stitches don’t need to look uniform, so if I made a mistake it wasn’t so obvious. Plus I loved the texture it created. From there my goal was to keep trying different weaving techniques (which is still my goal).

Since then I’ve been skipping around, I tried some weaves that I pre-designed before even warping my loom. Unfortunately that never works for me. Once I start weaving, I can’t stick to a design. I need some freedom to make adjustments as I go, otherwise my weave turns out terrible and I have to pull it apart.

Which would make you think that I wouldn’t like weaving draft patterns. Draft patterns are really rigid and require me to count out rows and warps, but they work well next to free form woven shapes and fringe, so it gives me enough flexibility. I do find draft patterns to be a little harder to weave because the design of them has to build with each row, but in the end they look really nice.

So let’s talk free form weaving, or the exact opposite of draft patterns. This is when you weave with no plan and make the design as you go. This is my absolute favorite way to weave. It’s especially nice to weave like this when you’ve had a long day and just want to mentally take a break. If you’ve never done this before, you need to try doodle weaving while watching your favorite show.

Oh and who could forget circular weaving! I really like circular weaving, because it’s surprisingly different from the traditional straight weaving (for lack of a better term). With circular weaving, I can use all my weaving techniques, but the shape of the warp threads changes my weaving drastically and brings new challenges and changes to typical patterns.

Some weavers develop and perfect their own style, while others drastically experiment with their style. Both approaches to weaving are inspiring and both benefit from the weaver pushing their creativity to try one more technique or add one more skill. Which way do you approach your weaving? Are there techniques that you’re trying out now?

And I should mention, while you’re out trying new weaving techniques, don’t be discouraged if there is something you just don’t like. There are a few techniques that I tried and just didn’t like. They look great, I’ve even seen other weavers make beautiful things with the techniques, but something about how they are woven just doesn’t appeal to me. I might use these techniques from time to time, but I definitely don’t use them a lot.

If you need more suggestions on what to try, feel free to reach out to me. I love to help where I can.

Happy Weaving!


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  • Jessica
    June 22, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I love that you ask questions like this. This is something I’ve thought about quite a bit too. I don’t have a specific style and i’m to the point I’m not sure what I would want my style to be if I did come up with one. I love learning new things and trying new techniques and styles of weaving.

    Lately what I’ve been doing is trying to learn at least one new technique per weaving. That way I’m pushing myself to keep learning and trying new things. It also helps because when a weaving doesn’t turn out the way I imagined it would I can reframe it as well, I didn’t do X but I learned Y. So it becomes a learning experience and not a failure. That alone has really helped my creativity because I feel free to keep trying and exploring weaving. I’m the sort of person who beats myself up over (self perceived) failures which really gets in the way of creativity!

    • Kate
      June 22, 2017 at 10:22 pm

      Thanks Jessica, we must approach weaving in the same way! I envy those who have a strong style, but I’ve found that just doesn’t work for me. I like to jump all over the place. Plus with either approach, if you’re having fun weaving then that’s all that really matters.

  • Vicki
    July 1, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    I begin my design process with the colour and texture of the yarn. Creating colour combinations is a fun challenge for me, as well as deciding on the texture or thickness of yarn. Once those elements are in place, I then imagine the design. Most of time I prefer free-flowing, wavy lines, but I’ve also enjoyed weaving more structured shapes. I don’t like following patterns, as it feels too constricted and repetitive (I could never be a knitter!). I prefer spontaneous design, letting the materials guide me on what to do next. I also enjoy learning new techniques, and applying them in future weaves.

    • Kate
      September 14, 2017 at 3:10 pm

      I like how you think! Starting with colors and textures first and letting the weaving take you where it wants to go sounds so fun.

  • pat cooper
    July 1, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Hi, I have just started following your posts and I am a relative newbie. I had a loom a long time ago but didn’t do much with it. I have recently picked it up again, did a few bits with continuous warp weaving, tried the circular weaving (with less than stellar results) and now I am fascinated with cardboard looms. I am doing a series of 5″ x 7″ bags based on Marianne Moodie’s post in the last issue of Little Looms. We are traveling this summer so I am doing a series of bags based on where we are camped (Death Valley bag, Tecopa Hot Springs bag, Monterey Bay Bag, etc.) while I am figuring out how different yarns work and playing with color. I have a bunch of novelty yarns with me so I am trying different things. I like working in a series and I try to learn something new with each bag. I have just started playing with shapes and patterns. I like working in a series, it gives me some level of continuity and I get to push boundaries, no lack of ideas at all, they just keep coming. On the whole my bags are getting better (I think). So thanks for your posts, I hope to get a loom someday, till then I am having “cardboard fun”.

    • Kate
      September 14, 2017 at 3:12 pm

      Those little bags sound so fun! Are you sharing the images online? If so send me the link, I would love to see your bags.

  • Zoe
    July 5, 2017 at 1:15 am

    I actually hate freestyle weaving because I feel like I’m having to constantly make decisions, which I don’t find relaxing at all! If I’ve got a sketch of my idea for the finished piece then I’m normally fine to go and don’t get stuck. Without it I struggle and take huge breaks (like the big one on my loom today!)
    Style wise I think my style comes from choices of colour and shapes rather than techniques- I find I’m able to try new techniques but within the structure of my style (but then that’s more clear because my weaves are inspired by stories). I’m not sure if any of that makes sense but anyway!

    • Kate
      September 14, 2017 at 3:17 pm

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I’ve never thought of the freestyle in that way before but you’re right it can sometimes feel like you’re having to make more decisions. I guess it depends on what mood I’m in, sometimes I don’t mind the freestyle at all and it just comes to me, but sometimes I need a structured design to follow.

      Your weaves sound so interesting, what are some stories that your weaves are based off of and do you have any pictures online, I’d love to see your work.