I’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.
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