Just Some Thoughts

Setting Creative Routines

Setting Creative RoutinesAs I’m pretty sure you all know, weaving takes time. When I was starting out, and I guess this is still sometimes true, I wanted to try so many things but there were a few hurdles in my way:

  • being newer to weaving the process takes longer.
  • the mental work of trying to figure out a design that I felt proud of.
  • trying to make something I wasn’t skilled enough yet to make.

I kept asking myself how can I grow as a weaver? I know to get better at something, you need to practice it, but with a busy life how can you practice more?

I was recently reminded of something that has been around for a long time, that would really help with this issue. A fiber friend recently shared with me a picture of a weaving sampler she had made and suddenly it just clicked. I thought, what a great idea! It’s the perfect way to practice and focus on the different techniques. Also it’s a quick way to try new things and experiment.

Here are some of my recommendations for making a weaving sampler:

  • If you want to make a sampler, but you don’t want to hold your loom hostage, you can make a quick loom from a cheap picture frame that you would remove the glass and backing from (or canvas stretchers like I used). I have directions on how to warp up a frame here. This quick frame loom would be perfect for a weaving sampler, because you can let it sit with your sampler on it and not tie up your main loom.
  • Pick a few weaving techniques that you’ve been wanting to try, and add more as you go.
  • Weave your sampler with the same colored weft thread. This will help you focus on just the techniques you’re working on.  Check out my weaving techniques tutorial roundup here.
  • There is no design pressure, just experiment and have fun

I would love to start a weaving routine, and a sampler would make that much more possible. When weaving a sampler there is no pressure to finish the weave and you can work on it on a regular basis.

Setting Creative RoutinesSetting up a creative routine has been on my mind a lot. When I posted about creative books that have helped me I received two recommendations for The Creative Habit (affiliate link), which I hope to read soon for good ideas on setting up a creative routine. I also just came across the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work (affiliate link), which I thought was great timing. I’m excited to jump into this book because it discusses the many rituals of very talented artists. I’m sure a lot of the rituals will be odd, but that’s what makes this book so interesting.

Both of these books touch on the idea of growing your creativity by making time for it. And I would like to add that I think a daily routine would be really great and help someone gain skills quicker, but not everyone can commit that much time. We are all busy and if once a week is all there is time for, that routine will still help you grow creatively.

And now for a fun idea I had, if you’re interested, I would love to connect with each other by sharing your own weaving sampler. For the month of June, I would love to have check ins with those of you who want to do this. To participate comment below with which techniques you’ve really been wanting to try. Feel free to send me some pictures as you work on your sampler along with your thoughts and discoveries during the process. I would love to share some on the blog!

Happy Weaving!


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  • Lu
    May 24, 2016 at 2:46 pm

    I would love to have someone to check in with! I am a total beginner and will make my frame loom soon, as I am going to a workshop on June 9 & 10 to learn how.

    • Kate
      May 24, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      That’s great! I hope you enjoy your workshop 🙂

  • Sandy Jolliff
    May 24, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    I would like to do this also. I started a sampler on a simple loom I bought and I have been trying different techniques from your website which is extremely helpful. I wish you would write a beginners book.

    • Kate
      May 25, 2016 at 9:12 pm

      That’s great! I would love to see your sampler as you go 🙂 I’m also so flattered that you would request me to write a book. I’m currently prioritizing things, but a book is something on my radar.

  • Jessica
    May 25, 2016 at 11:22 am

    I love this idea, both the routine and the sampler! I’ve been working on setting up a routine and disciplining myself to weave throughout the week. Not just in several hour long spurts on weekends. I have the time, I just need to work on the discipline. A sampler would be a great way to set up some discipline and to learn some techniques I’ve been meaning to try like some of the more intricate stitches. Your tutorials have been incredibly helpful to me and I started a weaving Instagram in part because you inspired me to share as I learned. I hate being “less than perfect” which makes the whole learning journey frustrating to me when it should be enjoyable! So I’m focusing on telling myself, hey I’m learning and just having a really fun time with this process. So far its working. Thank you for the inspiration 🙂

    • Kate
      May 25, 2016 at 9:17 pm

      Aww, thanks so much for your kind words. I love that you started an Instagram account for weaving, how exciting. I also sometimes struggle with things not looking “perfect” but then I told myself the imperfections are the beauty of handmade. So now I see them as “happy accidents”, because perfect is for machines 😉

  • Allana
    May 25, 2016 at 11:32 am

    I love this idea – thank you! I have been struggling to ‘find time’ for weaving and am not feeling so inspired right now. This seems like the perfect way to just get into it in a way that’s not so overwhelming. I’m looking forward to learning some new techniques!

    • Kate
      May 25, 2016 at 9:39 pm

      Yay Allana, that’s great! I hope this gives you the inspiration you need 🙂

  • Lauren
    May 25, 2016 at 10:15 pm

    Count me in! One in particular I want to work out is double diamond!
    Such a great idea Kate!!

    • Kate
      May 26, 2016 at 5:36 am

      Yay Lauren, I can’t wait to see what your sampler looks like!

  • Tiff
    May 29, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    I think this is an absolutely wonderful idea! I plan on doing this with my daughter, she just had her fourth birthday. Anyway, I usually work on different hobbies that require cutting tools, needles, and an overwhelming sewing machine that I won’t let her touch. She is always so curious about the things I’m working on and I feel bad for not letting her get involved. I believe learning to weave with her would be a great bonding experience too. Ill be looking into the link you provided to warp a frame loom. Thanks for sharing that. I did have a question in regards to fiber. Is it alright to use a fiber that contains nylon in it for the weft? I stumbled upon a most desired yarn color in an ultraviolet hue; its 70% merino, 20% Cashmere, and 10% nylon and for making socks. Thank you.

    • Kate
      May 31, 2016 at 5:58 am

      Hi Tiff, what a great idea! I have a 3 and 4 year old sons, so I know what you mean about them being curious about everything I try to do. I think weaving with your daughter will be really fun. You can absolutely use a fiber that contains nylon for the weft. You can use whatever fibers you want when weaving, but some are trickier then others. I mostly only care about what I use for my warp, and for me I need something strong with little stretch to make the heavy pieces I make. Let me know if you have anymore questions.

  • Sarah
    May 31, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I’m in! I would love to work on making shapes (like circles! I can’t figure those out at all!) and designs like the first photo in this post. 🙂

  • Syerli
    June 2, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I am in…I just got my simple loom today. Your website is very useful..I am waiting your first “book” soon

    • Kate
      June 2, 2016 at 1:25 pm

      Yay, I’m glad you got a loom & I hope you really love weaving! Also thank you for your kind words 🙂

  • Shirah Miriam Aumann
    July 14, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    This spring I taught weaving at a local university and used a sampler pattern from the book “Tapestry Weaving” by Kirsten Glasbrook as the first project for the semester. It covered a broad range of tapestry techniques and also utilized colour, particularly on the techniques that needed two colours to be effective such as stripes and pick and pick. Also shapes and outlining, etc. I don’t know how to show you a photo of their work… Mimi

    • Kate
      July 16, 2016 at 8:09 pm

      That sounds really fun! I’ll have to look for that book.