I recently have been asked, quite a few times, what is the best approach to weaving, bottom to top or top to bottom. I’ve had so many people ask me this that I thought a post would help all those who also have this question on their mind. My short answer is… do whatever feels right to you. I’ve tried weaving in both of these directions so I’ll go into more detail of the benefits I’ve found.
Weaving top to bottom is my preferred method, but only because I like to have an open design. I usually have an idea of what I want my weave to look like, but I often make changes as I go, so I really like to have my bottom be open to whatever I decide to do. It might be that I wanted to make a bunch of heavy rya knot rows, but after I finish the body of the weave, that original idea doesn’t fit it as well. So by having the bottom completed last I get a better feel for my weave over all and make design changes easily.
A second reason I like to weave upside down is that if I’m weaving on a notched loom, I can then easily use the warp loops at the top of my weave to hang it from. If you’re weaving bottom to top and you fill the whole length of your loom, this is a non-issue because your top will end close to the warp loops, allowing you to use them to hang your weave.
As I have said my personal preference is to weave upside down, or top to bottom, but I’ve had a time or two where I did the opposite. I’ve even had a time where my plan was to weave top to bottom, but then when I finished the weave, I like how it looked facing me. Suddenly the bottom was the top of my weave. I talked about having to make a sneaky finish on that weave here.
If you’re weaving bottom to top on a notched or peg loom, a huge benefit is that you will have warp loops at the bottom when you take your weaving off the loom. A time saving trick is to place your rya knots all the way to the bottom of your loom. And I mean as far down as you can go. By doing this, once you remove your weave from the loom, you can just let your rya knots fall into the warp loops, which means no finishing on the bottom of your weave, how cool is that?
These are the different benefits I’ve found, but I still recommend weaving in the direction that is most comfortable to you when you’re just starting out. Once you get comfortable, experiment! Try weaving in the opposite direction or even weaving sideways (this is weaving with the intent to hang your weave sideways once it’s taken off the loom). I recommend this because it will expand your creativity, by taking you outside of your comfort zone. It will help take away your brain’s expected approach, which often opens up your mind’s creativity since you’re no longer following the standard approach.
I really recommend pushing yourself. If you’re a weaving planner that draws up the exact image of your finished weave and pulls out all the yarns you will use, then try making a weave with no plan or a random basket of yarns (I’ve found awesome colors pairings that I would have never thought of by doing it this way). But if you’re a chaotic weaver that just makes whatever, try a weave that is strictly planned out. It may not work for you and you may start to resort to your preferred style mid-weave, but that is ok. If you at least try it you will be forcing yourself to do things in a different way and this is when you discover new tactics or preferences.
How do you tend to weave? Do you weave bottom to top or top to bottom? Do you always have a strict plan, or do you make it up as you go?
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