I often get questions from readers asking for my opinion on their current project. Many times the weaver doesn’t fully like how their weave is starting to look. They will explain that they like a part of it but not all of it, or maybe the colors are not working together the way they thought they would. Often my advice is take out the part you don’t like and it surprises me that many didn’t think this was an option.
I’ve been in this situation a few times and it was the hardest when I was a new weaver. In the beginning I didn’t want to pull any thread out, because hadn’t I just spent that last hour or more weaving that thread in? One time I had put in days of work, just to find that I hated how my weave was looking. And it wasn’t like I just suddenly didn’t like how my weave was looking, I had actually not liked it much earlier in the process. But I was new to weaving and I just didn’t want to give up on my idea. It felt like if I gave up then maybe I wasn’t cut out for weaving, because really, just look at all the makers out there weaving away and making unbelievable art. Well don’t be like beginner me, if a weave isn’t working then try to figure out why and don’t take it personally. It doesn’t mean you have failed and it certainly doesn’t mean you aren’t good at weaving. I blogged about my major weaving fail here, and also talk about how I came back from it. It would have been easy for me to just completely give up on the weave, but once I allowed myself to admit it wasn’t working the way I had envisioned I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders and I ended up really loving the weave I made in the end.
It was hard to un-weave a major part that I had spent a lot of time working on, but it was so creatively freeing. Have you ever felt that way too? If a design or project is just not working for whatever reason, you suddenly want to give up completely and have little desire to weave again? Well if you’re stuck like this, like I have been, then give yourself permission to move on. Either completely stop the weave and take it apart, or take out the pieces that you aren’t enjoying. And if you’re really creatively stumped and fed up, then do something fun like pull thread out randomly and add in yarn randomly. Don’t plan or force it, just let your right brain run wild, because even if you don’t like the end result your creative side will appreciate the freedom and you’ll probably come up with a new spark for weaving and brand new ideas for future weaves.Here is another example of a weave I re-worked a few times. I started with a rose and a white background, but as I was going it looked just too plain for me. So I pulled out sections of the white and added in some navy blue and some off-white that is barely visible, but adds interest. Then as I was finishing the weave, I really didn’t like how the bottom half looked. I really wanted something bolder, so I took out the soumak and the rya knots and made a straight bottom with side tassels and that brought the piece together for me. Luckily with this weave I was more open to making changes and made them as I went along so I didn’t waste as much time and effort. If you haven’t seen it already, I talk about weaving a picture here.The bottom line is you need to trust your gut. If something is not working for you, then don’t pursued yourself to keep going because it will become a very heavy burden and stifle your creativity. But at the same time, I’ve had pieces that I really did not like. I walked away from them and took a mental break and when I came back I found that I ended up liking them a lot. There were elements in the weave that I didn’t see before because I was too wrapped up in I, but I was able to appreciate the weave overall after taking a mental step back. So I guess I’m saying it’s ok to take a bit of a break and then come back to your weave with fresh eyes. If it still bothers you then take it apart.
Since that first painful time of un-weaving 70% of a large weave I had been working on over several days, I’ve gotten much better at trusting my gut. Now I’ll still have ideas that aren’t working out, but I am much quicker to recognize that and much more ready to make a changes as I go.
I would love to hear how you get out of a creative stump. Have you ever just completely taken apart a weave? Or did you just un-weave part of it? Or did you experience a time that you hated what you were weaving, kept going, and then ended up loving it? I’d love to hear about your experiences.
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