Just Some Thoughts

When to Move on from a Weave

When to Take Apart a WeaveThis topic comes up a lot. You love your new weave idea, it’s going to be so great. You pick out the perfect yarns and weave away. You’ve put a lot of time and energy into this weave, but suddenly it isn’t looking right. You keep working at it, maybe changing a little, maybe adding more and nothing is working.

Suddenly this weave that was going to be so good is feeling like a huge weight on you. You don’t know what to do with this weave, you don’t want to look at it. You don’t even feel like weaving anymore, maybe never again!

Someone just reached out to me with a similar issue. She wanted to just stop and take the weave apart, but she was feeling guilty about doing that. She asked if I ever took apart a weave before. The answer is absolutely yes! I’ve taken apart many weaves in my time and some I felt really defeated about. It’s not very fun to find out all that time and energy spent on your weave was not going to work out.

But here’s the thing, your time wasn’t wasted, even if it feels like it was. You got to practice your weaving skills and with each weave you get better at your craft. You also learned a lot in the process of making that weave, such as what  does and what doesn’t work.

Before taking it apart, look at your weave as an outsider. What about the weave isn’t working? Maybe there is something you just can’t put your finger on, but try to make a list of what is bothering you about it. Is it the colors not working together like you had thought they would, is it a feeling you get from it, is it too flat, etc. If there isn’t a specific reason that you can pin-point that’s ok, but if there is a reason for the weave not turning out then you’ll know to avoid that in the future.

When to Take Apart a WeaveAlso it might be that there is a part of the weave that you really like, you can always take apart only the portion of the weave you don’t like and then build on the part of the weave that you do like. I wrote about a few weaves that I’ve taken apart a portion and then built on the parts I like here. If you’re on the fence about your weave try these things:

  • Turn your weave around – put it on it’s side, put it upside down. Does that new angle change how you see your weave? Does it look better? Does anything new come to mind?
  • Walk away from your weave (mentally & physically) – I like to hang my weave in an area that I walk past a lot during the day. This way the weave is usually in my line of sight so it stays in my mind, but I’m not actively thinking about it. Sometimes the weave will catch my eye and I’ll see it in a new way and know how to fix it.  The important part of this is to not actively think about your weave.  If you’re too stuck on it, then don’t put it where you can see it, instead try putting it away where you won’t see it for a day or two.  If your weave still bothers you after a day or two, then it might be time to move on.  You don’t want to keep it sitting there for weeks or even months because then you’ll risk losing motivation.  Plus that ties up your loom when you could be trying something new and exciting.

It’s ok to not like your weave and it’s ok to pull it apart. In fact, I actually recommend you pull a weave apart if you’re not feeling it, otherwise that weave will take away from your creative drive.

After you take your weave apart, don’t beat yourself up. A weave that doesn’t work out has nothing to do with you & your ability to create beautiful things. It’s just something you tried that didn’t work and that’s that. I wrote here about how to deal with self doubt, because we all need a pick-me-up from time to time.

It can also be so freeing and refreshing to pull that weave apart that isn’t working. Sometimes you can feel that weight being lifted off your shoulders. I’ve had really great ideas come to me after pulling apart a weave. Now it’s time to make something that does work!

If you’re in a creative rut, here are some posts that might help you out of it:

Have you had a weave that didn’t work out before? Did you get it to work in the end or did you just start anew? Feel free to share your story in the comments below, it’s nice to hear that we’re not alone in our challenges.

Happy Weaving!


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  • Victoria Bergesen
    January 19, 2017 at 3:39 pm

    This is a very important lesson for any creative person. I was recently working on a non-weaving design that was just fighting me. I was working with a very vibrant turquoise that I really loved, but it made my jewel tone colors look muddy. I watched Project Runway that night and saw someone who clung to a poor choice implode. Thunderbolt! That was me. I packed away the turquoise for another project and with my little project board roamed the fabric store. I tried a camel color and it made the jewel tones sing. I have never thought about combining camel with jewel tones before, but it worked. Long story short, I didn’t have to scrap my whole design. I just had to identify which element was causing my problems.

    Although I am a textile artist I am new to weaving and I love your blog. It has been so helpful.

    • Kate
      January 19, 2017 at 10:01 pm

      Yes, you’re so right! This doesn’t only apply to weaving. That is such a great story & I’m so glad it worked out for you in the end, thanks for sharing 🙂

  • Candace Hill
    January 19, 2017 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Kate,
    Can’t find plaid how to . Love your column. Thanks much. Candace