Weaving can be an intimidating art to get into – mostly because it’s still relatively obscure despite the fact that it’s becoming more and more popular. Really the most important weaving tip I have for you is:
The pivotal thing you need to get started weaving is the motivation to do it.
That being said, it’s hard to know just where to start. I have broken it down to the top 5 tips for new weavers at the beginning of their weaving journey.
1. Materials are important – but they aren’t everything.
Materials are arguably one of the most important things you need to start weaving.
You can’t weave if you have nothing to weave with, but really the weaving supplies you choose can really depend on what you want to do, what you can afford, and ultimately what you like.
Weaving can be really inexpensive – or really expensive. It all depends on what your goal is. You can weave with inexpensive yarn on an old frame you had lying around and spend next to nothing to get started, or you can weave with hand-spun silk from Italy on a computer-aided floor loom.
I recommend starting out small to see if you like it before making any decision to invest in new materials. I started weaving on a simple frame loom made from canvas stretcher bars using a hair comb to beat down my weft. This is the same frame loom I still use when I am weaving something small.
If it ain’t broke…..
2. Gather inspiration before weaving
You want to weave for a reason. Know what that reason is.
It’s ok to want to weave just to learn something new – it doesn’t have to be profound.
If you know your why, it helps to guide you through how.
You want to weave imagery? Then you have to learn tapestry techniques. What about yardage? You will need to learn how to use a floor loom. Look at other weavers and fiber artists and consider putting together an inspiration folder (real or on the computer) or starting a Pinterest board. Look back on this when you’re feeling stuck or discouraged. Add to it often.
Seeing what other people are doing is also a great way to understand the depth to which weaving can really go. It can help you understand what’s possible and learn from it.
3. An inspirational space will help you weave
This one can tie into number 2 somewhat.
Take some of that inspiration and hang it up if you have a dedicated workspace. Make it somewhere you feel inspired and want to spend time. Whether you have dedicated space or not, consider music to get you in the making mood or if you are a multi-tasker: turn on your tv to your current streaming obsession and get comfortable.
If the weather is nice and you’re using a frame loom – go outside!
It also helps to have everything you need within arms distance to cut down on the number of times you have to get up and have the potential to get distracted. I’m guilty of getting distracted and sometimes just having a dedicated space tells my brain it’s time to work. If tricking your brain into going into creative mode is what it takes, then do it.
4. Be prepared to make mistakes
You will make mistakes; it’s inevitable.
That’s not only ok – it’s encouraged!
One of the best parts about weaving is that usually, the mistakes are easy to correct. Also, easy to avoid. (Check out the 5 Most Common Mistakes New Weavers Make)
You’ll see me say this often: pay attention now and be happy later or as most people say: “measure twice, cut once”. It may take an extra second or two to recount those warps or to make sure your frame loom warp is creating that X, but it takes longer to fix it. Trust me on this one. That being said, as in life, mistakes are how you learn.
Don’t be afraid of them, but instead consider them teachable moments.
Trust me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes while weaving. They usually result in me really learning something about the structure I’m weaving or my own weaving style. Every mistake I’ve made has resulted in me becoming a better weaver.
In the same idea here, it’s important to remember that you will never know everything.
Be prepared to always be learning, but hey – that’s probably why you’re here! Welcome! Don’t forget to check out the other Warped Fiber’s posts to learn more!
5. Get ready to have fun
Sounds a little silly, but it’s important.
While there is a learning curve to this and anything else; it’s important to enjoy what you are doing. I weave for many reasons, and a big one is that I really like doing it. If you enjoy what you are doing then it will show. There are so many different ways to weave and different things you can create. Find the one that interests you and don’t be afraid to try a few until one sticks!
Don’t get caught up in little mistakes or when something doesn’t turn out exactly as you want it to. When this happens you might just head in a different and more interesting direction than you were before.
It’s important to enjoy the process and the act of exploring weaving.
42. Grab your towel
Just kidding, but if you’re looking for something to listen to while you are weaving then I highly recommend the Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy audiobook (or any audiobook!) One of the great things about weaving is that you can listen to music or audiobooks… or stream shows while doing it!
Bonus Tip: Consider Taking a Class
Alright, so I decided to include one more. Going through steps 1-5 is great, but then what do you do with all that yarn, inspiration, and excitement? You have to actually put it to use! If you are in the Richmond, VA area – come take a class with me! If you’re not, then keep a lookout for my online courses that will be launched soon! I am extra excited about these because anyone can take them anywhere on their own time. You can also look for weaving classes in your area at art centers or your local yarn store and support local artists. It’s never a bad idea to support local artists.
Do you feel ready yet?
Don’t forget to take my free online mini-course where you will learn how to make an easy pull yarn bobbin (butterfly) for weaving! This is a great technique that is useful on a floor loom while weaving tapestry, while setting up your 4 selvedge frame weavings, or when you need to transfer smaller amounts of yarn.
What are you most excited to learn? Let me know in the comments!
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