Not everyone has the space for their very own weaving studio. Looms, yarn, supplies, and other materials can take up a lot of space if you’re not prioritizing space saving options. So what do you do if you want to weave but don’t have a dedicated space to do it? Or what if you’re wanting to get outside the studio and weave in nature or public? No studio? No problem! These tips will help you weave anywhere.
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At home or in public
Basket or bag weaving kit
Have your essentials in one place! This could be having a dedicated basket or bin for your yarn, frame loom, tapestry needles, shuttles etc. If you’re in public you will want to only bring what you need for what you’re currently working on. In this case a basket or tote bag might work best for your weaving kit. Wind your shuttles or bobbins ahead of time or create yarn butterflies to carry the extra yarn. This way you’re not carrying around multiple bulky cones or skeins of yarn with you. Flat shuttles and butterflies will also take up a lot less room then boat shuttles, so keep that in mind when choosing your shuttle of choice!
If you’re at home then this basket or bag will help you to move between rooms, or help you store your supplies in the closet when not in use.
Either way, if you have a lot to carry then find a bag that has a lot of pockets so you can stay organized. This will help you avoid having to pull everything out just to find your tapestry needles!
Having dedicated space – even if it’s small and portable – for all your weaving stuff will help make you more organized and keep your materials from taking over your whole house!
Choose portable options
Folding rigid heddle loom
There are a few rigid heddle looms that actually fold up when they’re not in use. These are great portable options for when you want to weave something with a long warp but no dedicated space. You can even keep your weaving on the loom while it’s folded, so don’t worry about trying to finish that entire scarf while hanging out in the park. These looms are great for weaving balanced or pattern weavings that don’t require a super tight warp.
They are also perfect if you’re traveling and want to take your long project with you. You can fold it up and store it in your RV or vehicle when not in use. Weave in your hotel room, AirBNB, or your in-laws house.
If you’re looking to weave scarves, towels, or other long weavings, but are concerned about space or weight then a folding rigid heddle loom could be a really great choice!
These are the best option for weaving tapestry on the go. They allow a higher tension than a rigid heddle loom so they are perfect for tapestry. They can also be smaller and even simpler to travel with then a rigid heddle loom! The biggest issue with a small tapestry loom is that it’s small. This means you might be limited with what you can create on the go. Unlike rigid heddle looms that have an advancing warp – most frame looms have a finite amount of warp that can be on the loom.
Small tapestries, samples, and project you plan to piece together would all be perfect for a small frame loom that you can use wherever you are.
If you are going to weaving on the go a lot then you might want to also consider smaller tools and supplies. You probably don’t need a large pair of fabric scissors if you aren’t going to be cutting fabric while you’re out and about. Instead try a small pair of thread scissors or yarn snips.
If you decide to go the shuttle or bobbin route, opt for the smallest option that will work for you and your project.
Keep it clean
With weaving comes yarn scraps. These yarn scraps can get everywhere if you’re not careful!
If you’re at home, then keeping track of your yarn scraps is a means to not having to deal with pieces of yarn in your kitchen, bathroom, on your stairs, or anywhere in between. Really it’s mostly for your sanity.
Ask me how I know.
If you’re in public then it’s a matter of being a good person and not leaving anything behind. Any sort of material left behind can be considered littering even if it’s biodegradable.
You should have a dedicated bag or jar to keep your scraps in so that they all stay in one place. Bonus points for keeping track or your scraps because they will be readily available to upcycle for other things!
Be prepared to answer questions
One of the biggest things that you should be aware of (I’m sure you’ve thought of this) is that you are going to be asked questions!
Weaving is different from knitting and crocheting in many ways. One of the biggest ways is that it’s not nearly as well known. If you go out and start knitting, then you may not be asked what you’re doing – just asked what you’re making.
If you pull out a loom and start creating a tapestry then you are bound to turn some heads!
This can actually be really great (if you’re extroverted) because then you get to talk about and expose other people to what you love about weaving! Maybe that’s just me, but I’ll take any chance I can get to tell more people about weaving who may never have had access to it.
Just be aware that you are doing something that most people don’t know about and they might be curious enough to ask!
Carry a magnet/ Wear your scissors around your neck
It can be so easy to lose things when you are, well, anywhere! Especially if you are in public, though, it might be a good idea to go the extra mile to make sure you don’t lose track of things like scissors or tapestry needles.
While having a well organized basket/ bag will help with this, you may not always feel like putting your scissors back in their dedicated pocket after every snip. Tying some yarn around the handle and putting it around your neck is an easier way to know where your scissors are at all times. This way they will be accessible whenever you need them. You can even reuse some of your loom waste for this!
…just be careful not to stab yourself.
Assuming you are using metal tapestry needles – I also recommend that you keep a magnet on you in case you drop your tapestry needles or just need an easy way to keep them all in one place.
I actually keep a magnet in my studio at all times for this very reason. Luckily, tapestry needles are blunt so if you do drop it you don’t have to worry about it stabbing anyone. I’m always almost losing tapestry needles, but using a magnet has really helped!
While you don’t want to lose them in your house, you really don’t want to lose them out in public. You can even attach the magnet to your bag or basket so you don’t lose that too…
Find a quiet space (or a space where you can listen to your own noise)
One of the biggest tips that I have for weaving at home is to find a way to limit your distractions. If putting on music and noise isolating headphones helps you then I recommend finding something that will keep you energized and excited to weave. That means no tv shows that are too exciting as to make you start watching instead of weaving.
No lie, sometimes I even like to listen to 90’s pop music while I weave!
I know it’s not actually weaving related, but I really like these noise isolating earphones for when I don’t want to get distracted. They work really well and all I hear is my music or the show that I’m streaming. They’re perfect when I just want to get lost in my project.
If you have a place in your house that you can make into a weaving nook then that’s even better. You may not have a full studio, but having an inspirational space can make a big difference. This is especially true if you’re having a hard time staying focused. Find a comfortable chair with good light and maybe even a nice view. This can help you stay focused and inspired.
If you like the yarn I’m using: Harrisville Shetland Wool in peacock and charcoal.
Set aside time for weaving
If you’re weaving in your family room instead of a studio, then it may be hard to concentrate with that laundry piling up or knowing your carpet needs to be vacuumed! I’m not saying ignore cleaning your house completely, but sometimes that stuff can wait.
Set aside time for your weaving just like you would if you were actually going to a studio or to work. Whether that’s just a half an hour or half a day, if you put it on your schedule it will be easier to get in the right mindset. Plan for certain days of the week or times of day and put it on your calendar or to-do list if you must. Sometimes even if it’s something you want to do, it’s hard to make the time unless you actually put it on your schedule. There will always be something else.
Just schedule it.
You can even put a reminder on your phone that pops up to say “It’s time to weave!” and then don’t break your weaving date!
Whatever you have to do or bring – you don’t need a weaving studio to be a weaver! You just need time, determination, materials, and focus!
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