As we are curtailing our travel and staying home more, we may be looking for something to keep our hands busy and our nerves calm while we are facing the unknown consequences of Covid-19. As a weaver, I work out my anxieties at the loom. Cost can be a barrier to learning to weave, we may need to be more mindful of our expenses at the moment, or we simple don’t know where to begin.
If learning to weave has been on your list, I’m opening up the Yarnworker School’s Weaving 101 class for free through April 7. No coupon code requried.
I am also mindful that there are many folks who are unable to stay home, particularly those who must venture out due to necessity (healthcare workers, essential service providers, and grocery store operators and employees we see you and thank you). Our current global situation has far-reaching immediate and unknowable consequences that weaving can’t cure. If you are in a position to do so, please donate to the charity of your choice that strengthens your community. I chose Direct Relief and my local shelter as my charities of choice.
On April 8, we will get started with a beginner-friendly Weave-Along. Weave-Along are always free while they are active. The classes at the Yarnworker School are an offshoot of the weave-along where we tackle big things together. While hosting these quarterly events, I noticed that weavers seemed to have the same kind of skill gaps. With support from the Yarnworker patrons, the booster club of the school, I started developing classes to build weaverly muscle. Folks that are new to weaving on a rigid-heddle loom may be hesitant to jump into big projects. Start with Weaving 101 now and you will be ready to jump into the next weave-along in April.
Resources for Those A Bit Beyond a Beginner
Many folks who are reading this have already taken the first steps on their weaving journey. For those who haven’t tackled two heddles yet, I’m leaving the Winter Weave-Along open until April 30, which is thirty days longer than normal, because these aren’t normal times. The Four Looks Weave-Along is always free. All weave-alongs are free for patrons.
I can’t think of a better time to tackle Saori-style weaving, with whatever you have on hand—think yardage. You will be amazed at how beautiful the fabric can be when you stop overthinking it and just weave. You don’t have to have a Saori loom to tackle freeform weaving. Debbie Held wrote a lovely blog on the Schacht Spindle Blog about weaving Saori style on a Cricket loom. Pinterest is full of inspiring ideas on what to make with your cloth once you have created it.
Rebecca Mezoff has a playlist on her YouTube channel that includes how to warp a small frame loom and navigate some of the tricky bits of weaving a tapestry. Perhaps starting a tapestry diary is a positive practice to start honing your skills and quieting your mind.
Don’t Have a Loom?
If you are wondering what the heck a rigid-heddle loom is, try the School’s free class, Why This Loom for a broad overview of loom types and why I love this particular loom. Check out the list of loom manufactures at the bottom of the Yarnworker resource page. Visit their dealer page to find a retailer.
Amy D. McKnight creates a wealth of resources for those who want to get started weaving with items they probably have on hand. She offers a clever DIY pin loom plan and shows you how to weave on it at Commonthreadloom.com. She also has a Facebook group where you can share ideas and weave together.
Creativebug has a frame loom weaving class from Anabel Wrigley on YouTube. The class includes how to build a loom from a picture frame and nails and how to weave basic shapes. A few years ago, I used the instructions on A Beautiful Mess’s website to create this little wall hanging with my left over bits. It was quite cathartic and fun for all ages. (I offer homage to Marianne Moodie who I consider the modern frame loom weaving pioneer who set our feeds ablaze with wall hangings.)
The School of SweetGeorgia has a free tutorial on weaving in circles. This is a productive way to spin your wheels. The School has other resources for the weaver, dyer, spinner, and knitter.
The art of weaving is reliant on small business and educators to keep our craft strong. Knitty is keeping a list of events that have been canceled. If you were going to an event or conference that has been canceled, planning to take a class locally, or have a local shop that you rely on, consider some simple and meaningful things you can do so support them.
- Visit their social media sites and like, follow, share, or generally boost their signal.
- Leave them a review on your favorite review site. This is like gold to small business.
- Take them up on any discounts or offers. Many shops are offering delivery or drive-up options.
- If you don’t need anything now, consider buying a gift certificate.
- This is a perfect time to make that purchase of an on-line class you have had your eye on. Check out Gist’s lists for weaving teachers who teach online. This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a good place to start if you are looking for an online teacher.
If you have any other resources, feel free to leave them in the comments.
Deep breaths, big hearts, and steady nerves will see us through.