From Lemons Come Weave-Alongs
In the summer of 2016, I had one of those moments when you either can decide all is lost or you can decide to lean in and have some fun with misfortune. For the first time, I shipped my sample projects for a teaching gig instead of hand-carrying them. Everything arrived safely and I had a grand time teaching new weavers to weave. The host and I carefully packed everything up and shipped it back.
When the box arrived, all seemed well enough, although the box seemed a little light. As I unpacked it, I noticed a few things missing, and then I saw the bottom of the box. It had been crushed and re-taped—about half the projects were missing! Apparently, there had been a train derailment (I’m told no one was hurt), and during the ensuing chaos, a bunch of my projects decided to make their escape.
I imagined them jumping from the train to pursue their dreams—the Bouquet Shawl hitched a ride in the nearest limo; the Simply Striped Rug flew off to find adventure; and the Doubleweave Throw is having a nice picnic somewhere with the Color-and-Weave Towels.
After a deep sigh and a few adult beverages, I made a list of the projects that I needed to reweave and then I invited folks to join me.
How it works
I started these weave-alongs on a total whim. If you participated in another “along”, this one may or may not be the same. We are quite informal—I throw out some dates, suggest a pattern that I want to reweave, and we weave it together.
Participants need to purchase the pattern/video/book and gather their materials, so I try to give at least a couple of weeks’ lead time.
Sometimes there is a kit or other yarn support. Cotton Clouds has stepped in to kit the first two patterns. They specialize in cotton yarns and weaving kits and have clubs just for rigid-heddle weavers. We may be heading into some wool projects in the next few months with other yarn partners, so stay tuned.
Although there is an official start and end time, folks tend to get started early or go late, which is fine with me. To the newcomers you may feel like you have stepped in a rushing river—in essence, you have! Please introduce yourself, hang out for awhile, and soon you will riding along with us.
Think of this as an interactive pattern. You are weaving along at home and get to a stuck place. You hop into the Facebook group or Ravelry chat thread and ask questions, share progress, vent frustration, celebrate successes, and get general support from your fellow weavers and me. Along the way I also offer up blog posts to help supplement the project material.
While a weave-along is in session, I check in at least once a day to answer questions. If a weave-along is not in session, feel free to chat about your weaving life, though I do ask that we stick to weaving.
The Facebook Group contains the chat from all the weave-alongs. I start a new Ravelry thread for each new weave-along. I ask that you stay on topic while a Weave-Along is in session.
What projects are you weaving?
So far, we have woven the free throw pattern that comes with my new Double Your Fun video (September 2016), Yarnworker’s Color-and-Weave Pattern (November 2016), and the Vanilla Cake Table Scarf (December 2016/January 2017), and the Bouquet Shawl (February 2017) and Simply Striped Rug (March/April 2017) from Weaving Made Easy.
We are in transition right now as I reorganize and move the weave-alongs to a new platform. If you are interested in learning more and supporting this effort, check out my Patreon campaign. My big fat hairy, scary idea is to build an online weaving school devoted to rigid-heddle weaving education.
As we make decisions about what’s next, I’ll send out updates via the Weave-Along mailing list—Sign up for the Yarnworker mailing list and check “weave-alongs” as an interest.
Hosting these weave-alongs has been a transformative experience. There are many troubles in the world and my aim to not have your weaving life be one of them.