The Weaver's Dance

On a loom that whispers, with shuttles that fly
And bobbins that chatter as the hours go by
I'll not lay in one thread of mere chance
As I work in the motion of the weaver's dance.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Yes, The Wonder and the Magic of .....Threading?

My last show of the season found me in my booth listening to a relatively new weaver talk about threading her loom and doing all that work and not liking that part of the work and she starts to get all these aches and pains and it seems to take forever and she can just barely tolerate it and she makes errors and she is wishing she could get someone else to do it FOR her. She had pretty much decided that, well, weaving was not for her....

I have heard this so many times before...

It is rather the unromantic side of it, isn't it? But, we all have to pay homage to our crafts, ALL of us do, and...well... this is one of them.... And then there's getting down on your knees on that cold floor to change those darn tie-ups. Then we are REALLY bowing down to pay homage!

Look at the importance of this part of weaving....look what incredible magic takes place here. Look at this as a chance to see a new design. Look at the fun of trying a new weave structure. Look how you can make or break you fabric right HERE...

In our fast-paced world, few of us are so content to just slow down, let ourselves relax and get down to one thread at a time and that's what threading IS.

And, I think, there's a tension, too, a worry....a what-if-I-make-an-error-tension that creeps into our minds and takes away all the fun.

So maybe it's not weaving at all, but our forgetting that this is our craft and we can take the time to enjoy the wonder of it. It does take time, too, that one-thread-at-a-time job of threading. So what can we do to make it better?

Okay, we can put on pretty music, we can thread for small bits of time (so we don't get overtired), we can let the phone go to voice mail (so we don't loose our concentration), we can make sure the light is good and well-placed (most weavers don't do this), we can drop the back beam, remove it or fold up the loom (so the job is easier to reach!), we can make sure that the height of the stool we are sitting on is just right (so we don't get a back ache or neck ache), we can have the right threading hook for the size thread and the size heddle, we can have the right glasses on (some people have trouble with their bifocals and get a single-vision for "threading distance"), we can attach our threading draft right up there on the back of the last harness for ease of sight, we can add markers to that draft (so we can quickly keep our place with a clothes pin or something), we can thread in small "groups" (so we can stop and check our work every 12 threads or so), we can say that we are going to take the time... it's well worth it... we are well worth's an investment of effort...

We can also approach the task with the knowledge that, if there's an error, we'll just fix the darn thing.

We can fix anything....we are WEAVERS!

Gosh, it's beginning to sound like we have to CARE about this whole part of the weaving process and, if we are thinking right now, "Who the heck could I just HIRE to do this part".....

Well, with thoughts like that, we will never find the joy.... never.

Okay, so go sell the loom and go play golf or something....but like SO many parts of weaving, so what do you do?

 So make peace....finally, just make peace.... and go thread...

With Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.


  1. I love the threading part of weaving. That's when I get to touch every thread and create future design that will show up when I weave. I love the quietness of it. Thanks for your joyful, patient approach to weaving and learning!

  2. Well said! Your cheerful and upbeat post really made my day. Thank you for reminding me to find the simple and delightful moments in weaving that I cherish.

  3. Thank you Karen and Thistle Rose Weaving, I appreciate your visiting my blog and your comments. I am joyful and patient and wish those attributes on every weaver I meet!! Happy weaving and Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.