December 23rd, 2015

Reflecting and Moving Onward

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Soon the holiday hubbub will be over and we can settle in to the quiet reflection of winter. It’s a great time to draw a long breath and take stock. I enjoy celebrating many ‘new’ years throughout the calendar year – January 1st, Lunar New Year, my birthday – because it’s a chance to pause and look at what has blossomed in the previous cycle and what seeds I’d like to plant in the new one.

In my weaving life, this contemplation often centers around learning; no surprise as I grew up in a family of academics and librarians. I have been inspired by the beautiful pieces woven in deflected double weave for several years and am particularly excited that we will have a class taught by Lisa Hill in March. Lisa has designed several drafts for us that showcase this weave structure and I’m looking forward to learning more about it.

LA's weaving plans for the new year. What will you learn in 2016? read more on the WEBS Blog at

While I love the hands-on learning of classes, I am also partial to books for gleaning new techniques and deepening my understanding of weaving. One of the newly published works this year is Next Steps in Weaving by Pattie Graver. I’ve been recommending this to new weavers to develop their understanding of the craft, and I realize that I, too, want some time to immerse myself in this book just for the many tips scattered throughout. The subtitle of the book is What You Never Knew You Needed to Know and I look forward to enriching my knowledge.

The other skill I seek to develop this year is to begin sewing garments from my handwoven fabric. I am not really a scarf-wearer, but I would love to wear what I weave so it’s time to jump into sewing. Judith Shangold’s book Weave Knit Wear is a great place to start. Judith brought the garments when she spoke at our guild this fall and I am really impressed by how she used the flow and drape of the fabric to design pieces that are gorgeous, simple to weave, and easy to construct. The fabric is woven on a rigid heddle loom, but the design principles apply to any woven cloth and I am using that inspiration to plan some clothing for myself.

Those are the seeds I’m planting and the next step will be to tend them when they sprout. This means that I will take what I’ve learned and weave. It’s easy for me create many things in my mind, this year I commit to putting the knowledge into action. I’m excited to see what I create at the loom and how I channel the information I’ve studied. What do you want to learn this new year?

Leslie Ann
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