Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Just Weave!

One of my gifts is the ability to generate a number of ideas. In fact, I can gauge how much sleep I'm getting and how little stress there is by how quickly or easily they come. If I lose myself in the fountain, there's something regenerating in it for me. Now, they aren't all practical ideas and for those who are very practical my idea spouting is rather irritating. But within it, there's always something worth looking into. Sometimes I'll find someone has already tried it. that's okay - there's another idea behind that one. I sadly realized sometime around 30 that there are more decent ideas that come than there is life left in me. Now I'm in a phase of filtering. I may even be so kind as to filter before I present them to the practical people! So the question becomes - what do I really want to do?

Case in point - I have fallen in love with weaving. I only have a limited amount of time to dedicate to it since I do still have a full time job and do play the harp. The ideas that spurt around weaving are wonderful, and complicated, and engrossing, and require large blocks of time to get started. My looms sit lonely while I try to figure it all out.

Last Friday, on the way home from work, a concept that hit me during the wedge weave class came back. What if each alternating wedge were from one picture and the others were from a different one? For example, all the odd passes were strips from one picture and all the even were from another. All sorts of geometric patterns flew through my head. "What if?" is one of my favorite questions. Still all of this was too complicated to not get some paper out and carve out time to plan. A second concept came back from class. What about something simple where a beautiful variegated yarn does all the work and I just weave? (Let's forget I don't own said yarn and would have to drive up to Asheville to get it...) Hey, I now have multiple looms and one can be just for simply weaving. I need the practice and it would be great to have something I can work on in large blocks of time or just for 15 minutes after work.

I pulled out my colored pencils and started sketching on grid paper. Be proud - I chose the simplest sketch and picked out colors based on yarn I actually own! And you know I don't feel I compromised - amazing! Basically, the design still takes into account every other wedge is from the same picture. The "pictures" are sine waves and the background is blocks of color. This weekend I was able to complete 3 inches of an 8" wide weaving. This week I've been able to start on the 4th inch. I'm enjoying it and it's keeping my hands in the wool!


Life Looms Large said...

I'm an idea generator too! One of my favorite things to do is get together with some one who doesn't have ideas and just let the ideas fly - especially if it's in a subject area I don't know a lot about.....so I won't be tempted to try to bring any of those ideas to fruition myself.

You sound more at peace with filtering out ideas than I am. And I'm older than you....so it's high time I learned!!

I love the look of the new tapestry you're working on! Nice that you could start it with yarn you already had!!! (Although acquiring new yarn isn't a bad thing!)

I sometimes feel like projects take me too long to plan....but most other weavers I talk to have a planning phase when they do something new....so I try to have projects at different stages to avoid having to do a ton of planning all at once. (I like the concept part of planning, but the nitty gritty how-to-do-what-I-want part sometimes bugs.)

Thanks for sharing your weaving journey!!


Theresa said...

Great looking piece! At one time I did four round quilts, all different patterns but the same size. I cut them into pie shapes and reassembled them into a different shape all together. It was fun and challenging.

Jennifer said...

Sue - Thanks for sharing -

I love the idea generating with another area, the problem is I am tempted to bring it to fruition together with them. There little that excites me more than starting out with something new. I have one friend who says just give me a blank sheet of paper and a box of 64 crayolas with the sharpener in the back!

U;timately I am lazy and only want to do things once, so the filtering has become part of that. Once I've done something i'm ready to go onto trying something new.

I do enjoy buying new yarn, but I also hate waiting to get it in - so I was thrilled to make what I owned work out.

I love the planning stage, but I also know I need to give myself space and time, so I'm hesitant to do anything until i give the time it deserves. The nitty gritty has it's own brainstorming time and there are so many possibilities. The end result generally morphs. So I have one loom for just such projects and one loom to keep my skills up! I think this might work.


Jennifer said...


Thanks for the encouragement. I think the piece will turn out pleasing to me at least. I have many variations also on that theme that I think could complement the other well. I like the taking apart and putting back together. I'm thinking eventually that will be how some of there go. But those require more planning time!!!


Anonymous said...

The pattern you came up with looks really neat! I look forward to seeing it when you get it all finished.

Some of the things in your last couple posts sounds so very familiar! I just yesterday put a post up about chasing one of my many many weaving ideas down with some colored pencils. And about catching up on the neglected laundry LOL which I believe you mentioned in your previous post ;-) And as one last added bonus of familiar territory, I'm a harpist also :-) Though I haven't been playing as much lately as I used to.

Just found your blog today, and enjoyed looking through it! I'll be sure to check back again.

Jennifer said...

It's wonderful to find an other weaver and harpist! When I started the weaving, I was told I must have a "string thing"! I had not put that together until then. It is a difficult bablance to keep it all up, but I find it waxes and wanes what gets the most attention. If course things like laundry tend to scream for it! Thanks for checking the blog out.

Life Looms Large said...


I am with you in the only-do-things-once camp!! It's really funny to me how many things we have in common!

Thanks for blogging about your creative journey! I put an award for you in my blog, so hopefully some of my blog friends will become your blog friends!


K Spoering said...

Jennifer, I love the picture at the top of this post! Is that you?
Have you ever read or seen Sylvia Heyden's book, "The Making of Modern Tapestry"? She does some amazing and clever things with wedge weave that I think you would love!! This looks like a fun tapestry. I'll enjoy watching your progress on it.

Jennifer said...


Thanks for the Kreativ Blogger award! It's funny I do this for me and just hope someone comes along for the ride occasionally!


Jennifer said...

That's not my at the top of the post, but I couldn't pass it up when I found it. i especially love the chalk all over the seat of his pants!

I do have Heyden's book - mostly because she's a violinist and a tapestry weaver, so I could not pass up owning it since I play the harp also. Reference to her book came up in the wedge weave class and what I was taught was a little different - but maybe there's an opportunity to combine thoughts! Hmmm...