Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Anything Worth Doing is Worth Doing Badly

No, I'm not suggesting that we shouldn't work hard to do things well, that would be absurd. What I mean is that you have to go through the phase where you are bad at something before you can get to the point where you're good at something. Unless you're one of those people who does everything well right from the start. If you're that person you should stop it because no one likes a show-off.

As you can see, I am learning to weave. That is my brand-ie new 15" Schacht Cricket Loom, with which, along with a couple of books on weaving and some yarn, I have begun my new endeavor. I'm weaving away... badly.

Alas, I fear that I have many oddly shaped, unevenly woven rectangles in my foreseeable future. My M.O. is to just wade right in and try it. Take a class? Pfft, whatever, I'll just fiddle with it until I get it. I knit a whole lot of weird looking rectangles when I was learning to knit too. The nice thing about knitting is that you can unravel the weird rectangles and reuse the yarn. You really can't do that with weaving.

The wade right in method generally works for me, or at least it will eventually. Above is the edge of my first piece. That is not how it's supposed to look, therefore, it is an excellent example of weaving badly. Apparently, there's a trick to getting the edges even. I'm going to have to find out what that is.

This is the actual weave of my first piece. This is yet another example of bad weaving. Apparently there is a trick to getting the weave even. I do believe that I will have to find out what that is too.

Fortunately for me the act of weaving is fun so the fact that the finished product isn't perfect is OK because making it was enjoyable. It's a good thing too. It would be awful to make something weird looking and hate the process of making it too. Talk about a lose/lose.

And here it is, my first project, fresh off the loom, in all of its glorious unevenness. I am experiencing the "IKEA Effect" (When you like something you've made, even if it stinks, just because you made it.) So I have worn it anyway. If you see me wearing it and choose to mention that it's uneven prepare for a withering look and subsequent eye-roll coming in your direction.

That isn't all though. Here is my second project:

The weave on this one is evener (that's actually a word, go figure) however the colors are what they are because I ran out of yarn for the warp. I really like the colors so that doesn't matter to me. It is also about ten feet long so I have to wrap it around my neck three times so it doesn't drag on the floor. Apparently there is a trick to estimating the correct yarn requirements and the end length. Yet another thing about which I must find out. I might try felting it to make it shorter... could work.

Here is my newest project:

It's going to be a pillow cover for Lu's bed. I'm at a temporary standstill with this one because I had to order more yarn (see above about estimating yarn requirements taking special note of the part where I mention I haven't a clue how to do it.) This yarn stripes by itself so that is pretty cool-looking! My edges are better and the weave is mostly even. Progress!

Anyway, I will be doing this badly right up to the point when I'm not. I'm guessing two more projects and I will be in the "not bad" stage and probably three more after that until I get to the "good" stage. I'll get there, I typically do for anything I consider worth doing. For the record, learning to play softball and beat-boxing are not worth doing, for me anyway.

I'll show you how that looks when it's done.

See you soon,


  1. So, (eyes scan ceiling of room) I used to be a weaver. Way, way back in the day. I even have a full-sized Schacht loom up in my attic, in pieces. When I was in college I made an intricate linen table runner for the woman who would become my mother-in-law based on a Colonial pattern.The breath I held when I dunked it in the water, fearing it would shrink. Spoiler Alert: it did. Doesn't matter, she never thanked me and never uses it anyway. And that was the end of my weaving career!

    Just kidding! I kept weaving for many years, but for me it's just not portable enough. When we get around to it we're donating my loom to a local art school. Time for the next you! Bravo for you and your beautiful scarves!

  2. I like your "bad" first attempt and would wear it, too!


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