When I am weaving, I am in the zone and this time gives me space to think and be creative. Although I love the peacefulness of it all, sometimes I just wish I could move a bit quicker and have the weaving all done to move on to the next project.
You have probably already realized that weaving takes a bit of time and patience. But, there must be a way to weave quicker, right? Yes, there is! Here are my top 6 tips to weaving faster and completing projects sooner than later.
1.Use a shed stick
A shed stick creates an opening between warp yarn for the weft yarns to pass through. Instead of only using a tapestry needle to move between the warp yarns, the shed stick can hold the yarns in place.
For example, if you are weaving plain weave, the yarn is woven in the over-under pattern until it reaches the end of the yarns. Weave the shed stick following this under-over pattern, and do not remove it. Turn the shed stick in a horizontal position and pass the yarn bobbin or shuttle through the opening. Lay the shed stick in a vertical position and slide it towards the top of the loom.
Now you can alternate every other row using the shed stick to create an opening between the warp yarns and using the tapestry needle to weave the yarn.
For more detailed instructions on creating and using the shed stick, check out this blog post.
2. Create a string shed / heddle
A string shed picks up the other set of yarns that the shed stick does not. I prefer to create these in bundles of 5 to 10 warp yarns. Instead of moving the tapestry needle in-between every warp yarn, the yarn heddle creates an opening (similar to the one created by the shed stick) with the alternate set of warp yarns in the new following row.
Here is the complete tutorial to creating a string heddle.
Once the string heddle is in place, you only have to pull it up and feed the yarn through.
3.Use thicker yarns
Thicker yarn takes up more space quicker than thinner yarn on the loom. Thicker yarns fill the area with fewer rows and it can save you more time. I think that its good to develop the composition and mix yarn texture while weaving, so a balanced mix of a variety of yarn thickness will add character to your weaving but also save you some time.
You can learn more about yarn fibers on this blog post.
4.Use bulky patterns
Bulk patterns such as soumak and pile weave and knots take up more space and have a fuller appearance than flatter patterns. These patterns add intricate texture and movement to the piece.
That being said, it does take time to create these patterns. After some practice, these patterns can be created a bit easier and efficiently.
I think that bulky patterns create character in weaving and space the yarns take up move the creating process along. Soumak weave creates a braided pattern. Add loops to your weaving with pile weave. Rya knots also add drama and take up more space by adding more material to the weaving.
For a full tutorial on these patterns, click here.
5. Accent the negative space in the warp
When creating a composition, there are negative and positive spaces. Similar to drawing, both must be balanced. As you add weft yarns to the weaving to create an image or design, you are decreasing the negative space and increasing the positive space. Hence, more negative space exposes more warp.
Leaving some warp exposed without weft yarns, accents these opened spaces. These spaces can be left on the top, bottom, or throughout the piece. Not only does it put the warp on display, it is also an area that you do not have to weave in.
6. Create a weaving schedule / goal
I don’t like to rush the creative process- its important to take your time and listen to the yarns. Sometimes you find colors that work well together or yarn textures that blend like butter, but other times an entire section needs to be redone or the transitions between colors is not what you planned. Often, projects take a mind of their own and we have to be ready for the ride.
Nonetheless, keeping a schedule and a goal in mind can keep you on track for completing your projects.
In my TOP 10 list of weaving supplies, an essential item on my list is a sketchpad. In this sketchpad I encourage you to not only sketch out your ideas for weaving projects and collect yarns samples in it, but also in it develop a plan that maps out your personal project goals. Your goals can have soft and hard deadlines that fit your lifestyle, so this schedule can always be adjusted.
Perhaps there is an art or craft fair that you want to present your work in, or you want to create your own online shop or portfolio, or maybe you want to weave all your family members something nice for the holidays. If you think it, you can plan it and weave it!
These tips to weaving faster have helped me weave not only quicker, but it has also helped spark creativity. While weaving, not only are we thinking of creative solutions, but often new ideas pop up for the next project. I hope that these tips bring you some solutions for completing projects a bit easier.
Thank you very much for visiting my blog.