writer, artist, scholar, cultural critic, queer theorist

A. W. Barnes

Weaving 101

26 August 2018

A beginner's sampler

For 12 hours over the weekend of Aug. 25 & 26, 2018, I learned to weave at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn. It was AWESOME. 

Weaving came naturally to me because, like cross-stitching and crocheting—and Agnes Martin paintings—weaving is all based on the concept of the grid. I am highly attracted to the grid in art and in my everyday life. The grid gives me a sense of being grounded while at the same time allowing me to stretch the boundaries of that grid by exploring different techniques and questioning traditional concepts of what it means to weave (or cross-stitch or crochet or live.) 

What I like about weaving, however, is that planning and preparation is far more important than in cross-stitching or crocheting. While you certainly have to plan in these other textile processes, it's easier to change or correct your work in both of them as you go along. In weaving, however, a great deal depends upon how you begin, how many yards you need to measure for the warp, how the yarn is to be threaded through the heddles, all of which will affect the final textile.  When the loom is dressed, that is, it's dressed, and there's no going back once you've started weaving. 

To the right is my first sampler. I was playing here with technique as my teacher —Isa—taught us about plain weave and twill and herringbone. I was also experimenting with color blocking

(Isa told me that I have good selvedges. Who knew!)

I've already bought my first loom, and have spent way too much money on Yarn.com buying books, tools, and yarn.  

I can't wait to start weaving.