(Blog post originally written and published in July 2017)
I beweave I have a problem.
If you follow us on Instagram, you’ve probably noticed that I’ve been weaving up a wavy storm here in Lunenburg.
Would you like to know why and how I started weaving?
I’ve been knitting for over a dozen years. What does that have to do with the price of tea in China or weaving for that matter? Be patient, there is a point here. I first picked up my knitting needles when I was working at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia shop and a co-worker was knitting scarves. I had grown up watching my own mother knit and when I became pregnant with our first daughter, Sophie, my love for knitting grew and grew as my belly grew and grew. And if you saw how big my belly grew during that pregnancy, you will understand that if my love for knitting grew at the same rate, I was addicted to knitting by the time that generous baby came out!
What is one of the biggest side effects of a knitting addiction? Yarn Stashing!!!! Knitting is essentially the gateway drug to weaving. Hence, the knitting slash weaving connection in this story.
When I started following Australian based tapestry weaver, Mary Anne Moodie, several years ago, I discovered that weaving would be a great way to use up those woolly leftovers from knitting projects. But, I was intimidated by the thought of a new craft. Weaving was foreign to me. But not my mom. In addition to selling her own handknits, felted hats and mittens, she had also picked up weaving. I asked her to weave a tapestry for me, however she did what any good craft pusher would do – she bought me an Ashford weaving frame and told me to do it myself! Parenting at its finest. She has taught me a lot, in her nurturing do-it-yourself educational approach to parenting self-sufficient children.
I made my first tapestry about 3 years ago. I used some of my finest yarn bits and dove into it with guns (or, darning needles) blazing. It was shaped like an hourglass and Travis told me that it looked like a dress! I was not pleased with myself ... or him, and like any control freak would do, I said, “I can’t do it so I won’t!”
A couple of years later, I dusted off the frame loom. I signed up for online tutorials and workshops to figure the heck out of this weaving tension business and wove like my life depended on it. And here we are.
Weaving has become intertwined in my own wellness practice. Others like to meditate or practice yoga for peace and clarity. I weave. I also throw a yoga pose in there once in a while, however, I find the satisfaction that I get when I create a handmade piece to be wonderfully fulfilling. Weaving helps to ground me when parenting three willful girls has me spinning in circles over a pot of spaghetti. The over and under flow of the weaving motion, the warmth of the textiles, the earth infused wool and natural fibres helps to ease anxiety and tension at the end of a challenging day. The freedom to escape structure and rule, the whimsy, the disconnection from machine and technology (except for the Instagram feed full of weavings, of course) that comes from using one’s hands to create something unique, natural and one of a kind is such a beautiful practice. And one that I intend to keep up.
That is the why and how I started weaving. You can find my handwoven wall hangings at Here Nor There Shop in Mahone Bay and Jenny Jib in Lunenburg, as well as on this site and our etsy shop. Or, if you are interested in learning how to weave, contact us for workshop information.
Beweave in yourself.