At the beginning of the year I had my first pattern for weaving published in the first-of-the-year-renewed-110year-old classic, the finnish Taito-magazine (no-pressure for a first-timer, right), but the very same night as the magazine came out, some more experienced weavers noticed mistakes in my pattern. And they weren't small either, the numbers were wrong, the pattern repeat did't add up.. Fark I thought! My first pattern and I landed flat on my face! And the mistakes were weird too, they didn't make any sense. To be honest, I do not know what kind of dyscalculia I had been struck my when writing it.
Words cannot say how bummed out I am about this, as it was a pattern published on paper, real paper, not even an online thing where you can just upload a new version and be done with it.
But to keep it real, these things happen. I am hooman. I apologize. Well, the online world did save me in the end and the very next morning the correct pattern was posted on Taito's facebook page.
Why am I writing this? Well because it got me thinking about how different writing instructions for weaving is to actually weaving. It is reducing a beautiful and exciting creative activity to a simple draft; black and white with checked boxes and numbers. But I do it gladly, even making mistakes, if more people will find the silent joy and feeling of liberation I get out of weaving because of it.
I still have more patterns to plan, design and make this year. After the first one (experience of errata mess included) I am now a bit wiser about how to put the whole thing together on paper, and of course will be benchmarking from the way Finnish weaving patterns have been put on paper so far. Shan't get too eccentric with the writing, I'll save that for the weaving.
In the meantime, I have to tell you my path to weaving didn't come via written patterns or formal schooling. I learnt how to weave as an apprentice. With sensei we rarely looked at full patterns, we just checked the tie up, tweeked it to our needs and went from there, HANDS ON. I think that is the best way to learn a new craft.
So, coming up, I will make patterns that give the weaver direction, but leave doors open for free exploration with materials and treadling varying from my write-up. Be bold, be brave, make mistakes like I did and learn from them! I am so happy to see weaving has made a bit of a comeback right next to knitting and crochet, and what's so great about it is that we have a super rich history of loom weaving in Scandinavia. Along with that history we now have more knowledge of materials and more fibers to play with thanks to the global crafting community.
So, having said all this, it crossed my mind, that writing patterns has gone from being the end of interaction between designer and maker to being more like a conversation opener. Social media is a platform that has worked out more than well as a way for weavers, knitters, dyers, spinners, homesteaders and other yarn nuts to connect and discuss. I would love to hear from you and your thoughts about weaving, whether you are a seasoned maker or just dreaming of starting, whether you use a big floor loom or a table top ashford.
Til we meet again, let's keep the beaters, hooks and needles going, shall we!