Recipe for a Weaver

October started with Weaving & Spinning Week (Oct. 1-8), but I feel like one little week is just not going cut it! So, I’m keeping it going for the whole month! Woohoo! My first order of business – a recipe for a weaver.

Why a recipe? Here’s the back story. Growing up, I was surrounded by creative, crafty people – who, in turn, always encouraged me to be creative! But one of the arts that never stuck was cooking. I simply wasn’t interested. I could handle the basics – boiling water, scrambling eggs, baking cookies (not good ones, mind you), etc. That was it! I recall my uncle coming to visit and he was horrified that I didn’t have any CorningWare, which he promptly remedied by buying me a full set. (Thanks, Uncle Bert!)

When I moved to the Chicago suburbs in 1998, I didn’t have cable tv. And not much was on Saturday afternoons if you weren’t a sports fanatic. So, I ended up watching cooking shows on PBS. Did this spurn me on to invent amazing culinary delights? Absolutely not. But, it did begin my love of watching cooking shows. I was mesmerized! Fast forward to much more recently and little by little, I’ve been intentionally going into the kitchen! I’ve learned that while I still have very weak cooking intuition, I can follow a recipe like a champ! And I’m starting to get into it! Who knew?

Woven fabric hot off the loom!
Woven fabric hot off the loom!

I kind of love the idea of a recipe and they’ve been on the brain lately (along with a few intriguing pumpkin-flavored sweets!). So, here is my personal recipe for a weaver. Amounts may vary. Take it all with a grain of salt.

To create a weaver, you must have the following ingredients –

Patience – this is huge! Weaving is a long process and you have to possess the ability to take a big breath when things are going sideways and carry on. (This takes up a huge portion of a weaver’s makeup! I’d say 52%.)

Problem-Solving Mojo – oh boy! Because there are a million steps, there are also a million possible pit falls! Being able to look at a problem from a different angle is wildly beneficial! (This one is also pretty important! It’s a solid 23%.)

Broken tie on lever of table loom
I snapped this guy just the other day! You have to be part engineer, I’m telling you!

Linear thinking – what comes next? It’s all about taking the next step and determining what is important when you get there. (Definitely key! About 18%.)

Big picture thinking – seems odd that you need to have both skills (linear & big picture). But, when you have been threading heddles for almost 3 hours, it is a good thing to remember the finished product and what you are working towards. (We’ll say this one’s almost as important as it’s linear fraternal twin – 17.3%.)

Persistence – ah, yes. Working on a loom is a lot like life. You put in many hours setting up the loom and getting into the project. If you hate it, you can’t just cut it off and give up. You have to change directions, change the end result, change your expectations. Use a different yarn, tweak the tie-ups, throw in a weird color. But, you MUST KEEP WEAVING! (Just a note – technically, you can cut it off. But, the weaving fairies get very disgruntled when you do! I highly advise against it.) (Oooh, persistence… it’s like the backbone of a weaver. A solid 40%.)

Creativity – duh! This seems obvious, right? But hear me out. Weaving is a ridiculously old craft, and honestly, it’s all been done before… or has it? Because it is such a big process, there are opportunities at every step to dance a little variation from what was done before. Techniques, equipment, materials, colors, patterns – it’s endless and thrilling! (You need about 15% creativity, but it needs to be a fierce 15%!)

Curiosity – what if? Anything is possible! Go for it! (This is a fun one! It’s a twirly little 10.9542%!)

A Touch of the Crazy – weaving is nuts! Why in the world would someone create their own fabric when you can easily and cheaply buy it at JoAnn’s? Or better yet, buy it finished and ready to go at Target! Well, my friends, weaving is magic – that’s why! And I’m fairly convinced that only those who are a bit touched can see it. (You only need a tiny bit – maybe 1/2%?)

Threading heddles
A million trillion heddles, all waiting for a single yarn to fulfill their destiny!

I do believe my percentages don’t get remotely close to adding up to 100%. But, they portray the relative importance of each ingredient when making up an entire weaver. Weavers aren’t avocado toast (even though I do appreciate a fancy piece of toast!). Instead, they are the pot roast in the crock pot simmering the entire day, making the entire house smell delicious. They are steady and true, with just a pinch of something mystical.

This is my personal salute to the weavers in the world. I can’t imaging being a member of a cooler group of artists! You are my heroes & my inspiration! Happy cooking weaving!

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