Yesterday* I finished a little weaving on a tiny loom that Sam made for some workshops I did last year. There were a few looms left over and I brought three inside with a basket of yarn for the kids and me to work on as we wanted.
I started the weaving well, and contentedly. But then after a short while I started to feel like I didn't know what I was doing, or more to the point that I wasn't doing it right. I pushed the weaving aside to look at Instagram and see the other people on there who I follow who do quite stunning and amazing weaving artworks. I looked and looked and felt a whole lot inadequate.
I haven't been taught how to weave, aside from as a child by my mother and at school. I haven't done any workshops or online tutorials. Or even looked at a how-to book on weaving. The weaving making that I do is fairly innate and self-taught. The memory of under-over-under-over. But the knowing of any other special stitches or how to make the exact right way of setting up or finishing or adding embellishments. All of that is unknown to me. Unknown except for what my brain tells me might be the right way.
I sat with this feeling of not knowing, and being wrong for only a short amount of time. I pulled my weaving back in front of me. With my selection of colours and yarns I told myself that the very first humans to ever weave and make cloth or fibre of any sort didn't have a teacher except their mother or father, and didn't have a book or a fancy workshop. They had their materials and their human innate understanding of maybe how something could work. They didn't know if it would work or not, but they kept on trying until it did. And they kept on listening to their own thoughts and intelligence.
The weaving I have made I am not sure if it would be classified as art or craft or design or simply over-under-over-under of yarn through yarn. But what I do know is that when I made it (and I make more, not just weaving but other makings) I felt good and like I was following - making - my own journey and not following someone else's journey or rules or pathway. And when I look at this weaving I see a piece that talked to the maker and the maker talked to it. A conversation and communication between hands, mind, soul and materials.
This, I realised, is the best way for me to create. To make with my own inner guidance, to use my understanding of how things work and not have to follow. I don't have to lead either. I just have to happily meander along my own path.
I have entitled this weaving
'she whispered in my ear'
*this piece was written some many years ago (2013?), sitting in my drafts - for some reason never published. I like adding it to my story now - as since this piece I have found my own direction and non-path path for weaving. I have learnt new stitches, I have taught other people how to discover their own weaving styles. I have talked, conversed, listened to my materials and time and time again been delighted in the tales we tell each other, in the stories we create together..... the yarns we weave. And I have realised that while names don't matter, calling myself a textile artist and weaver feels right.