Confessions of a Novice Weaver–Part Four

This is the fourth installment by new weaver Melissa Ludden of our sales and marketing department at Schacht Spindle Company, Inc.

With several weeks of weaving under our belts, Judy took this week to review our progress to date and to teach us how to read drafts. She also gave us the week off from our weaving assignments, so I took the opportunity to reflect a bit and also to work on developing some project ideas.

As a new weaver there are many questions that arise with each new technique learned, project completed, idea discovered. Does being a good weaver mean I have to follow the rules? Does following or even using a pattern really matter? Is there a right or wrong way to weave? It seems to me that each technique I learn gives me a better understanding of my loom’s capabilities, and that the creative possibilities can be as varied as one weaver from the other. I find myself drawn to the idea of creating cloth which can then be sewn and transformed into objects for daily use or wear – a bag to fit my bicycle basket, a fun skirt to welcome spring, an apron with pockets and loops in all of the right places. As a spinner, I am also intrigued by the idea of integrating hand-dyed and handspun yarns into my weaving projects. For some time now, I have been collecting images that inspire me – color combinations, textures, scenes in nature and daily life– and I look to these for ideas when planning a new project. And while I may still be a very new weaver, I am looking forward to expanding my creative process beyond the pattern books.

Melissa Ludden Hankens

You can find Melissa designing weaving projects for the Schacht blog and E-news. Melissa is also online at and on Instagram as mlhankens ( ).