Confessions of a Novice Weaver–Week One


The long and painful countdown was finally over, and I was ready to get weaving. I showed up at Shuttles barely able to contain my excitement. My classmates, who span several generations, seemed to share my enthusiasm, and Judy wasted no time starting the program. The next four hours would be spent taking us from ground zero to actually weaving. This was a lot of information to take in over the course of four hours. I would highly recommend heading to your local weaving shop to check out their selection of books and looms just to familiarize yourself with the basic concepts of weaving and the anatomy of the loom before you start taking a class. Working here at Schacht definitely gave me an information advantage, and I was still zapped by the end of the evening.

Confession # 3:

I kinda like warping the loom. This probably won’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me well. The general impression I had of warping going into this class was that it was a big drag. One would spend a great deal of time trudging through the preparation, and then the actual weaving would be like zipping down the highway with the top down on a sunny day. What I found is that I actually enjoy the preparation. It is a finite period of time during which you get closer and closer to the excitement of creating something real. And when the loom is warped, it’s a thing of beauty – the moment of anticipation before the party starts. A clean shed is a bit of a thrill. Two basic things to keep in mind when you’re warping the loom: use enough light and take your time. You’re dealing with lots of fiber and some very tiny spaces. Set time aside to really focus on the task at hand. Put on some music and create your own little world. Rushing the process = icky shed. And icky shed = unthreading and rethreading and perhaps the utterance of a few not-so-savory words. Next week…mad about plaid.

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 ( ).