Weaving a Tartan (or anything else)

In her studio, Patricia Martin has stenciled some weaving thoughts. Very handy when you are feeling lost or frustrated or downright dumb.

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There is no mistake I cannot fix if I take the time.

This first one enters my head often. I will be warping or actually weaving when I see a mistake 15-20 threads ago. Doesn’t matter what the particular part of weaving you are doing. If you want to fix the mistake, you go back. You take the time to unwarp or unweave to the spot of the mistake. You fix it and redo everything you just undid.

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Weaving is time made visible.

The second one is less direct but, probably, more profound. When you are weaving you are making something. It takes time. A lot of time. But if you asked me how much time I spent on a particular project, I couldn’t tell you.

There is designing, doing all the math (repeatedly, if you have number phobias!), purchasing the thread, mulling the whole thing over in your head, then warping the thread on the warping board. (Is your head spinning yet?) Then there is the taking the loom apart so that you can beam the warp, thread the heedles, sleying the reed, tie up the treadles, put the loom back together so you can tie the warp onto the cloth beam.

There are a lot of strange terms to learn and then there are at least 23 different step required to get all those threads on the loom.

There is a lot of room for mistakes.

And if I take the time, I can fix the mistakes.

And that is what I have been doing with the Edward Bransfield Commemorative Tartan.

It is now threaded through the heedles and in its proper order. It has been counted and recounted and recounted and recounted.

In two weeks I will take each thread and put it through the openings in a weird wire thing called a reed. It will come out in its proper order, thread by thread and counted again (several times).

Then we will think about weaving the tartan.

It will take time. Remember “Weaving is time made visible”.

Categories: Edward Bransfield Commemorative Tartan, Tartan, Uncategorized, WeavingTags: , , , ,


  1. Fascinating. I suppose blogging is time sent into the ether


  2. Yep. That’s how it happens here in CO as well. Check, recheck, check. Crap, what happened? Oh, I see, back up, undo, redo, check, recheck, and eventually. Look what’s here. Time made visible! happy weaving to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This project has taught me a lot. Mostly how to channel frustration! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

  4. And you imagined it was about the weaving!😜

    Liked by 1 person

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