Beginning Weaving With Tom Knisely: Now Coming to a Mobile Device Near You
Some of my best friends are weavers. Sadly, I am not. Sure, I’ve warped a Cricket Loom or three, and I have some wonky coasters and random oblongs to prove it. But I’ve always considered learning how to weave “for real” too complicated and laborious a task to ever seriously consider. Then I discovered Tom Knisely and his course Beginning Weaving. Tom has taught weaving for over 30 years—from the most begin-iest of beginners to weavers who thrive on complex, multi-harness projects. In 2011 he was voted Teacher of the Year by Handwoven magazine, and after watching his course it’s easy to see why.
First off is just Tom himself. After 5 minutes, you immediately see why he kills it when it comes to teaching. The kindly demeanor, the soothing Bob Ross sort of voice, the gentle enthusiasm that shines through every moment . . . Tom really did have me at “Hello.”
But for all the appeal of Tom’s style, it pales when compared to the substance behind his teaching. For beginners such as myself, weaving terminology seems excessively arcane, loom technology is complex and intimidating, and when it comes to reading a weaving draft, well, that’s when my brain hits a brick wall. Tom walks you through all this effortlessly: loom mechanics suddenly make sense, the steps to warp a loom are reasonable and logical, and drafts become legible. By following along as Tom weaves a simple scarf pattern, you learn how to plan, warp, weave, and finish a piece. And Tom’s vast knowledge encompasses not only weaving, but also the common mistakes new (and not-so-new) weavers tend to make. His calm—even cheerful—demeanor in the face of potential disaster transfers through the screen; mistakes are easily fixable and often a cool learning tool for better weaving. Misthreaded a heddle? No problem! Broke a warp thread? Pfft! Funky selvedges? Here’s an easy fix.
Most importantly, watching Tom makes you WANT to weave, and want it bad. I went from tentative interest to pricing floor looms in the first 30 minutes of this course (maybe for my next major birthday). The section on weaving twill is what sealed the deal for me. If I can go from wonky coasters to creating beautiful twill samplers, I will have Tom to thank. And since driving the 1,400 miles to his classroom in Pennsylvania isn’t exactly feasible, Beginning Weaving lets me have access to Tom’s teaching whenever I want.
Beginning Weaving is now available as a streamable course you can watch at your own pace, anywhere, any time, on any device.
Featured Image: Tom Knisely’s Beginning Weaving is now available in a streamable, watch-anywhere course format.