It’s All How You Look at It: Weaving Perspective

Lately I’ve been thinking about perspective and how it impacts my weaving and my life.

My husband is 6’2″ and I’m 5’5″. Not a huge difference in height, but the disparity becomes clear when we’re hanging pictures. No less than 50% of the art in my house has one or more holes behind it. Left to his own devices, Gary hangs pictures at what he considers the correct height, only for me to come along later and disagree. One day after one of our “conversations” about picture height, I decided to see how the world looked from his perspective. I grabbed a 6″ step stool and walked around our house, using the stool to see our house from (almost) his height. It was an eye-opener. The world actually looked different. If you have a step stool, try it. It’s interesting.

weaving: Tabby cat sitting on chair, looking at painting. GettyImages

Tabby cat sitting on chair, looking at painting. GettyImages

A friend recently told me she was happy to be living in a small town because she doesn’t like the heavy traffic in Fort Collins. I tell people in California that I love Fort Collins because there isn’t a traffic problem. From my perspective as a resident of Southern California, there is no traffic in Fort Collins. Traffic is the 405 on a Friday afternoon.

I am reading a book about how the way you process events and problems in your life determines their impact on you. It’s really just about perspective. If you apply this thinking to weaving, it means the mistake you make while threading could either make you upset or cause you to figure out a better way of tracking your progress. You could worry about your selvedges not being perfect or you could see imperfect selvedges as part of your style, or as an opportunity to learn a new technique for throwing the shuttle. If you run out of weft before you finish a piece, you could panic (my usual) and order more, or you could see it as an opportunity to try another color or weft type, or a reason to finally learn how to accurately calculate weft yardage.

I am trying hard to apply my new thoughts about perspective to all areas of my life. It doesn’t come that easily, but I believe in the long run it will be worth it. It helps a lot when I am trying to understand my own and others’ negative reactions to problems. When I step back, I can often reconfigure a problem into an opportunity. Broken warp thread? Instead of being irritated, maybe a better approach is to determine why it broke in the first place. Uneven tension? Maybe it’s time to review my warping technique or learn how to effectively weight loose warp ends using water bottles.

Gridlock? Perhaps it’s really just a chance to relax or sing along with the radio. It’s all how you look at it.

Weave well,

Looking with new eyes at your weaving is all part of the weaving journey. Here are some books and videos to take along.