A Project on the Loom is Worth 2 in Your Head

Raise your shuttle if you’re addicted to planning weaving projects. Keep it up if this sometimes keeps you from actually getting a project on the loom because you’re too busy dreaming up the next big thing. Don’t worry, my shuttle is in the air with you. I am guilty of always planning the next project without actually weaving the project before it. I call it Chronic Project Planning. I’ve planned and even bought the yarn for scarves, towels, and runners that exist only in my head. It’s still January, and 2018 is a brand new year, so I’m going to do my best to change this mindset. After all, as the old adage goes: “A project on the loom is worth 2 in your head.”

There is nothing wrong with planning projects, including dream projects, that you may never weave due to cost, loom requirements, or lack of desire to actually warp your loom with thread that must be sett at 60 ends per inch. The trouble happens when constant planning becomes a reason—nay, an excuse—to never actually warp your loom. Chronic Project Planning gives you a false sense of productivity, when really it’s another form of warping procrastination.

Keep it Simple

As a professional-level procrastinator, I’ve found the best way to break the cycle is to reduce the large task at hand into manageably sized pieces. Pick a project and stick with it. Once it’s planned, make a goal to wind X warp threads each day, and wind the first batch immediately. This way, as soon as you finish planning, you have technically started the project. Make your daily winding goal a specific number of ends and not a set amount of time. It will keep you motivated and on task, and you’re less likely to be distracted by making the perfect cup of tea (the studio is so cold, after all) or finding the perfect playlist to fit your current mood (Hamilton or Bossa nova?).

If you’re weaving a wide project, and you warp front to back, consider using lease sticks or making a tabletop heddle holder like Madelyn van der Hoogt uses in Warping Your Loom. This way you can sley the reed in parts as well. Keep things manageable. Warping a 36-inch wide project can seem overwhelming; sleying just 6 inches of that same project seems much more doable.

on the loom

Christina finds simple rewards while warping keep her motivated. If you love tea time, buy yourself a special blend, and reserve it for fiber activities. Image from Getty.

Reward Yourself

Keep yourself on task by offering simple rewards. I know weaving is its own reward, but I find that sometimes incentives help me to get projects on the loom. They don’t need to be big rewards or even “stuff.” For example, I love listening to podcasts. As an incentive, I only allow myself to listen to certain podcasts when I go on a run, when I’m prepping dinner, or when I’m working on weaving. Find what works best for you. Maybe there’s a special tea you love but never buy—get a package and limit yourself to drinking it only when you’re at the loom.

Weave Happy

Once your project is on the loom, you can congratulate yourself! You made it! If you’re like me, then you’ll have no problem finding the time to actually weave the cloth. I do suggest taking your time and really enjoy the process of weaving and the magic of seeing warp and weft cross to create cloth. Savor the joy of throwing the shuttle back and forth. Remember why it is that you love weaving, and chances are you’ll have so much fun that as soon as the project is finished, you’ll want to get the next one back on the loom!

I encourage any fellow Chronic Project Planners (aka procrastinators) to join me and make 2018 the year that we actually follow through in our weaving plans. I know I’m going to start . . . tomorrow. (Kidding.)

Happy Weaving!

Featured Image: Use Christina’s tips to combat Chronic Project Planning and finally get a project on the loom. Image from Getty.

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