Weaving in Time for Yourself

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot written on the concept of “self care.” If you haven’t heard this buzz term yet, self care refers to the little things you might do that are purely for yourself and not a daily necessity: bubble baths, hiking, and, of course, weaving are all examples of possible self care. These are also often the things that go the wayside when life gets busy. Sometimes it’s hard to balance all the need to dos with the want to dos and so our books are unread and our looms are empty.

weaving

Christina still happily reminisces about the first project she wove on her floor loom: a set of Finnish twill towels in navy blue and white cottolin. She doesn’t even remember what chores she neglected to find the time to weave them.

It’s so hard to find time to weave when there are dishes to wash and errands to run and everything else that falls under the “have to dos” rather than the “want to dos.” I know I fall into the trap of believing I have no time, and frankly that’s no good. Self care is important: the things we do as self care are what we do to relax, recharge, and remember who are when we’re not working. When we take time for self care we feel better physically, mentally, and emotionally. For me this means feeling creative and getting to see my creativity in action on the loom. So I’ve made a decision: I’m going to carve out time for myself at least once or twice a week and use that time to do *something* related to weaving. How am I going to do that with a full-time job, two dogs, a husband, and a wee baby without neglecting something? Here are my top 5 tips for working in weaving when life gets crazy:

1. Choose at least one night a week to have a lazy dinner. Make something that is quick and has little to no cleanup. Breakfast for dinner is usually a good choice—I’m a fan of scrambled eggs, toast, and fruit. Whether you cook, do dishes, or both you’ll only have about 10 minutes of work or less. Use the time saved to work at the loom.

2. If you haven’t already, invest in lease sticks. I used to be a “do all your warping in one go” kind of girl, but now I realize I’ll have to find time to warp here and there throughout the week, which means my days of sitting down with a cross in one hand as I sley the reed are over. So I’m going to invest in some lease sticks so I can keep my warp organized even if I only have 10 minutes or less a day to work on it.

3. Reading counts. I’m going to be real honest here. I don’t get a lot of sleep anymore with a six-month old and I don’t see a lot of sleep happening in the near future. This means I might not always feel comfortable at the loom because weaving while sleepy can lead to mistakes. So instead on those days when I find the extra time to focus on weaving, I plan on grabbing my favorite weaving books digging in. I love to read and learning more about structures, finding projects to weave, and just feeling inspired is often just as much an example of self care as the actual process of weaving. Right now I have Next Steps in Weaving by Pattie Graver by my bed for just this reason.

4. Make your intentions known. I’ve let my husband know that one evening a week I’m going to want at least 30 minutes to myself to focus on my weaving. I wanted to tell him for two reasons. First, so he knows to expect extra time with the baby those evenings. Second, it’s so he can encourage me when I start to feel guilty about going to my loom or cozying up in bed with Next Steps in Weaving and a notebook. He’s my weaving cheerleader and in return I make sure that he also has time outside of his normal responsibilities to enjoy some self care.

5. Don’t feel guilty. I saved this one for last because it is so hard. There’s always something else that needs to be done and it’s easy to feel guilty about being at the loom when you know the floor needs a good vacuuming or the weeds outside are getting out of control. When this guilt comes to visit me I ask myself what will I remember a year or more from now. Will I remember that I didn’t mop the floor this week, or will I remember lovingly weaving a present for a friend? I doubt there is a weaver among us who on their deathbed will think, “Oh, if only I had done more dishes instead of spending all that time at my loom!” So do your best to shake off that guilty feeling and get back to what you love doing.

So here you have it: an official pledge to focus more on weaving and less time on guilt. If you’re also the type to push weaving to the side I encourage you to also take a similar pledge. In fact, if you feel so inspired to also make a pledge of weaving and self care let me know. Email me how you’re going to work more weaving into your schedule at handwoven@interweave.com!

Happy Weaving!
Christina

Photos by Christina Garton.


What will be your self care today?

4 Comments

  1. Leah D at 8:34 am August 9, 2017

    Thanks, Christina, for your article on Weaving in Time for Yourself, all good reminders and hints on how to not feel guilty about sitting down at the loom. I am curious about the first colorful photo in the article – are they towels, and was that pattern in one of the Handwoven Magazines at some point? Thank you for any information about it that you can share.
    Leah Dewald

  2. Sidney F at 9:22 am August 9, 2017

    Very good advice, Christina. You have some real good suggestions in there. And, of course, there’s always the guilt…I like your idea on how to deal with that!
    And, like Leah, I was captivated and inspired by the weaving in the photo. Please, do let us know about it. Did you weave it? What inspired it? What was made from it?
    Sometimes, indulging in reading your blog is all one can do…

  3. Peri M at 11:52 am August 9, 2017

    Love this post. Can’t promise what I’m going to do yet, but it does inspire me. I so well remember those days. Takes heroism to keep going, but so important to keep those connections. They will make it easier when your time gets a bit more flexible later.

    Yes, keep the weaving light going, but also forgive yourself when the promises don’t work out!

  4. Roxanna R at 10:32 am August 14, 2017

    I’m also intrigued by the first photo — please tell us about it!

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