Turning Confinement into Creativity

Like many people around the world, I’m choosing to practice social distancing. While I’m stuck at home, I’m going to use my newfound free time to take on a few of my “someday” weaving projects.

Christina Garton Mar 20, 2020 - 4 min read

Turning Confinement into Creativity Primary Image

Photo Credit: Zuzana Karerová on Unsplash.

As I write this, I’m on day 4 of not having left the confines of my yard, and it looks like my family of 5—3 humans and 2 dogs—won’t be heading out any time soon. While we’re practicing social distancing, it’s tempting to hide out on the couch, but while my movement is limited, my creativity is not. I’m going to take this time at home to not just dive headfirst into weaving, but to take on some specific challenges for myself, and I invite you to do the same.

For months I’ve had a warp on the warping board ready to be cut and go on the loom. I’ve put it off, waiting until a magical day when I suddenly found a few hours to sit down and warp the loom. That time never came—we had guests, errands, and so much to do. Now I have an abundance of time, so the warp will soon be going on the loom. Whenever I need some time alone to forget about the rest of life for a while, I can steal away to the guest room and get lost at the loom.

Skeins of yarn

Have extra-special skeins of yarn you just haven’t gotten to weaving yet? Now is a great time to put them on the loom and weave up something wonderful. Photo Credit: Óscar Aguilar Elías on Unsplash.

Once my planned runner is completed, I want to go through my stash and find those special yarns I bought with a big idea. You know the kind—you go into a yarn store or stop by a vendor at a conference and there’s a yarn you just have to have. It’s beautiful, and immediately you pick it up and say something like, “Oh I must get this yarn and weave it into a shawl—it will match my favorite dress, and I have the perfect warp yarn in my stash.” You buy it, take it home, and carefully place it in your stash where it stays gathering dust.

I have many such yarns—hand-dyed Navajo churro, golden muga silk, and naturally colored green cotton, to name just a few. They have all languished too long as I reach instead for my 8/2 cotton again and again. No longer—I resolve to weave at least one dream project with these not-quite-forgotten yarns. If I’m to be stuck inside, then I would like to be stuck inside weaving something that will not only bring me joy to finally get on the loom, but that will also remind me of the story behind the yarn.

Now is also the time to start playing and experimenting. In the upcoming 2020 issue of Easy Weaving with Little Looms, Robin Lynde wrote a wonderful article about using the clasped warp technique on a rigid-heddle loom. I am in absolute awe of the design possibilities this technique opens up—you can create warps that look hand-painted! Now that my weekends are completely open, I can’t think of a better time to start playing with this technique.

I might be stuck at home right now, but that doesn’t mean I need to hide. Shakespeare wrote King Lear and MacBeth while under quarantine, and while I’m not saying I’m going to write the King Lear of scarves (I’m much more of a Much Ado person, myself), I do plan to use this time to be creative and focus on the act of creation, one thread at a time.

Happy Weaving,