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Jumping In: Rookie Mistakes

December 4, 2012

For quite awhile now I have been debating on whether or not to take the plunge and purchase a new toy. Thanks in part to my fellow bloggers and a generous discount over the Thanksgiving weekend, I finally bit the bullet and purchased my very first loom. May I introduce Ferdinand:


I put him together (with the help of my Husband) this past Saturday and began a series of unfortunate events that ushered in my career as a weaver. The actual putting together went smoothly, with no real issues. While it was late (10pm) when we started I decided to try my hand at warping it and promptly made ever mistake a rookie could (and maybe even a few more.) First despite following the directions and reading up on possible first time issues I made the mistake of starting the warp on the wrong side. I quickly corrected with little damage but I think that took the wind out of my sales a bit.

Next I started on the correct side and tried again. This time I ended up placing too many warp threads through the slots (doubled them) after getting almost finished and realizing I was almost out of yarn (provided) I figured out my mistake and had to undo all that work. Starting over again, I made sure the loom was in the correct position and began warping with the correct amount of yarn in each slot and was just over halfway when I realized that I had missed a slot near the beginning. I ended up pulling it back until I met up with the offending hole and began again from there.

Having that satisfied I continued along merrily and finished warping (after 3 hours at it.) I then began the fun task of setting the warp up. After reading the instructions twice, I began pulling each of the two threads per slot through the heddle holes (terminology is still sketchy, apologizes) after getting this completely done (and feeling rather proud of myself) I showed off to my husband. I understood the basics of weaving by that point and put the heddle in the up position and realized I had made another mistake. (Those of you who are weavers probably realized this when I mentioned it earlier, but for those of you who are unaware, know this: I was only supposed to have half the yarn in the heddle holes.) I realized my mistake and after using some language that was born out of frustration and anger I once again pulled back the yarn and began again. At this point it was close to 2 and through sheer determination I resolved myself to getting it right and achieve my goal of being able to weave before going to bed.

So after getting it all pulled out and fixing (another half hour of frustration and cursing) I was finally able to start weaving (YAY!) I only managed a few rows before I had to call it quits, but I was satisfied with my achievement and fell into a deep sleep. The next day I was ready to get back on the horse and began weaving. I realized about 1/3 of the way through it that I had somehow crossed some of the fibers and after attempting to sort them out I only succeeded in making a bigger mess. At this point the poor warping yarn looked like it had been attacked by wild bears and I made the decision to just start over (it was best for all of us.)

So Sunday afternoon I set up my warping peg again and got to work. Dudes, it took me hardly anytime (having made all those mistakes before) to get the loom warped and to be ready for some actual weaving. For part of Sunday and Monday I worked on the weaving and the end my efforts were rewarded.

Very obviously a beginer scarf

Very obviously a beginner scarf

In terms of time I can see that it would be faster than knitting (minus the rookie mistakes galore) and I am totally smitten with the new toy. The scarf is very rough in terms of overall construction, there are plenty of mistakes, but in the end I am so proud and happy to have started this newest descent into the fiber arts world.


Day Two of The IntrovertedKnitter’s Guide to Surviving the Holidays

Set Boundaries: As an introvert it can be difficult to make people realize you need to be alone to recharge. My family is very much extroverts and it can be difficult for them to understand that I need a few minutes alone (during or after a long weekend.) In the past few months I have started making a point to set boundaries with them. It may be as simple as excusing myself from the room for a few minutes, or asking that they not be all touchy feely (this is still a point of contention for a few of them.) It hasn’t been easy and often they don’t understand that it does not mean I am upset nor does it mean that I want company.


Another way that is helpful to set boundaries is to consider avoiding events or activities that will inevitably make me feel uncomfortable or upset. Some of my extended family and friends tend to be a bit much to take in. Coming from a larger family and even larger extended family the holidays are often when everyone tries to get together. In recent years (for a variety of reasons I have been unable to attend a lot of these events) this space has helped me realize which events are triggers and when it might be time to say goodbye. I understand some obligations are seemingly so strong that the thought of not attending is akin to starting an organization that wants to eradicate baby bunnies. For this I would suggest setting boundaries in terms of time limits. If you can’t get out of going to your grandparents annual Holiday party where inevitably your cousin will make a fool of himself and your uncle will be a jerk, then it might be a good idea to go into with an understanding that you will only stay for a half hour (or more depending on your reserves.) In this way you are not only guarding yourself but also helping to keep the holidays cheerful and bright (lest you get annoyed and tell your uncle what you really think of him)

It’s a work in progress of course, and I think the most difficult part is not playing into the guilt from setting the boundaries.  You are likely to get it from family and friends, as soon as you impose a limit (whether you tell them or not) there will be a sense of blame befalling you. Caution: This is often manifested in the form of passive aggressive behavior. (ask me how I know) This guilt can often leave the introvert feeling as though they are ruining a holiday or event by not attending, or by attending for a limited time. Which in turn results in the introvert staying beyond their limits and ends in a fit of tears, words of anger or annoyance. In terms of the guilt, I am still working on that. My family is very much not introverts and as a result every year around this time I start getting plied with guilt trips about how I must like them because I don’t want to stay (or go at all.) The only solution I have found is to stand firm (it’s best for everyone) and understand that while people may be hurt, there is something to be said about self-preservation.


Do you have any areas around the holidays that you as an introvert struggle with? Are you an extrovert who knows and loves an introvert? Do you sometimes feel at a loss when it comes to understanding your Introvert? Let me know in the comments.


From → Fiber Arts, Writing

  1. Amanda Gerodias permalink

    I know you said there are a lot of mistakes in the scarf, but I still think it looks really pretty! Good job for sticking with it through the frustrations!!

  2. Q – Kudos for striving onward! I want a small loom too, I’m going to re-read your post when I get one hopefully I’ll save some major grief for myself.

  3. I think the guilt is a big one for me, particularly since I’ve been married and have both sides of the family demanding time with us each holiday. Good advice!

  4. Always happy to enable…er help. I found the most daunting part was the warp and there are quite a few videos on YouTube that might help. Good luck!

  5. shellssells permalink

    Right now it seems that all signs point to me weaving. I’ve got a loom that has been languishing under my bed. I don’t know how to use it. But, I feel strongly that some handspun works best with weaving, and I’d love to learn. I just make a ton of excuses for myself. I’d already pretty much decided I need to learn in the new year, and here you are posting something so beautiful!

Care to share? Let me know what you think in the comments section.

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