Cut It Off
I remember once as a child watching my mother cut partially-finished tapestry off of the loom.
"What are you doing?" I asked.
"I didn't like it." she replied.
She wasn't upset, she wasn't angry, she wasn't mumbling about the hours she'd spent weaving that piece that was now destined for the bin. She had simply decided that it wasn't what she had imagined and, instead of finishing something she didn't like, she wanted to start over.
This idea goes against something that is deeply engrained in us in this society: Finish what you started. You'll learn from the experience. Follow through. Don't give up.
There is truth in that, of course. Sometimes we want to give up on a weaving and when we push through we discover something new. We push our boundaries. We grow.
But there is power in trusting your instincts. There is power in believing that the time put into a weaving that you cut off of the loom is still time well-spent. There is power is accepting that your first try isn't always your best try.
I liken it to reading books. Often I'll begin a book and a chapter in I'll know it's not for me. I don't like the writing, the style, the main character. I think nothing of putting down the book and starting another, one that I may love, that may stick with me, that's worth my time to finish. Sometimes I'm halfway through a book before I put it down and never pick it up again. Other times I push through, unwilling to let those hours of reading go to "waste."
Last month I began taking the Balfour & Co. rug weaving course and weaving my very first rug. I was so excited to get started that I didn't spend enough time contemplating the design of my rug. I had an idea in my head and I wanted to get started that very minute. (I may have a tendency towards impatience...) As I wove I started to question my design decisions and disliked what I was weaving more and more until I found myself so disengaged with the piece I didn't even want to weave.
Finally, a few days ago, I cut it off the loom. It was so freeing. I could start over and change the design completely. And that's what I will do. I'm excited to get started again. I learned from some mistakes I made and I'm going to turn the would-be rug into a little pouch instead. All is not lost!
My point in writing this is simply to remind you that sometimes cutting a weaving off of the loom is the right decision. Sometimes it's the best decision. Sometimes it's the decision that ultimately brings you the most joy.
(If you're interested in learning to weave a rug like me, check out our partnership with Balfour & Co. As of the writing of this post, we still have kits and loom packages left and there is time to sign up for the next course.)