I love hearing stories of why people began weaving. For some of us, it's in our blood. We grew up watching our mothers or father or grandparents weaving and before we knew it, we were hoarding yarn and daydreaming of studio space. For others, it was a happy accident: a picture on Instagram, a friend with a loom, inspiration at a craft show. Some came to weaving for a reason and others for no reason at all.
Recently, my friend Shannon became interested in weaving. As a new mother, she was looking for something to do that was simply for her. It turns out that weaving was just what she needed.
We've partnered with Shannon to give new weavers out there an example of what someone's first experience with a Mirrix Loom might be. She has been blogging about her experience and is happy to help any of you start on your own weaving journey.
I interviewed Shannon about her motivations and her experience weaving so far! For more, you can visit her blog here!
How did you get interested in weaving?
I was recently laid off from my job. I have a young baby and I was looking for something to do that was for myself. I think it’s easy to get wrapped up in the role of “mom,” which is an amazing role to have, but it’s also really easy to lose yourself and who you are. I was looking for a new hobby, and found myself spending what little time I had alone on Facebook or playing Words with Friends, and I felt like I was wasting my time with that type of stuff, so I thought, “What can I do that brings out my creative side?” I knew that my friend Elena and her mom had a company, Mirrix Looms, and I had never really thought about weaving before, it was not on my radar, but I thought, “Hey, I have resources right there and people to help me get started." I had always admired the tapestries and beadwork and I thought that maybe now is the time to try something new. I talked to them about giving it a try, and here I am.
What are your interests in terms of weaving? More traditional tapestry? Something more experimental?
I’m starting from the very beginning. I don’t want to go off on an experimental limb right away; I want to learn the basics and understand the traditional techniques, and when I feel comfortable enough with that, in the future I can start experimenting with more modern techniques.
What are your goals right now when it comes to weaving?
I think having a creative outlet and just kind of learning a new hobby. For me I’ve found so far that weaving--when the cats aren’t trying to steal my yarn or when Emma isn’t tring to put her hands in it--is really relaxing, and I wasn’t expecting that at all. So I am finding it right now to be a therapeutic creative outlet.
What was the scariest thing about beginning to weave for the first time?
I was intimidated by the loom itself and all the pieces and warping and everything and the whole set-up part. But then there were lots of resources on how to set up and warp and I found that that was really helpful and made it a lot less intimidating and made me feel a lot less alone in finding that intimidating.
What was the most fun thing about beginning to weave for the first time?
I think when I was able to unleash the creativity. I liked the creativity of hatching. I could let myself play and the next thing I knew I had woven three lines. I found myself intuitively letting the piece become what it was going to become.
If you could give a new weaver one tip about weaving on a Mirrix for the first time, what would that be?
My tip would be that there are a lot of Mirrix resources at your disposal, and don’t be afraid to use them. It can be intimidating, especially at the beginning when you’re starting out. There are a lot of step-by-step resources on the Mirrix website, and they were invaluable to me--and still are, because I'm still learning.
Why is weaving something that works for a mom with a young child?
Our house has been taken over by lots of stuff, lots of baby stuff, and with weaving I can have my bin with my yarn and then I have my loom. I feel like it can be contained. I can put the loom away when I am done with it and it isn’t taking up the space I don’t have. I took notes on what color I left off on and whether the shedding device was up or down, so starting and stopping was easy. I could put the loom away without having to clean up too much.
What Mirrix resources have been helpful to you?
The Set up and Warping Instructions, including the Warping for Tapestry with the Shedding Device PDF book and the "Easy Warp" Method PDF book, and the How to Warp a Mirrix for Tapestry YouTube video were really, really helpful. Also, the Heddle Troubleshooting was great!
What project do you have planned next?
I ran out of yarn in my hatching project so next I want to continue my tapestry but using different techniques. I am also interested in the Texture & Sett project or another one of the free projects available, so I will definitely try one of those in the future.
You recently started a blog, what do you hope to communicate via that blog?
I am hoping that people who are new to weaving or are interested in weaving but are a little too intimated by it or aren’t sure where to start will be able to see that hey, I am new to it too; I frankly have no idea what I’m doing, but if I can do it, honestly anybody can do it. I want them to follow along with my journey, and maybe it will inspire them to start their own or to try weaving, too, if they’ve been thinking about it but weren’t sure how or where to begin.
Visit Shannon's blog here!
If you'd like to be kept up-to-date on Shannon's journey, please join her mailing list here: (If you cannot see the form, click here.)