Monday, January 5, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Towards the end of 2008 I realized that I was not studying weaving. The difficulty and expense of attending workshops has precluded that experience. But, wonderful as they are, there are other ways to learn.

I may not have been attending workshops but neither was I reading books or articles—things that would help to advance my knowledge. What led me to realize this? A paragraph from a book I had been reading: Talent is Overrated by Geoff Colvin. Here is part of that paragraph:

“Imagine the difference if you made domain knowledge a direct objective rather than a byproduct of work. If you set a goal of becoming an expert on your business, you would immediately start doing all kinds of things you don’t do now. You would study the history of the business, identify today’s leading experts, read everything you could find, interview people inside your organization and outside it who could provide new perspectives…. The exact steps would vary depending on your business…..”

Colvin is clearly address peoples in business fields but, my gosh, what he has to say is just as important to me as a weaver. I have no desire to become a so-called “expert” but I do have an intense desire to grow as a weaver. Growth as a weaver requires more than just weaving. And it requires more than just thinking about weaving. It requires on-going and continuing study. And that, I realized at the end of last year, was my weak area.

At the same time I realized that using the best hours of my day—the morning hours—for weaving is not necessarily the best idea. I began to feel that these best hours should, when possible, be used for study and for creative design. Only when the weaving itself involves study and design in the process, as is often the case in sampling, will I start the day with weaving.

So that, last December, is what I started to do. And that is what I intend to continue doing in this year of 2009.

"Weaving Resolutions for the New Year" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 05, 2009. © 2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Susan B. said...

I was so pleased to read this post because my thoughts have been going in a similar path. I too want to grow as a weaver - I don't need to be an expert but I want to learn. Thanks for this post!

Peg in South Carolina said...

You are welcome, Susan.

Dorothy said...

Hi Peg, I'm good at the "read everything you can find" approach, but sometimes think I need to spend more time actually weaving and practising the craft!

I enjoyed your focus on crackle weaving last year and watching the development of your work.

Ideally we all need to find the balance between reading up on stuff and spending time doing our own thing. So while I get over the flu I'm reading lots and I'm planning weave projects, when I feel better hopefully I put the books away for a bit and just weave.

Best wishes for 2009.

JoOwl said...

I'd call all your work on crackle a real study program.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Dorothy, yes, balance is good. I have been so involved in weaving that the study has gone by the wayside. I hope you recover quickly from the flu!
Jo, yes, the crackle has been a real study program. But I need to read and study more broadly as well.

Jane said...

Good morning, Miss Peg, and Happy New Year! :)

Being a confessed bibliophile and having a tendency to become monomaniacal when I'm fascinated by a subject, the studying part is a big part of my life. In addition, being a lover of long, hot bubble baths (to soak my aching back), I oft combine the two and read/study in the bathtub.

This was a practice I began in grad school -- I had to do so much technical reading (not weaving related) that I decided that I would read for pleasure while in the tub -- sort of a "time out" zone.

I keep a stack of weaving books and/or articles in a basket by my tub, and read/study away. As you're aware, there's always something new that I pick up from each one, depending on what my latest weaving project or interest is. Not to mention those forehead slapping moments when something that didn't make any sense at all in my early weaving days, suddenly with experience makes perfect sense upon reading it now.

Balance between practice and theory is always hard to find. Especially for you, I would imagine because you have such a keen academic mind, as well as a keen drive for the hands on application. (I can relate here!)

If you discover the secret will you clue the rest of us in so that we, too, may find it? *grin*

Weave on/study on!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Jane, thank you for a wonderful essay that really ought to be rewritten for you blog.

Jane said...

oops! Pardon my unintentional "blogging on your blog," Miss Peg. You just have a way of bringing up great topics that prompt more thought.


Peg in South Carolina said...

Jane, I didn't meant to be critical! I just thought that what you had to say was much too good to be wasted on a mere comment!

Sue said...

Interesting post!! I'm really happy to have discovered some weaving blogs finally. I didn't realize it, but I'd been yearning for conversations with weavers about why they do what they do, how they think about weaving - rather than just conversations about projects.

Thanks for these ideas about studying. I do better learning something new for a particular task. So I try to divide my weaving into a project that will become a finished object, followed by a project that is just for learning purposes.

Interesting to hear about how other people learn about weaving!

Taueret said...

Happy New Year, Peg. I'm looking forward to another year of you learning about weaving too... since you share on your blog what you are learning!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Susan, welcome to weaving blogland! I hope you continue to enjoy the conversations you find on this and other weaving blogs. I like your idea of weaving a "real" project alternating with weaving a "learning" project.
Taueret, glad you are looking forward to my learning as well!