Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Weaving a Life

Weaving a life
with threads of glass;
fragile and sharp
they can cut you.
Reflecting a world
of beauty and pain;
the warp of years
the weft of experience.

Weaving a life
with threads of song;
joyous release
it can free you.
Harmonies of love and sorrow;
the warp of years
the weft of experience.

H.Walters 2011

I wrote this poem last New Year's Eve - clearly in a deeply contemplative mood at the time! With my mother's 80th birthday approaching I have reflected on her life. Her lack of options for education, her entire adult life marred by illness, repeated surgery and long periods of hospitalisation. 

Her indirect influence on my life has been conversely to value education, value independent thinking, question everything and value creativity. My gift to her is to weave a summer silk wrap, combining a strict weave structure with free form Saori type weaving. Somewhat of a metaphor for our contrasting approaches to life!

This wrap comprises my first attempts at a leno weave, my first use of a silk warp and weft and using the maximum width on this loom at 45cm. The finished length of the wrap is 185cm plus 18cm fringes at both ends.

As I wove, I made conscious moment by moment choices about changing the weave structure, adding silk fibre, changing the beat and skipping some warp threads. Struggling with uneven warp threads due to my uneven beaming, meant I had to constantly add weights to parts of the warp. It sure wasn't smooth sailing! Rather like our lives.

It is now off the loom, hemstitched, washed to see settle the silk yarns into their new life, twisted fringes done and ready to give to my mother. With my love woven in, even if I cannot say the words.



  1. I really LOVE this heather. Really lovely. I think how you combined a traditional structure with the Saori approach to weaving is indeed a wonderful gift which perhaps represents your connection to your mother and her life. Great blog post. THank you.

    1. Thank you for your response Kaz, much appreciated.