Sunday, October 29, 2023

Crackle Weave: Manners of Weaving

Initially, I was going to call this blog post "Crackle Weave: Treadling," because treadling seemed like the next topic in a logical progression of notes:
Except with crackle, there's so much more to it. Treadling is where the fun begins because this is when the patterns reveal themselves on the loom. But also part of the equation are yarn choices (colors, number, and types of weft, etc.) plus the way it's treadled. So I changed the name of the post to better reflect that. 

What I've collected here is a list of the some common ways crackle is woven. I think, really, anything goes, but these are mentioned in multiple sources, so this is my starting point. I'd like to note that they are sometimes called by different names, and I've listed those as I've come across them. Also that this list is a work in progress.

Overshot Manner (also called traditional or two-shuttle crackle)

threading - Scandinavian Favorite
  • uses two shuttles
  • alternates pattern and tabby wefts
    • pattern weft - contrasting color to warp and tabby wefts and heavier
    • tabby weft - same as warp (but may be different color)
  • blocks are woven to square (as many weft picks and warp ends)
  • differs from overshot as there are no floats longer than three threads
  • typically treadled "as drawn in." (see below)
  • Patterns featured in Marguerite Porter Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book and Anne Dixon's the Handweaver's Pattern Directory both use this method of weaving.

As-Drawn-In (also called tromp-as-writ)
  • treadling simply follows the threading draft
  • uses two shuttles
  • alternates pattern and tabby wefts
    • pattern weft - contrasting color to warp and tabby wefts and heavier
    • tabby weft - same as warp (but may be different color)

Plain Weave

threading - Scandinavian Favorite
  • one shuttle weave (no tabby)
  • alternates plain weave sheds: 1 & 3 and 2 & 4
  • typically used to start or finish off a warp
  • threading pattern is pretty much lost with plain weave treadling

As Twill
  • crackle is a twill based structure, so any of the 2/2 twill treadlings will work
  • can be woven with or without tabby
  • yarns can be same or different sizes
Twill treadling without tabby (here, a birds eye treadling)
More treadling examples can be seen here. This piece, here.

On Opposites
  • opposites can refer to either:
    • Alternating opposite sheds. For example, a shed from shafts 1-2 is alternated with 3-4. Contrasting colors are used for the wefts. Tabby is optional, but produces a more stable fabric.
    • Pattern blocks. For example, one pattern block is treadled with shafts 2-3 for so many shots, and then treadled 1-2 for so many shots. The second block is treadled with the opposite shafts 4-1 and 3-4. With this treadling, tabby must be used to avoid long warp floats.
  • produces a weft-faced fabric
  • See Weaving On Opposites for more information.
"Cottage Windows." An on-opposites pattern produced from opposite pattern blocks.

Italian Manner (also called Italian style or Italian method)
  • three shuttles
    • one pattern weft (often the heaviest yarn)
    • two background wefts in different colors (known as Background A and Background B) similar in size to the warp
  • treadling sequence is four shots
    • Pattern
    • Background A
    • Pattern
    • Background b
  • background wefts use opposite sheds between the pattern shots, either
    • 1-2 and 3-4
    • 1-4 and 2-3
  • no tabby. The Italian manner replaces tabby with a different set of opposite sheds.
  • emphasis is on color
  • The color sequence remains consistent throughout, it is the treadling that progresses with each block. Eg. 
    • A alternates 1-2 and 3-4
    • B alternates 2-3 and 4-1
    • C alternates 3-4 and 1-2
    • D alternates 4-1 and 2-3
  • can also be woven with one or two shuttles
  • See The Italian Manner for more details

Polychrome (poly= many, chrome = color)
  • method of color mixing
  • four weft colors
  • can use different color warp
  • treadled to rotate two weft colors per weft block (one as pattern, the other as tabby)
There are others, but I'm going to stop here for now, as this will give me plenty to work on.  Hopefully, I can add more in the future. Also, I plan to add photos of each as I work my way through them. 

Friday, October 27, 2023

Table Runner 1 Is Done

Project Particulars:

  • Pattern: Fibonacci stripes in a 2/2 twill and reverse
  • Yarn: 8/2 cotton
  • Sett: 24 e.p.i.
  • Width on loom: 17.5 inches
  • Woven length on loom: 30 inches
  • Finished width: 15.75 inches
  • Finished length: 28 inches

Weaving Notes

Noteworthy 1: When I was just getting started and weaving the plain weave header, I noticed that there were warp stripes appearing. They're especially noticeable in the dark gray warp sections.

Upon a closer look, I discovered that these are the result of the way the reed is threaded. I only have one size reed, which is 10 dents per inch. So far, I've woven my samplers and dishtowels at 20 ends per inch, or two per dent. The sett for the table runner needed to be 24 per inch. That meant I had to thread the reed in a 2 - 2 - 3 sequence. The result is that where there are three threads in a dent, they are bunched up and formed stripes in the plain weave header. 

Thankfully, this wasn't a problem when I wove the twill.

Still, it's something to keep in mind and perhaps consider purchasing a 12 dent reed in the future.

Noteworthy 2: As I measured the project length on the loom while weaving, I allowed a couple of extra inches beyond my targeted project length for take-up. When I got it off the loom it was no longer under tension and so was shorter than I expected! Thankfully, length is arbitrary, and so this is one of those "don't point out the mistakes and no one will notice" thingys!
To compensate, I used the plain weave headers like borders for the hems. 

I was able to get my targeted length and I'm satisfied with how the plain borders highlight the twill pattern, Who's to know it wasn't planned? 

Now on to plan table runner number two.

Related Posts:

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Crackle Weave: Tie-Up

I'm currently using a table loom, so I have no treadles to tie up. With each shaft permanently attached to a single lever, I have what is known as a direct tie-up loom. These use a liftplan, and I have to manually lift the required shafts with their levers. Because crackle is a twill derivative, a standard 2/2 twill tie-up is typically used, so my liftplans will follow that sequence. 

1 - 2
2 - 3
3 - 4
1 - 4

Also, plain (tabby) weave for two treadles.

1 - 3
2 - 4

Rising versus sinking shed looms

I mention this because Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book drafts patterns for a sinking shed loom. I plan to use her book, but my table loom has a rising shed. (That just means that when the levers are engaged or treadles are pressed, the designated shafts are lifted. With a sinking shed loom, the designated shafts are pulled down. Both create a shed, i.e. opening though which to pass the shuttle, but the pattern may not appear on top of the fabric. It may appear on the bottom!)

So for Davison's patterns, the answer is to tie up the opposite of what the draft shows. (Unless one doesn't mind the pattern being on the underside!)

I confess that I have done projects in the past where I had to use a mirror to see how the pattern was progressing. Not ideal, so it's better to address it in the tie-up.


Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Crackle Weave: Threading

Threading is what makes crackle weave crackle. The number of shuttles and treadling patterns can vary, but all are threaded with the same basic elements. That threading is a 3-shaft point twill.

A point twill is when the shafts are threaded 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 3 - 2 (repeat). On a graph, (starting from the bottom right) it looks like this for a four shaft loom:

basic unit of a 4-shaft point twill

When repeated (right to left), the draft looks like a series of points. Point twill is one of the threadings I used for my twill gamp dishtowels

On a four shaft loom, a 3-shaft point twill can be threaded four different ways.

Any one of them can be repeated as desired. The tricky part comes when transitioning from one block to the next. For example, from A to B. As you can see in the above image, Block A ends on shaft 2, and Block B begins on shaft 2. Because crackle is a twill variation, the succession of threads must alternate odd and even shafts. The solution is to place transition threads between the blocks.

These transition threads are called "incidentals." You may recall from Crackle Weave: Somewhat of a History, that Harriet Tidball is credited as the first to standardize crackle draft writing. Her system repeats the first thread of the block as the incidental. In this example, Block A starts on shaft 1, so the incidental is threaded on shaft 1.

This follows standard point twill threading and works well when transitioning from A to B, B to C, C to D, and D to A. Berta Frey (Designing and Drafting for Handweavers, 1958) went on to address incidentals when blocks are skipped, for example C to A or B to D. In these cases, two incidentals are added to maintain the twill structure.

Mind you, this is all still head knowledge for me at this point. I don't plan to do any designing at present, but for now, understanding all of this helps me make sense of crackle drafts that I look it. 

Other threading notes

  • Crackle uses a tabby sett.
  • Berta Frey recommends threading the selvedges in a straight 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 twill, repeating as desired.

I don't know if that makes sense to anybody else, but having to write it out in my own words with my own diagrams has certainly helped me! 


Monday, October 23, 2023

Crackle Weave: Resources

Before I get any further into this series, I thought it would be good to list resources. This will serve as both a bibliography, as well as a centralized location for online resources I've found. It's a work in progress, and I will add to it as I find more. If you know of any good ones on crackle that I don't mention here, I'd appreciate your pointing me to them in the comments.


I think I now have most of the recommended books on the subject. Except for one, the older sources are about weaving in general, but have a good chapter or section on crackle. Three (one old and two new) are specifically about crackle. Those are:

  • The Crackle Weave by Mary E. Snyder (1961)
  • Weave Classic Crackle & More by Susan Wilson (2011)
  • A Crackle Weave Companion by Lucy M. Brusic (2019)
Books with chapters or sections on crackle:
  • Designing and Drafting for Handweavers by Berta Frey (1958) chapter 10, "Crackle Weave"
  • The Key to Weaving by Mary E. Black (1945) chapter 8, "Crackle Weave or Jämtlandsväv"
  • A Handweaver's Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison (1944) chapter XXI, "Crackle Weave"
  • The Handweaver's Pattern Directory by Anne Dixon (2007) "Block Drafts. Crackle" 
  • The Shuttle-Craft Book of American Hand-Weaving by Mary Meigs Atwater (*1951 revised edition), "Chapter 12, "Additional Four-Harness Weaves: The Crackle Weave"
  • The Weaver's Book by Harriet Tidball (1961) "The Twill Derivative Class: The Crackle System"
Notes on books
  • *I have two editions of the Shuttle-Craft book: one of the original 1928 edition and also the revised 1951 edition. Crackle was added when the book was revised; it isn't mention in the original edition. A more detailed comparison of these two here.
  • Most of the old books are out of print. Some are easy to find used, others not.
  • Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book has been republished and you can find it here.
  • The Key to Weaving by Mary Black was revised in 1957 as The New Key to Weaving. I don't have access to that edition so I don't know if the section on crackle has been revised.
  • I'd like to do some book reviews on these in the future.


Shuttle-Craft Guild Bulletins starting in 1928 through the 1930s and 1940s (and beyond) have carried articles about crackle. These are available for PDF download from the On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics. I'll make a list of the issues as I identify them.

YouTube Videos

  • The Core of Crackle by Chris at Action Creative is an excellent introduction to the basics. It's geared towards new weavers, so she explains a lot of the weaving terminology too.
To answer my traditional versus classic crackle question, the welfordWEAVES series by Rachel Smith have been very helpful. It's more technical, and she takes awhile to get to the point, but she does a good job of explaining the differences between the two.

Online Articles, Blogs, and Webpages

Of these, the most helpful have been blogs and websites by weavers who are actually exploring this structure. The least helpful are sales sites focused on selling rather than teaching.
  • Talking About Weaving by Peg in South Carolina. That links to all the posts on her blog under the label "crackle." There are dozens of them, and I have yet to read and categorize all of them. She made a serious study of crackle and has lots of interesting ideas and experiments. Sadly, she hasn't blogged in a number of years.
  • Block Substitution by Kerstin Fröberg at Bergdala Spinnhus website. Kerstin is Swedish but the article is in English. Explores the American evolution of Crackle. 
  • The A,B,C's and 1,2,3's of Classic Crackle by Susan at Thrums blog. I need to note that "classic crackle" described here as a two-shuttle weave, whereas, I'm defining it as discussed in the second section of this blog post ("Traditional Crackle versus Classic Crackle")
  • Crackle Weave. A PDF at the University of Arizona.
  • Crackle Weave at

So, that's it at the moment. Suggestions welcome.

Related Post:

Sunday, October 22, 2023

Crackle Weave: Somewhat of a History

As I work on my table runner, my thoughts drift ahead to what I'm going to do next. I want to weave a second runner, this one for my daughter, but I want it to be different. One of the three-color samples in my third twill gamp dishtowel has stuck in my mind and got me thinking about Crackle. It's a weave structure I haven't explored yet, although akin to one of my favorites, Summer and Winter. I thought crackle would make for a good study, and what better way to start than with my second table runner. 

When I chose crackle for a learning project, however, I had no idea how complicated wrapping my head around it was going to be. This is, in part, because apparently, there are different types of crackle. I'm running across terms like "conventional crackle," "modern crackle," "classic crackle," and "traditional crackle." What makes it confusing, is that everything out there is usually presented as just "crackle," even though I'm aware that they aren't all the same.

This blog post is going to be my attempt to organize all the tidbits of information I've collected, to see if I can make sense of them.

EDIT: I seem to have an awful lot of notes, so I'm going to break them down into something of a series, starting with what I've gleaned so far about crackle's origins and evolution.


The history of crackle as a weave structure can be traced back to Sweden, where it is known as Jämtlandsväv or Jämtlandsdräll (depending on its regional origin). In the early 20th century, Jämtlandsväv was brought to the attention of American weavers by Mary Meigs Atwater. She introduced and explored it as "the Swedish technique" in her Shuttle Craft Bulletins (all of which are available as free PDFs at the On-Line Digital Archive of Documents on Weaving and Related Topics.) "Jämtlandsväv" is quite a mouthful for non-speakers of Swedish, so she eventually called it "crackle weave" because the look of it reminded her of the crackled pattern of old pottery or batik.

Harriet Tidball followed Mary Atwater as the owner and director of the Shuttle Craft Guild from 1946 to 1957. In 1949, she introduced a systematic set of rules for writing crackle drafts, and these became the standard that is still used today. 

Traditional Crackle versus Classic Crackle

Currently, crackle seems to have evolved into two distinct "flavors," Exactly how and when, I don't know. I do know that it became very popular after Atwater introduced it, and a lot of experimentation went on. In her The Weaver's Book (1961), Harriet Tidball mentions it can be woven like overshot, with pattern and tabby wefts, or as "classic crackle" which uses three shuttles, each with a different color yarn. Understanding this much helped me tremendously, because when I first started looking at drafts, I knew I wasn't always seeing the same thing. Yet, all were called "crackle."

According to Susan Wilson (Weave Classic Crackle & More), Jämtlandsväv was most commonly woven with two shuttles: one for a pattern weft, the other for a tabby weft. Mary Atwater started with these, and most of her patterns are woven in the same way, which was often called "overshot manner." Lucy M. Brusic (A Crackle Weave Companion) refers to this as the "traditional manner," I suppose because it was the traditional way with both Swedish and early American weavers.

So what about the three-shuttle crackle? After a little more reading I discovered that this was called "Italian manner" crackle. It uses three weft colors with no tabby.

Susan Wilson goes on to describe "Classic crackle" as one of the Italian manner treadlings. She describes it as using two different color "ground" (background) wefts and a pattern weft. The pattern weft dominates to create the pattern.


So, there's my head knowledge about crackle weave at the moment. Stay tuned for part 2, Crackle Weave: Resources.

 © 2023 by Leigh at Leigh's Fiber Journal

Related Post:

Saturday, October 21, 2023

A Find For Keeping Track of Length

I used to use twill tape to keep track of the length I had woven and how much further I needed to go. I'd make a mark at the beginning point and a mark at the length I needed. When I got to that second mark, I knew it was time to finish off. A tape measure would have been better, but I've never found one that wasn't made of plastic, which is difficult to pin to the fabric. 

Not too long ago I was at Hobby Lobby and found this.

It's cloth ribbon with a printed ruler motif. The numbers only go up to 10, which actually works out pretty well. I added a "1" to the second set numbers, then a "2" to the next set, and so on. The length of the ribbon is 5 yards.

It's easy to pin as I weave. I unpin it at the bottom as I wind the fabric onto the cloth beam. It was inexpensive, and Hobby Lobby puts ribbon on discount pretty regularly. I'm guessing it can be found elsewhere as well.

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Weaving Has Commenced

First full repeat of weft color sequence.

Even when I take care to make samples, I always experience a strong sense of anticipation when I begin to weave the full-size project. Sampling is good, but it doesn't give the over-all impression that the larger piece gives. For example, the mug rug sample I chose was just a snippet of the larger pattern and gave the impression of a dark fabric. But with all the colors and stripes in place, it seems okay and the balance of the various colors is in keeping of what I was wanting. 

It's weaving up pretty quickly, although I have to carve out the time to do it! At least I've made a good start.

Related Post:

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Warping Notes


I'm always up for an experiment. This one is from Deborah Chandler as one of three ways to tie the warp onto the back apron rod when warping front to back. 

Lashing the warp onto the back apron rod

I use lashing-on for tying the warp to the front apron rod all the time. But I found trying to do it on the back too fiddly, I think because the warp is not yet under tension. Not a keeper.


For warp separators, I've gone back to using slats from mini-blinds.

I apparently didn't keep the ones I originally made (how-to here). I liked my little strips of wood, but I don't have many of them and I can't seem to find them anywhere for purchase.  Anyway, these are lightweight, smooth, and curve with the warp beam. 

The wood strips make a good two-stick header.

Warp lashed on to the front apron rod and header woven to even out the warp threads.

With that, I'm ready to weave.

Warping Notes © October 2023

Related Post:

Saturday, October 14, 2023

Table Runner 1: Project Planning

This is going to be the first of two table runners I'm weaving for Christmas gifts. Sample making is done, so now it's time to plan out the specifics. The next step was to decide on a finished size, but table runner sizes are arbitrary, so I couldn't decide. Then I found a conversation on Ravelry about that very thing. The advice was good, so for this one, I decided on a finished size of 15 inches by 28 inches. My daughter-in-law's dining table is about 5 feet long, so that will allow for place settings at either end.


8/2 cottons in the colors shown

Fibonacci stripes in a basic twill and reverse. Here's the sample:

Sample #3
Here's the draft:

Click for a better look-see
  • This is the basic unit for the colors, threading, and lift plan (160 warp ends and 153 weft picks). They will repeat for the full length and width of the project.
  • I'm starting and ending with light gray warp stripes to give a sense of balance. My DIL's dining table is black, so I think the light gray will contrast to help the table runner stand out.
  • Right now I'm thinking hem, rather than fringes.

24 EPI (based on my samples)

Warp Calculations

project length: 28"
+ hem: 3"
+ 10% take-up: 3"
+ 10% shrinkage: 3"
+ loom waste: 20 "
= 57" warp = 1 yard 21 inches

project width: 15"
+ draw-in (1-2"): 1"
+ 10% shrinkage: 1.5"
= 17.5" width on the loom
x 24 EPI
= 420 warp ends

I'm going to adjust this because I want full width light gray warp stripes on the sides. That means I have to add a few more warp threads to complete the stripe. So,

Total warp ends needed: 424

Weft Calculations

None. I rarely do weft calculations, unless I'm running out of the yarn I want to use, then I'll calculate how much I'll need to make sure I have enough.

I think that about covers it. I'm ready to make a start.  


Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Table Runner 1: Samples 2

After the first set of samples, I wanted to explore two things.

  1. Sett
    • For the first samples, the sett was 20 ends per inch.
    • For this set of samples, the sett was 24 EPI.
  2. Color
    • I kept the same colors, but wondered if the first samples were on the dark side. For these, I swapped the dark gray and white, so that these are lighter.
Changing the sett meant changing the number of warp threads I needed. At 5-inches wide, the first samples had 100 warp ends. The second samples, at 5-inches wide, had 120. That meant adding another warp stripe.

The Samples

Mug Rug #4

Alternates weft emphasis with warp emphasis twill.
  • weft emphasis a.k.a 1/3 twill, i.e. the weft passes under 1 warp thread and over 3.
  • warp emphasis a.k.a. 3/1 twill, i.e. the weft passes under 3 warp ends and over 1.
Blatant threading errors! While a visual distraction, they don't interfere with
 what I want to find out. In fact, this would make a nice design feature in
another project. Which just goes to show that even mistakes can be inspiring.

You don't see it in the picture, but the weft emphasis stripes add a very nice texture to the sample.

Mug Rug #5

Is a balanced or 2/2 twill, i.e. the weft passes under two and over two.

The turquoise is more dominant, which I like, except for this project I want it as an accent, like it is in my daughter-in-law's home. 

Mug Rug #6

Same as #5 except I swapped the turquoise and light gray colors in the weft.

It's interesting how switching colors changes the personality of the piece. I followed the same draft in all these mug rugs. They are different because I'm simply progressing in the treadling as I weave each one, but there is a definite difference in how I perceive them. The increase in white makes them feel more casual to me.

  • Sett. 24 EPI is definitely a better choice. The 20 EPI worked for the twill dishtowels, which needed a softer hand, but for a table runner, I like the firmer fabric produced by the 24 EPI. 
  • Color. The second samples are nice, but the colors in the first samples have more zing. I think #5 or #6 above would make great shirt fabric, but a table runner is supposed to be an eye catcher, so the darker colors let the bright turquoise and occasional white pop out. And, I think, better suit my son and daughter-in-law's contemporary decor. 
Conclusion. I'm going to go with the darker colors, balanced twill, and 24 EPI. 

The chosen one, lol. Samples 1, Mug Rug #3

Everything else is going to be tucked away for future projects.

Sunday, October 08, 2023

Table Runner 1: Samples 1

Weaving time! I did my idea brainstorming in these two posts:

Next, it was time to weave samples to check the sett and see how the colors and stripes interact. For my woven samples, I'm making mug rugs.

Yarn: 8/2 cotton
Sett: 20 ends per inch

Mug Rug #1

First impression:
  • the weft dominant stripes are more dominant than I expected. 
  • I like the diamond affect made where the diagonals meet
Part of the problem is that my beat is too heavy, so that the weft is packed in more firmly than it looked on the software graphic. I can tell because I planned an equal number of weft picks as warp ends, but to make it square required more. 

Also, my diagonals aren't at a 45° angle.

So that gave me something to work on. I have to say that the more I looked at this sample, the more I liked the bolder stripes and the texture.

Here's how it turned out after wet finishing and pressing:

Mug Rug #2

For the second one, I used the draft from the second sample in my color swap post. And I took care to not apply so much pressure on the beater bar. The result was a better diagonal.

But! It looked sloppier and I had trouble with the selvedges. For some reason, it's always the left side that looks the worst. Must have something to do with my being right-handed.

I'm thinking that means I need a closer sett than 20 epi. 

After wet finishing and pressing:

I think it still looks sloppy.

Mug Rug #3

I also wanted to try a balanced 2-2 twill. 

After wet finishing and pressing:

Of the three, I like this one the best. 

Next, I'm going to make a few more samples with a tighter sett and experiment with a different color arrangement in the warp. 

Related Posts:

Thursday, October 05, 2023

Table Runner Sampler: Notes on Dressing the Loom

Notes for my records.

1. Marking the reed as a ruler.

This idea came from Curmugeon Weaves via Michele over at Sweet Leaf Notebook. The reed is measured and marked with scraps of yarn. The center is tied with one color, another color marks out one-inch increments, with a third color for the five-inch marks. This is extremely useful! No more having to count and measure to figure out where to start sleying the reed with a new warp!

2. Tying on the new warp.

Not exactly necessary for a short, narrow sampler warp, especially since I had to re-thread the heddles. But I had two things in mind. One was to reacquaint myself with the technique of tying on, the other was to learn the weavers knot. I tried to learn it back in my pre-YouTube days, but found written descriptions confusing. Thanks to video demonstrations, I managed to learn it. I figured a narrow warp would be easier for learning and practicing on, rather than a big project warp.

3. Weighted winding on.

The goal, of course, is even tension across the warp. With my first table loom sampler and twill gamp dishtowels, I used Deborah Chandler's no-tension wind-and-tug method. That actually worked quite well, but I'm in experiment mode and want to see if the weight makes a difference.

Now, on to weaving.

Tuesday, October 03, 2023

Encouraging Others

I dug this out from the back of my closet the other day. 

It's a vest I made in my earliest days of learning to weave. The patchwork is from some of my beginner's samples (of which I recall very little, and that points back to record keeping!) At the time, I was excited to be learning to weave and pleased to have done something with my very own handwoven fabric. I wore it to the next weaver's guild meeting (of which I was a new member). No one paid attention, until a small group of the guild's matriarchs approached and one asked, 

"Did you make that?" 
"Yes!" I said, pleased that someone noticed.

Nothing else was said, but the group exchanged glances before turning away and walking off. No one else at the meeting mentioned it, and I never wore that vest again. 

The irony is that one of that guild's stated goals was to attract a new generation of folk to weaving. 

The vest came to mind when I was updating my fiber gallery. I recalled the above incident and wondered, is there something I can do to make it look more polished? Maybe quilt the patches? Maybe add some fancy clasps? So, I pulled it out  and tried it on. No, it isn't designer quality and a more experienced sewer would certainly have done a better job. But looking at it again after all those years, I honestly didn't think it was bad as I feared. I decided I'm going to start wearing it.

We all start at the same place when we learn something new - the beginning. And I'm guessing that most of us worry about criticism about our learning mistakes and struggles. The reactions of others can encourage us, or discourage us. I can only speak to my own experiences, but because of them, I've always wanted to encourage others. 

My piano teacher taught me a lot more than how to play the piano. After I played a piece for her, she always found something to compliment before she went on to constructive criticism. That not only encouraged me, but made me so much more open to what she had to say.

I'm not saying that I think it's my place is to teach or correct others. And I don't mean to say something looks good when it doesn't. So maybe my vest wasn't up to anyone's standards at that guild meeting. But if just one person had said to me, "I love that you made something with your handwoven," I would have been so grateful. And encouraged to keep on learning and trying to improve my skills. And perhaps a little braver to share what I was doing. 

It's funny how little things can stir up thoughts and emotions from long past. I reckon the best thing to do, is to not let them be an influence in the future.