Scale: How it can turn your designs from muddy to magnificent

Sometimes creating handwoven fabrics feels like wrestling mischievous imps. A project that looks gorgeous in the initial sketch, or in a weaving software simulation, turns into a muddy mess when woven. A garment that looked great while you were sewing it blurs into shapelessness from across the room. Figuring out what happened can feel hopeless. […]

Frustrated with your weaving? Six Strategies to help.

Sooner or later, it happens. Your warp gets tangled, you make a bunch of mistakes while threading, or you find a treadling error – after you’ve woven four more inches. Or your project colors don’t turn out as expected. What do you do when your project has you ready to pull your hair out? This […]

Handwovens and Scale

Multiple pattern scales can be used intentionally to create pieces that transform as you walk up to them. It’s particularly important for fashion show garments or wall hangings, which are apt to be seen from both close and far away, but even with accessories such as scarves or shawls, you can create pieces that will […]

Ending Shaft Envy

Once upon a time, I was under the illusion that more shafts are always better. Because on a loom with eight shafts, you can weave four-shaft designs as well as eight-shaft ones, so you get more design freedom. But why stop there? On a 16-shaft loom, you can weave four, eight, and twelve-shaft designs (not […]

How to choose colors that stay bright in handwoven cloth

One of the challenges in weaving is brilliantly colored yarns that turn into a dull color when woven together. This can produce fascinating results…but very often, it’s not what you anticipated or wanted. If this is happening to you, how do you choose colors avoid getting “muddy” cloth? It turns out to be quite simple. […]

Tien’s Top 10 – Books on Color in Weaving

Looking for study resources? Here are Tien’s top ten books for studying color in weaving, visual design, and the design process. Color Theory Color and Fiber, by Patricia Lambert, Barbara Staepelare, and Mary G. Fry. The best book available about color in the fiber arts, it covers color theory extensively and discusses how each aspect […]

How to weave with handpainted yarns

Handpainted knitting yarns are SO tempting. You go to a yarn shop or knitting conference, and walls of luscious handpainted yarns leap out at you. Next thing you know, you’re clutching a receipt and bag full of gorgeous, colorful painted skeins. Can you weave with handpainted yarns? And WHAT can you weave with them? The […]


Pride frequently gets a bad “rap,” confused with arrogance. But it’s essential to a creative life.

What four prides will power up your weaving? Read on.