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  • Sara Nordling

On Editing

It’s that time of the year. Time when we reflect on the past year, plan for the new year, and make resolutions. Many of us resolve to live a simpler life, to cut out bad habits and install a few good ones. This is much like the process of editing needed in design.

How does this apply to designing and editing for weaving? I see several correlations.


You can’t do everything. Those who make resolutions usually only make one or two each year. They don’t have a list of 50 or more. So as in designing a new project. You can have a hundred good ideas, they just won’t fit into one project. Selecting one or two ideas per project helps keep you focused and makes the editing easier. Much as it is easier to keep track of fewer resolutions than many. Make a list of all the ideas and then selected a few to incorporate into the project.


It takes intent. New year’s resolutions don’t happen on their own. They need to be worked on, thought about, and put into practice. Just as a new routine or habit you resolve to do, the more you focus on it, the more likely it is to happen. In design, the more you are intentional in putting using the elements and principles of design (see previous blog posts), the more conscious you are of editing your designs, the more likely it is to happen. It can be overwhelming at first, just as a new resolution can be, still, it becomes easier the more you practice it. Which leads me to the next point


Take the time. It does take time to put these things into practice. Your resolution to lose weight or be fit won’t result in a beach body come noon on January 1. It takes times to develop. It takes time not only to design a project, and edit it well. It may also add time in the execution of it. Realize that. My view is: if you are going to put all that time into weaving something, you should take just a bit more time to make sure it is well designed and make the end result better.


Be forgiving. Much as few of us can keep, or even remember our new year’s resolutions come July, we may not always be consistent with our designs and your critical, editing eye. We may be rushed to get something done. We may be tired, drained, or stressed. All of these can affect the quality of our work and our designs. Remember at these times to forgive yourself. Did you add too many elements in your last design? Did you over, or even under, design something? The good thing about weaving and textiles is that cloth is forgiving. Most times you can change things even after they come off the loom. That is when your creativity and design sense can really rise to the challenge. Allow yourself the possibility to fail. That way you are more willing to take risks and may indeed come up with something very special.

Ikat Scarf

Dyed and woven cotton yarn.

Crepe weave. December, 2018

I’ve had to take these lessons to heart this year. I had intended to create my blog and to write in it regularly. I wanted to share with you, interact with you, and provide something for weavers that I hadn’t found elsewhere. I have succeeded in some ways but in others I have not. For one thing, I haven’t been as regular in posting as I intended. My employment changed from part time to full time this year and that gave me less time to weave, to write, and even to design. I had to take a step back and edit things in my life. Contemplating this I saw the correlations between my life editing and the designing of my work. That led to this blog posting.

May all of you, in the new year to come, take the time to make something special. If not for yourself, then for someone you love.

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