By Ellie Fisher
One of the most enjoyable things about teaching people how to weave is that, not only are you passing on a practical skill, you are passing on the ability to come out of your thoughts and focus entirely on the task in hand. Weaving is a wonderful craft to bring you into the present.
When you sit with a group of people and share a craft, regardless of your age or background, you form a bond and, in turn you naturally council each other. You find commonalities where out in your day-to-day lives you may not. You laugh and you encourage each other.
People attend my workshops for all sorts of reasons but over the years it has become very apparent that many attendees are looking for a solution to mental health issues, be it anxiety, depression, grief, loneliness or other, weaving is being used as a tool to in some way relieve these stresses.
Weaving is a wonderful outlet for managing personal struggles with mental health issues and this is something I’m keen to share with others. Crafting, knitting and weaving are all wonderful ways to support positive mental health.
The British Pain Society have reported in recent years that there are more pain clinics in the UK using approaches such as knitting and weaving therapeutically.
So how can weaving impact your wellbeing?
Taking up a skill like frame loom weaving, which is actually very easy to learn, helps you to focus your energies into something positive.
It can help those manage pain because it distracts you with something physical and creative, that is also satisfying.
It can become a place to lose yourself.
A study published in the February 2013 issue of the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, revealed that the majority of knitters reported a significant relationship between knitting frequency and feeling calm and happy. Respondents, who knit the most often, said that knitting positively affected their cognitive functioning, helping them to sort through problems or think more easily.
Similarly, weaving and other crafts have the exactly the same impact. It’s the combination of gentle movements, creativity, focus, and often producing a final beautiful something, that offer a meditative-like state during the process and after, a sense of inspiration and hope.
Autumn and winter is the perfect time to cuddle up at home and take up a new craft, to give your nights a comforting focus and your heart the stillness it needs.
Better still, if you can find some friends or family members with whom you can share your passion, even better.
I’m really looking forward to building a community of folk who have made the decision to learn and develop this skill. They will be connected through a private Facebook group where they will be able to share their progress and seek advice in a positive, supportive and creative environment.
Ellie teaches people how to weave homewares and Christmas gifts from your kitchen table via her online course launching this October.
An Introduction to Frame Loom Weaving: A Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Weaver costs £65 as an introductory price, and if participants require a loom kit, the cost of the course and kit, which includes all the materials needed to complete one of the projects in the course, it’s £110.
Those enrolled will learn how to weave in up to 20 hours. With unlimited access to course materials, participants are encouraged to work at their own pace through the tutorials and downloadable guidance. Either by working their way through all of the 10 techniques or by choosing one of the assigned projects such as learning how to weave wall hangings and coasters.
Ellie Fisher, ELKA https://www.elkatextiles.co.uk/
ELKA, Winchester Stables, Kennel Lane, Littleton, Hampshire, SO22 6PT [email protected] 07976 029447
Find weaving tutorials on ELKA’s YouTube Channel