When I set out to do this project it was going to be an attempt at incorporating beads into my weaving. That idea was dismissed pretty quickly as I didn’t like the colour balance between the beads, the warp and the weft. But I did like the fineness of the weave, and decided to continue after having done 15-20 rows of plain weave (which at the time I thought looked wonderful). I’d recently come across this blog post about making lace through weaving and thought I’d give it a go.

This project has had the most highs and lows of any for a while. I loved it when I started it, when there was just the plain weave (which has since been unpicked in its entirety),

Day 1: delighted with the scale of it

I got grumpy when my tension started to go awry,

lready starting to lose shape, moderately happy

and I started to get happy again when I made the decision to unpick it to an identified good point and start again from there.

Unpicked, rewoven, nearing completion

All of the in-progress photos on this post were taken with either iPhone or iPad and so they aren’t great, but they do mark moments of happiness or downright grumpiness or even maybe when I’m wondering if I’ve improved it or not and wanted to reflect on it later.

Lots and lots of lessons learned with this one:

  • variegated cotton does not make an even pattern - that’s not necessarily a good thing or a bad thing, just a thing to remember
  • weft that is too tightly woven is almost impossible to fix without unweaving (which leads on to)
  • cotton does not unpick well - it gets fuzzy
  • unpicking is hard, cut your losses, and the weft, and don’t fight it
  • when trying entirely new things - like brooks bouquet - don’t do it in cotton at a small scale. Do it in a nice thick yarn which has more elasticity and is more forgiving. Or if you do decide to do it at small scale, be prepared for it not to be perfect
  • don’t be afraid to take your work to show someone else and get their opinion. A good friend will give you the balance of encouragement, understanding and ideas and will appreciate what you’re saying about it
  • take time to consider options before leaping in - only after reflection did I decide to unpick
  • don’t be too hard on yourself
  • and as with photography - fixing in “post” is much harder than taking the extra time to get it right in the first place

Things I’m pleased with:

  • the colour match between the warp (embroidery silk) and the weft (variegated cotton)
  • the seasonality of the colours - it definitely suits being an autumn project
  • my stubbornness - there were moments when I considered, to borrow a friend’s Mum’s phrase, boomeranging it up the garden but I’m pleased to have actually made something I’m reasonably pleased with
  • the brooks bouquet - simple, effective and a nice way of making less dense, more lace inspired fabric. There are also plenty of other weaver-manipulated lace weaves to try
  • the adaptability of this project - it started off in one direction, then got diverted, unpicked, rewoven and unpicked again
  • the softness and lightness of the finished bookmark - it’s much less dense than the previous woven bookmarks


So, all in all, I’m calling this project a success despite it being perilously close to utter fail at at least one point. And, despite, or maybe because of, all those highs and lows, I’m actually pretty pleased with how my little bookmark has turned out. So much so, that I think it’s going to replace weaving project 13 as the one I use when I’m reading physical books as it has too much significance and too many learnings associated with it to be given away as a gift.

Completed, in a book

Overall result: success
Overall emotion: happy