This is a brief article to promote the free pdf guide to weaving tools. I thought that the article, though I really recommend the PDF as well, was thought provoking.
The author, Interweave Editorial Staff, I guess they know who wrote it, begins with an interaction they had with a very enthusiastic “Earth-Mother” Type. *I like to think of them as the Simplicities.* Those that eschew any tools that are above the bare bones basic. Those that say “I didn’t buy a Niddy Noddy, I just use my foot.” Or “I’ll never buy a wheel, why waste the money when I can just spin with a stick.” Or, “There isn’t any need to buy a big loom, I can do anything I need with Backstrap Weaving!” (Okay, the last is an exaggeration but you get the idea.) *
So the author is being lectured about how tools can be very simple and don’t have to be complicated, then they ask the killer question. Why? Why would you want to stick with the simple tools when there are more sophisticated tools out there? *Not that we should all go out and buy a Golding Loom, though that would be pretty neat.* If there are tools out there that help you be a better crafter, and let you get the results you need, then take advantage of them.
*If you have foot, ankle, knee, joint issues, and want to spin then either a drop spindle or an electric wheel might be better for you. If you have rotary cuff problems then you probably don’t want to mess with a drop or supported spindle too much but a nice wheel or electric wheel might do the trick. For weaving, if you have knee, etc. problems then a floor loom with treadles that you have to push down might not be the thing for you, a table loom where you can just flick a switch and the shafts respond might work. If you have shoulder issues then a backstrap, inkle, or perhaps rigid heddle loom might do you more good than a table or floor loom. (I”m not an expert, this is just some advice, for more information contact a guild, health professional, or support group.)
If you just HAVE to try everything in existence out, (and can afford it) then go for it. Honestly you don’t know if something works for you unless you try it out.*
This synopsis is almost longer than the article. But, in conclusion, don’t let anyone shame you. There is NO Cheating in crafting. Even if you haven’t shorn the sheep, washed, processed, and dyed the wool, then spun it, finished it, wove it, cut the cloth, and sewn the shirt, your project is still handmade no matter which step you started your process on and no matter what tools you had to utilize.