Find a loom that fits you. Find a chair that puts you at the height you need to be. If you’re straining, reaching or twisting, stop it and find a better solution. I like to stress the importance of ergonomics in my weaving classes, because if you’re not comfortable doing something, you’re far less likely to continue doing it. And if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to keep weaving for years and years.
I try to be a good role model who walks the talk, but at times I end up being the bad example. Case in point: I was dressing the rigid heddle loom with a short and narrow warp for some samples, so I didn’t think it was worth raising the table for that quick task. Leaning over it for a just few minutes would be fine, right? Wrong. Almost done, and ZING! I seem to have tweaked my back in a fairly painful way. And so it goes, I traded my heddles and shuttles for the heating pad and analgesics for a while. Fortunately, I’m on the mend, and can now look at the silver linings: I’ve worked up several new designs that I’m itching to get to, and my backlog of hemming and fringe twisting is dwindling. I am now very gradually getting back to it, weaving just a few minutes at a time, and I am consumed by a new mindfulness, paying close attention to my body mechanics as I do each and every step. Kind of Zen, actually. I promise to follow my own advice from now on, really. Well, at least I’ll keep trying. After all, I want to keep weaving for years and years to come!