The yarns on the chair are the ones I hand dyed, I mixed these with some of the many lovely colourful yarns we had in our studio.
To inspire me I created lots of mood boards and surrounded myself in colours. Rather than being dictated to by a set pattern I did my own form of 'mood weaving' - I put on my headphones to block out distractions and totally zoned out while I was weaving.
One of the most difficult things that I had to deal with was sleep deprivation - we worked non stop, including evenings and weekends. Twice when the other two went home I stayed behind beyond midnight trying my hardest to catch up and one weekend they both went home to have a break while I again stayed back and worked my socks off. Needless to say by the penultimate day I was so exhausted I decided to stay in my pjs; nothing beats the home comforts of wearing slippers and a dressing gown, especially when the barn itself was so cold!
Pictured here on the last day is me with the other trainees Holly and Tref and Aiyor from the production crew - he kept me sane by playing Primal Scream when I felt down, bought me lots of Innocent Veg pots when I was hungry and made me endless cups of peppermint tea to keep warm!
A lot of people have contacted me and asked me if I would weave again. By the end of the experience I did learn how to set up a loom and how to weave so to lose that skill would be wrong. I don’t have access to a loom now but if I saw one I’m sure I would want to have a go. Long term I plan to do an evening class in weaving which will hopefully be a much less stressful experience!
Hearing feedback about the show has been really interesting, especially where I have been mentioned. On one end of the spectrum, there are people who sympathised with me and understood my frustrations – one person even told me she was so emotionally exhausted watching the show she needed to lie down afterwards. On the other end of the scale I’ve read people say that I came across as a very lazy person. Who’d have thought a Friday night TV show about crafting could be so controversial!
Most of my memories of the experience are still very clear in my mind and seeing them visually was a bit like having my private thoughts suddenly projected on a TV screen without me knowing. But I'm glad that throughout it I stuck to my beliefs - weaving is this instance may not have been for me but I am very open to trying it again one day under slightly more normal circumstances.
If you missed the show it is still available to view on BBC Iplayer in the UK: