Monday, February 14, 2011

Different Roses

We are all different because we have stopped to smell different roses and knelt at different graves. Rumi (paraphrased)

This afternoon it took me about 40 minutes to thread/sley and tie on this silk gimp warp. The dark brown will be the weft.

When I was younger I thought I knew the 'right' way to weave. Experience has taught me that the only 'right' method I know is the one that is right for me.

That said, if someone isn't happy with their results, perhaps they need to look at a different method.

Human beings are wonderful at what I call magical thinking. We think to ourselves, well, last time didn't work out so great but this time I'll do exactly the same thing and it will turn out differently.

Ya, right.

Some people express amazement at how prolific I am in terms of weaving. It's almost embarassing to have them be so admiring. My secret is simply that I've honed my skills and gotten very efficient at what I do.

Take the above warp. It's silk gimp, a not paricularly friendly yarn. It's stretchy, lots of texture and a fair amount of twist in it. The warp has been hand painted so it's not pristine. And yet, there it is - all ready to go after taking about 20 minutes this morning to beam it, and 40 minutes to do the rest.

(Warp is 5 yards long, 180 ends, threaded a straight twill progression.)

What I do is no secret. If people are interested in what I do I'm happy to show them, either in person at workshops or via this blog, You Tube, whatever. I've been asked to do presentations at conferences (NEWS in July) and to return to John C. Campbell Folk School next year (March) to share my methods.

But changing what one does means first erasing muscle memory. And that is not easy. It takes concentrated effort to over rule what the muscle knows and is comfortable doing in order to allow it to learn something new.

I give myself 7 warps to learn a new technique. I've found that it takes about that long to first erase the muscle memory, then lay down the new physical skill so that it becomes the new default muscle memory.

But waiting at the hospital for the surgeon reminded me that while we are all the same, we are also all different. The lady next to me had broken her left ankle 3 months ago. She was still limping heavily and had not yet been able to return to work.

OTOH, I was back weaving before I could walk - and while I'm not 'comfortable' I can pretty much do what ever I want to do. The surgeon even asked me if I had been able to return to work - er, yes, it's been my primary therapy for recovery from this little misadventure! :D

Unfortunately the surgery to remove the hardware is considered elective and I will have to wait until such time as he can fit me into his schedule - between 6 to 9 months. I'm not thrilled about the wait, but since it's just a matter of comfort for me, of course other more critical cases have to be seen to first.

In the meantime I'll continue to count my blessings because I can walk without difficulty (very much), and I can weave. And it looks like both my surgeries will get done before the end of the year so I'm keeping fingers crossed that 2012 will be the start of a much more comfortable life.

Currently reading Murder in the Place of Anubis by Lynda S. Robinson (waiting to see the surgeon gave me 2 hours of reading time so I finished my last book!)

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