Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Overcoming Challenges

Using Kerstin Froberg's method of fixing knots in the warp - a new end is threaded through the same heddle as the end with the knot and both are woven for about 1 inch or so, then the knot is cut out.

Weaving proceeds until the original end is long enough.  It is then threaded into it's original heddle and both the repair end and the original end are woven together for about an inch, then the repair end is cut out.  Nothing else is required once the cloth is cut from the loom  Tack, Kerstin!

The yarn for this warp is - well - challenging.

It arrived from the mill a day or two before my brother suddenly died three years ago, and I couldn't get to it right away.  In the days and weeks after Don died, I began to realize that this yarn had a lot of issues.

It is a very softly spun, loosely plied yarn, more appropriate for knitting than weaving.  The tendency is for it to start shredding at the selvedges when used as warp.  It is also poorly plied with some of the singles going into the yarn as a 'pig tail'.  And knots.  Lots and lots of knots.

I'd imported the yarn intending to dye and sell it to others.  It very quickly became apparent that that plan was not going to fly.  I threatened to take the whole shipment to the landfill, but Doug cautioned me to not make a decision I would come to regret later.  It was a lot of money to literally throw away.

Eventually I realized that the only way to recoup some of the money was to go ahead and dye it and weave it up myself.

It's taken 3 years, but all of the yarn is now dyed and I have woven some of it and made quite lovely shawls and baby blankets with it.  It's a combination of merino, bamboo and silk and has a lovely drape and handle once wet finished.

I've also been able to use up some of my very fine wool yarns as weft for the shawls, so even though it is a challenge to weave, it's getting done.  Stash is being reduced!  :)

Yesterday was a very challenging day.  One of the things I've discovered about myself over the years is that I don't deal well with uncertainty.  I am, in a phrase, a control freak.  Being unable to control what is going on in my life right now is emotionally difficult, and not knowing what is going on means I can't make plans - I'm left on tenterhooks, waiting for word.  I'm a great planner, but in order to plan, you have to have information.

I don't feel strong or brave or courageous right now.  I feel out of control and weak.  Not knowing what lies ahead generates fear.  One of the reasons I'm sharing these feelings here is that I need to vent them or I'd keel over entirely. 

After I blogged yesterday, wonderful things started happening.  Your lovely supportive comments helped enormously.  They remind me that this too, shall pass.  That word will come in it's time - the oncologist is working hard on my complex issues and answers will come when he has them.  And that no matter how isolated and lonely I may feel, I am not alone.

And one dear soul emailed to say that she'd nominated me for the Handwoven Teacher's Award.  I was so touched I was speechless.  :}

Currently reading Bitten by Kelley Armstrong


terri said...

you're courageous, not because you are not afraid, but because you're going on, despite the fear.

congratulations on the handwoven's teacher of the year nomination!

Evelyn said...

I can not even begin to imagine how difficult this waiting is for you. You are indeed courageous- and I can't believe all the weaving you have done in the past month!! You have a large group of friends "in your camp" so know they are all thinking about you as the unknown unravels. And then in true Laura-fashion you will meet it head on and come out on the other side stronger than ever. Fingers crossed for good news tomorrow...

Laura said...

The oncologist just phoned - with good news. My situation is not as complex as he thought it might be. Which is an enormous relief! I'll see him next week - Doug wants to come to the appointment so we've got to find a time suitable for everyone, plus Mon/Tues are out of the question. So it will be later in the week.

But now I can relax and enjoy my trip this weekend, get the hardware out on Tuesday and start looking at what comes next. :D

Weaving is my therapy, my distraction, my way of coping when the rest of my life is out of my control. :)


Claudia Rizzi said...

Laura, wonderful news, thank God. And, congratulations on your nomination!

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

At first I was going to comment on your post, especially the part about being a great planner. I can so relate to that! Then I read about your good news in the comments. You still don't have all the answers and will probably still worry, but at least the worry is not so great. You are strong, even when you don't feel you are. And there are lots of folks out here to help prop you up when you need it.