Thursday, September 1, 2011

Change of Plans

As I was weaving the first scarf with the tussah silk it occured to me that this yarn would go very well with the 2/20 mercerized cotton for baby wraps.  And since one large cone of yarn takes up less room than a couple of dozen partially filled spools of silk, I'd switch to the 2/30 silk.  And then when I was weaving the white on white scarf, I remembered the rest of my silk stash and discovered not one or two already dyed 2/30 silk yarns, but 6 differently coloured yarns.  Which means that I won't have to do any dyeing after the weaving is done.  Win-win, no?

And stash reduction is stash reduction after all. 

For people interested in how to hem stitich, I have a video clip showing how I do it on my You Tube channel here .

As I was weaving today I got thinking about the admonishment to 'practice, practice, practice'.  While this is good advice, it leaves out something crucial, in my opinion.  It is that element of analytical thought while practicing.  After all if you keep doing what you've always been doing, you will keep getting what you've always been getting.  So it isn't enough to just keep practicing by rote what you have always done, but to be thoughtful about what you are doing and the results you are achieving.  I call it purposeful effort.

Perhaps this comes from my background in dance where the instructor was constantly monitoring and making tiny adjustments to body position, or the field events I was involved in during high school, or the classes in hap ki do and tai chi - all of which reinforced the notion that there was a constant feedback from brain to body and back.  But I am very aware of my physical effort and tuned into how tiny adjustments can make big differences in my results.

When I started weaving in 1975 there were no end feed shuttles available for hand weaving so I learned how to weave well with a boat shuttle.  Even when hand end feed shuttles became available I found that I actually have more control over how I lay the weft in with the boat shuttle.  End feed shuttles are not great for highly textured yarns, especially if they have a bunch of hooks for tensioning.  And there are times when I want to moderate how the weft lays in the shed depending on density and so on.

But learning how to do these things did not happen automatically.  I had many hours of learning when and how to make these adjustments depending on the yarn being used, density, weave structure, and so on.

It is up to each individual to take into consideration their particular set of circumstances and physical abilities, learn how to control their own bodies and therefore their results.  And yes, that comes with practice, practice, practice - utilizing purposeful effort.

Currently reading The Stolen Voice by Pat McIntosh


Michelle said...

Have you read Michael Swanwick? He writes fantasy/sf, not my favorite genre...but I enjoyed Dragons of Babel and am starting Dancing with Bears tonight.

Laura said...

No I haven't - thanks for the tip. I'll check my library and see if they have any of his books in stock. :)


Rhonda from Baddeck said...

Hurray for finding unexpected treasures (I found $7 in my pocket this morning)! Although not as you planned, the result with the different weft will still be beautiful. Were you able to have your final treatment this week? I hope you're soon on the road to full recovery.

Laura said...

Not my final, 2 more to go. CT scan today to check on progress. :)

I'm pleased with the pink silk weft of scarf #3 and the rest should look good, too.


Carol said...

I had a wise teacher tell me that "practice makes perfect" is a myth; rather, "practice makes permanent." Bad habits creep in if you're not mindful of what you are doing. Thanks for reinforcing that message.