Wednesday, September 4, 2013



  [out-lahy-er]  Show IPA
something that lies outside the main body or group that it is a part of, as a cow far from the rest of the herd, or a distant island belonging to a cluster of islands: The mail, along with   eagerly awaited “special orders,” was delivered to the outliers weekly, thanks to Cap'n George and his trusty steamboat.
someone who stands apart from others of his or her group, as by differing actions, beliefs,   religious practices, etc.: an outlier among Muslims; an outlier among conservatives.   outsider, nonconformist, maverick; original, eccentric, bohemian; dissident, dissenter,   iconoclast, heretic.
an observation that is well outside of the expected range of values in a study or experimentand which is often discarded from the data setExperience with a variety of data-reduction problems has led to several strategies for dealing with outliers in data sets.
a person whose abilities, achievements, etc., lie outside the range of statistical probability.
Geology a part of a formation left detached through the removal of surrounding parts by erosion.Compare inlier.
Obsolete a person residing outside the place of his or her business, duty, etc.

Recently someone referred to me as an 'outlier'.  I was pretty sure I knew what she meant, but I finally looked up the definition.

I've called myself a weaving heretic for a while now, but I think I like outlier better.  Heretic sounds so....rebellious.... although it is listed as a synonym... when I don't really want to cut myself off from the rest of the weaving community.  I just don't do things the way 'most' weavers may do them. 

Right from the get go, choosing weaving as a profession when the vast majority of today's weavers choose it as a hobby.  

Finding satisfaction in weaving regardless of whether or not it's plain weave, solid black, 100 yards of it.

Preferring to delve deeply into the craft when it seems that most weavers prefer to follow someone else's directions.  Nothing wrong with that - but I want to be the one who writes the directions, not follow someone else's.

Focusing on efficiency and ergonomics so that I can continue to weave, hopefully without repetitive stress injuries, for a long time to come.

Over the years I have approached weaving from many different angles.  Weaving for someone else to earn my bread and roof.  Teaching.  Writing articles for magazines.  Publishing my own books.  Encouraging weavers to learn more, become proficient at their craft, become confident enough to make their own choices, giving them information I believe they need to have in order to make good choices.

I want to be part of the weaving community, but also encourage them to explore beyond their limitations, expand their horizons.  Entice them into becoming outliers, perhaps?  Community is important to all human beings.  We share the human experience, but that experience does not have to be limiting.  It can also be full of exploration and wonder.

Ultimately all paths are valid.  Being an outlier isn't for everyone.  But it seems to be the role for me.  :)

Next warp - going onto the AVL, a mixed blend of greens into the blue end of the spectrum with a little yellow for accent.  Weft is hand dyed 2/20 unmercerized cotton I bought at NEWS.  Each ball seems to be a slightly different colour so will sort them into the most similar colour 'lots', use each ball up in it's entirety and then move on to the next without paying too much attention to when and where the colour changes happen.  I'm weaving the cloth as 'yardage' which I will then cut to length for towels.  

People will either like them or not.  If not they will get used as hostess gifts.  Buying this yarn was an impulse purchase, partly because I rarely see unmercerized 2/20 cotton, partly because hand dyed cotton this fine is quite rare.  But it should make lovely towel fabric and I'm going to enjoy weaving with it.   So long as the balls don't get tangled and messy when I wind them onto bobbins.  Since it is such fine yarn I will pop them into a tall plastic bucket and wind off the outside so that the ball doesn't collapse as it would if wound from the inside of the ball.  They will need a little coddling, but I think the resulting cloth will be worth the effort.


Laura said...

I like "iconoclast" - it's so much more interesting than heretic!! I'm a card-carrying heretic/iconoclast/outlier. I think we rock!!!

Cally said...

It's a word I have only ever used in the statistical sense and, looking at the options, I think I prefer it that way. 'Outside the expected range' says much the same thing but it is so much less judgmental than some of those other definitions! One might need to discard the observation from the dataset when calculating measures of central tendency - but clearly you don't tend towards the centre...