Monday, March 24, 2014


And we're back, leaping into the to speak.  The chartreuse warp is ready to weave.  In fact, after I took this photo I decided I wanted to test to make sure I didn't have anything to 'fix' before I began in earnest so I tossed a few inches of a contrasting weft just to make sure that when I get back from the clinic I can go ahead and weave without further ado.

The thing with long road trips is that quite often I'm too tired to even read - as was the case on the trip home yesterday.  I spent a fair amount of time with my eyes closed (I was the passenger!) letting thoughts percolate to the surface of my awareness.

What I was mostly aware of was how much I hurt.  The fall a couple of weeks ago didn't break anything physical.  It broke something else entirely.

I'm 63, soon to be 64.  I have been doing "this" since I was 25.  The "this" has changed over time, a rotating carousel of either dyeing, spinning, weaving, writing, teaching in various percentages and formats.

Next year I can collect the state pensions - as meager as they will be they will actually bring in more consistent money than I've earned by weaving, etc.  While they won't replace my income from weaving entirely, they will make my financial situation more tenable.  I can afford to 'retire' from doing some of the things that I've been doing and which no longer bring me much in the way of enjoyment.

A couple of years ago I made the decision to stop importing and dyeing yarns for sale.  At the sale this weekend I realized that I was at a crossroads.  Enough of my inventory had sold that I either bought more to continue selling yarn at fibre festivals...or I didn't and would stop doing those kinds of shows.

Given how heavy yarn is (the Ford F-150 or whatever model of pick up they were advertising is wrong in so many ways!) and how many times we have to shift it, packing boxes, unloading them, packing the van, setting up the booth and setting the yarn out, only to take it all down again in two days and drag it all back home and unpack it?  I'm done.  We will do the vendor hall at Olds Fibre Week in June and then...I'm done with all of that stress, mental and physical..

The Big Project in just (ack!) 5 weeks time, will potentially offer me more opportunity to teach remotely.  I'm pursuing this idea further and once I know more, I will happily do the Big Reveal.

What I enjoy the most about doing fibre festivals as a vendor is the interaction with new (and experienced) weavers.  That I will miss very much.  But I have this blog.  I have the internet chat groups, my You Tube video channel.  I have email.  I have teaching dates for '14, '15 (still to be confirmed) and even one in '16.  This afternoon I find out if I am still in remission.  Even if I can't teach in person, I can still teach 'remotely'.  And I can take students here in the studio, one at a time.

I am not done with weaving.  I am just changing what I do in order to change my results.


Liz said...

Dear Laura;
Milestones, not millstones. That's what we strive for. When part of what we love, (and you and I have similar passions) becomes something too exhausting and too unappealing, its good to be able to let go without regret. I applaud your decision, and wish you every happiness as you continue on your chosen path. Hugs, Liz.

Sandra Rude said...

I know exactly how you feel, and I'm almost 70! (How the heck did that happen, anyway?) I support your decision to stop selling at shows, since I know how exhausting it is, and the pleasure of talking fiber doesn't take away the aches and pains of carting stuff there and back. Do what you enjoy, and drop the rest!

Peg Cherre said...

I'm with all three of you - Laura, Liz, & Sandra. I've submitted my retirement letter from my paycheck job, which I've always had, done at the end of June. I will still weave, but I've had so many specific requests for the last several months that I've cut back on shows. I will probably always do some, because I do like that customer interaction, but they are so much work that dropping 2 this year feels absolutely right.

Louisa said...

I think we must all get to the point where we are confronted by reality. How many years do I have left and what do I really want to do with them? What is important to me? What do I really need to keep doing anyway? What can I let go? I wish you all the best with your decisions, Laura. Glad I bought some yarn from Doug while I had the chance! ;)

Sorry I missed you at Fibres West. See you next month for our guild program!

Nancy said...

and as you so helpfully spoke with me at EGLFC about how to start selling, perhaps I can make the suggestion to you at this shifting of purpose to remind you of on-line sales? I look forward to "the project that must not be named" !

Anonymous said...

Good for you. I am 61 and starting the process of figuring out what I can let go of and when. I enjoy your blog very much and look forward to hearing about your new adventures. margaret o'connor

Gloria said...

Thanks for sharing, Laura. A smart decision, I believe. Vending is a tough job even w/ things lighter than cones of yarn. More time for things you love doing.