Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Taking a Break


Here I go again...threading.

At this point I'm 2/3s of the way through the current warp, and I should finish threading this afternoon.    I would *like* to sley as well, but we'll see how many spoons I have left when I'm done the threading.

I've started printing the draft in a larger size.  I had been printing out drafts of this size over 3 pages, had to change to 5 last year and with the previous draft went to 6.  What can I say?  Needs must.  I can see what I'm doing much more easily and frankly, I could take paper from my 'waste' box and print on the back side of other papers I've tossed.  Like the various iterations of the ms which are just 'scrap' now and could be used again for this job.

My editor is working on the ms again today.  It's slowly taking shape, but she is making steady progress and I remain hopeful it will be done before we leave for Vancouver.  I'm also hoping to get the warp going into the loom today woven before we leave.  This trip is a bit longer because we are rolling a couple other things into the same journey and therefore there will be several evenings in the hotel room for me to hem.  I don't seem to be able to force myself to do much of that in the evenings.  I really ought to delete a couple of my game apps.  I'm getting close to ditching a couple.

I have a couple other things that really need dealing with on my desk and the clock is ticking.  But today I'm tired and out of sorts and somehow focusing on just one thing at a time is making more sense to me than flitting back and forth between projects.  

The thing is, I remember multi-tasking.  I used to do it and do it very well indeed.  Now?  I just can't.  So I have to remain focused on what is necessary.  Tomorrow I will deal with one of the things that has been hanging over me, after considering and rejecting a number of 'fixes'.  I'm going to go with the simplest solution because the deadline for having it done is too close for me to do anything but the simplest solution.  Part of me is fighting that decision because in part it's a bit of a cop out - except I'm no longer in my 30s (or 40s, or even 50s) and just don't have the spoons.  I'm feeling 'bad' because I'm going to disappoint some folk, but I also know that the sooner you disappoint them, the sooner they can move on and make other decisions.  

In the meantime I'm keeping an eye on my inbox in case of further queries from my editor.  So far she seems to be managing.

When it comes down to it, that's about all any of us can do - keep moving forward, even if it is only a step.  Onwards...

Tuesday, June 6, 2023



Yesterday I declared the warp in the loom done and cut the towels off.  That was about all I got done given I'd also spent time doing the bibliography and dealing with some emails and other things that needed attention.  

This morning I need to run to town and do a few errands, and then the rest of the day will be spent getting the next warp into the loom.

As the last warp neared the end I did a quick look at what was left.  Too much!  Still!  You get a lot of play time with fine yarns.  OTOH, there are now fewer boxes/bins and they are not full.  I'm keeping the yarn sorted by colour and have used up some of the colours while others are getting closer.

The next warp will be this one:

I have about 3/4s of a pound of a warm reddish chocolate brown so those will get used first.  Probably 3 towels, maybe 4.  Then the rest of the warp will be woven off in a 'burgundy' red - a brownish red.  And that colour should mostly get used up although there might be a little left for...something.

The design continues with the theme of 'drawing' with lines.  It reminds me - vaguely - of some styles of textiles seen in other cultures, but I'm not 'copying' those, just following the flow of the lines as they develop in the cloth.  Seeing the connection, I feel it as well.  How human beings have been doing much the same things for, well, ever.

Similar drawings have been found on cave walls, usually rendered in ochre, thus my decision to use the burgundy red and brown on this design.  The cloth will be woven 'back side up' so the final textile will be natural white with the line 'drawing' in red.  An homage, if you will, to our ancestors.

I have two more warps designed.  One I like well enough; the other, not so much.  So I will be taking some time over the next couple of weeks to play with other ideas.  I have one roughed out in the back of my brain box but I need to put it into Fiberworks and see if it will look ok.  Or not.

It looks like western Canada is going to have a very hot summer, which does not bode well for the fire season.  Which is already causing havoc and mayhem in Alberta.  OTOH, so much of our forests have already burned over the past few years, is there really enough bush left to cause major havoc?  Unfortunately, the answer is yes.  

Meanwhile the politicians of the alt right continue to scream about the economy, not seeming to realize that when there is no more forest and no more petroleum to be extracted from the ground, the economy is going to have to look very different than it does now.  Seems to me it would be much better to begin to shift now.  Instead they keeping doing what they've been doing, expecting different results.  Oh well.

Nothing much I can do about that except vote my conscience, and keep making things, putting creativity out 'there'.  I have all this yarn that needs to be used up and it's best actually used, not left to deteriorate on the cone/tube.

So, today?  Today I beam the next warp.  Tomorrow I thread.  Then I can weave again.  

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it's off to weave I go...

Monday, June 5, 2023



Was it only a few short weeks ago that the essays were like this?

Um, yeah.  It seems like ages ago, but really this project has come together quickly.  Almost like it was meant to happen.

Right now we are at version who-the-hell-knows-how-many-edits.

I wrote the essays.  My alpha reader went through them with edit suggestions, which I (mostly) implemented.  Once they were all done, I did another read through, caught more grammar and typo issues.  Let the files sit for a bit, then did it again before saving all the files on a thumb drive and handing that over to my editor the beginning of May.

She did another pass through, took a more thorough look for grammar issues, plus areas that needed clarification.  I went through those edit suggestions, punted the file back to the editor, who then incorporated the changes and bounced the files back to me.

Over the weekend I went through the files again.  Once again I 'caught' areas that needed some polishing.  By this point it was pretty minor stuff.  Mostly.  Having some time/distance from the words, I found more minor changes for clarification and by dint of steaming through the thing, am now passing the thumb drive back to the editor.

There is one essay that needs some major surgery but by the time I got to it, I did not have the mental wherewithal to deal with it so I've challenged the editor to see if she can pare it down and make it less repetitive.  I don't mind a certain level of redundancy, but I suspect that that particular essay needs some remediation.  Rather than hold up the process, I figured I'd give her the latest round and set her onto the tweaking of that essay.  Essentially the rest is just picking nits.  If she doesn't feel up to doing it, perhaps a few days away from it will let me do it, but I'm getting tired of the whole project and just want it *done*.

It's a watershed moment, and the perfect time for someone else to step in because right now?  The temptation is overwhelming to just leave it like it is.  Yes, even knowing it could be 'better'.

Magic in the Water and The Intentional Weaver went through pretty much the exact same processes.  With Magic, after I gave the files to the printer he worked his magic then handed the galley proofs back to me *seven* times.  Yes, even after I'd already been through the ms picking grammatical nits, he kept sending the proofs back to me until after the seventh time I said I hadn't found anything the needed to be done.  And then, of course, someone found a typo in the printed copy.  Oh well.

Another lesson in humbility from the universe.  It never does to get complacent.  Or be devastated when you discover you have made another mistake...

The launch date of July 9 is still looking do-able and since I'll be out of town the last week of June I really feel the pressure to get this done just as soon as possible.  Not to mention my editor has other projects on the go, so she wants to finalize it as well.

Today I will finish the bib.  As I did the read through yesterday I saw a couple more books that need to be added to the bibliography so I'll work on that today.  I also confirmed the Handwoven articles - I had no idea I'd had 16 articles published in that magazine.  (Two of the articles graced the cover of the magazine.)  I'm not going to bother with the other magazines, in part because at least one of them isn't indexed and isn't commonly available anyway.  But Handwoven IS well indexed and back issues can still be obtained in some instances.  Many guilds also have collections where people can find the individual magazines and I still see people referencing one or other of my articles now.  So, it seemed important that I list those.

How close are we?  I don't know, honestly.  It's a process.  But I *think* we could be very close indeed to tackling the actual 'publishing' step.  A learning curve for my editor and one that I can't help her with.  Therefore, I want to give her as much time as possible to deal with converting the files and uploading them to blurb.

The goal for today is to finish the bib and weave two towels.  That warp will then be declared 'done' and cut off the loom.  Tomorrow the goal is to beam the next warp.  

And onwards we go...


Saturday, June 3, 2023

Acceptance - it's a process


obligatory pretty picture...

Yesterday I went to my massage therapist after a hiatus, knowing that during the time away from therapy things had changed again in my body - and not always in a 'good' way.

At the end he told me to sit up, then when I felt steady, to walk back and forth so he could see my gait.

Normally (as in, if I were 10 years younger and less damaged) I would have simply sat up from my prone position but as I clenched my abs to do that I realized it wasn't going to happen that day.  Like most days, these days.  My body simply...refused.

I sighed, apologized and said that it was going to take me a minute while I log rolled (rolled over onto my side, then pushed my torso up until I was sitting).

Right away he hastened to assure me that with my disc problem I should NOT be doing a sit up and then proceeded to show me how just sitting up was causing all sorts of tension issues putting pressure on that damaged disc.  I mentioned I can rarely squat and stand up anymore either and again, he hastened to assure me that I should not be doing *that* anymore, either, again due to the pressures on the spine as you stand from a squat.  Instead he showed me how to use my upper body to lift myself up instead of, well, doing what I'd been doing for 60 plus years.

A further indication of a body rode hard, put away wet, far too many times.

As another layer of the onion of understanding was pulled off, I realized again that the act of acceptance is not a 'one and done' deal.  It is a constant process of becoming aware of how a small(ish) injury reverberates throughout the body.  An injury that will not, can not heal, can only be accommodated and that I need to *accept* that I cannot any longer - or should not - even attempt some things.  To be more gentle with myself.

The past two days were busy with meetings and such so I didn't get to the loom.  Thursday the pain was low and I wondered if weaving was causing more issues than I was thinking.  But I didn't weave yesterday either, and last night I had to take a pill after dinner as the pain ramped up.  And up.

So all I can do is assume that the weaving isn't actually much of a factor in the level of pain I deal with and so today I will go to the loom and weave two towels.  I think there are maybe 4 or 5 left on this warp and I had hoped to get it off by Monday, but maybe Tuesday?  Because I also have edits to do over the weekend.  I'm getting antsy about getting the ms done so I can clear that project off my desk  When too many projects are 'mid-way' I get anxious so it is time to finalize some things.  Give myself some breathing room.  A bit of peace.  Because I have to work on acceptance right now.  It's a process and will take some time.

Friday, June 2, 2023



Late last night my blog views rolled over 2.4 million.

I knew it was coming - I do monitor the numbers.  But still it happened and it feels...all sorts of things.

First of all, thank you to those who were early readers.  You helped me through a trying time.  Thank you to those who stuck with me.  You helped me through ups and downs, triumphs and trials.  Thank you to recent readers.  All y'all are why I keep writing.

Well, truth be told, I'd probably write even if there weren't as many of you as there are.  

I write for a number of reasons.  If you go back to the beginning (August 2008) I began the blog after coming through the sudden death of my brother, then being diagnosed with the same sneaky cardiac blockages, then found I enjoyed the near daily review of my days as a weaver/teacher, then author. 

Yes, I already had one book under my pen (so to speak) but that was mostly weaving with explanatory text.  It didn't feel so much like a 'real' book.  The Intentional Weaver *was*.  It even sported an ISBN and everything.  :D  I had a 'real' editor, too.

But writing is how I process things.  It was a coping mechanism I learned about in therapy - write it out and let it go.  The blog became my escape valve.  If things were bothering me, I would write it out and then I could let it go and continue with my day, just like they showed me in therapy.  Sometimes it was the writing it down that brought clarity to my thoughts and I could finally see a way through, see the path that would take me forward.

I used the blog as I went through more cardiac issues, broken ankle and surgery, cancer, more cardiac issues and now, an aging body breaking down.

While the blog only looks at my life since 2008, Weaving a Life is truly an accurate title for my blog.

Yesterday I got the next round of edits back and today I will begin wrangling commas.  I also have an unconventional idea for an index but my editor isn't 'sold'.  Yet.  :D  OTOH, I *am* self-publishing so I don't have to follow the 'conventions'.  Rebel to the end!

So the full title of the book of essays is:  Stories from the Matrix:  weaving a life

The sub-title was at the suggestion of my editor and since the essays aren't just about weaving, but some of my adventures AS a weaver, it made perfect sense to me.

I think we are very close to being done.  Which is good because we will be out of town the last week of June so I can get another jab.  But that is time where I won't have access to my desktop so can't do much about the ms while I'm away.  My goal is to have the last edit done over the weekend, then come to some decisions about the cover and index so the editor can do the final formatting.

We are also considering offering the book (perhaps just the pdf, it depends) in a dyslexic font.  I know a number of people who struggle to read so why not?   I used to offer some of my teaching handouts in a dyslexic font and several people thanked me for it.  

Why not make things easier for people who may be struggling?  I don't know if blurb supports such a font, so it may not happen in the on-demand print copies, but the pdf should be ok.  It's one of the things the editor will have to figure out and they need time to do that, so I feel pressure to finalize my 'polishing' asap.

Not to mention I really seriously need to clean up my desk.  It's no wonder I am having trouble finding things.  :(   It's really gotten out of control and I have too much brain fog these days - I need to simplify!

Anyway, today is busy with appointments and meetings - and while I'm going to be at the guild anyway, check the Handwoven magazines to see if those listed in their index are written by me or just mention me.  Picking nits.  And commas.

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Spreading the Word


Writing a book is a lot like weaving a cloth.  There are tons of things that must happen long before anyone can see the vision you have in your mind.

For me, getting the cover made seems to bring the project slightly more into the realm of reality.  Finally something to really grab hold of, an indication that more is to come.  That behind that cover is...a book.  It is also the personal identity of that book, the face that the public sees.

It's like a door - a portal into a new reality.

Magic in the Water was my first experience in publishing a book and because it was going to have actual cloth samples I chose to have a 3-ring binder.  The binders were ordered with a custom cover:

The company I purchased the binders from dealt with printing the cover art.  I paid a lot more for the binders than I might have done but I wanted this collection of information/samples to last for a long time so it seemed a higher quality binder than what I could get from Staples was in order.  In the end I believe I made the correct decision as even now, 20+ years later, Magic continues to be valued such that weavers don't get rid of it unless they need to.  Most commonly you find it in estate sales or weavers unable to weave and they are downsizing to go into care.  

Once all of the original copies were sold, I converted the files into a pdf (close up photos of the cloth only) and began selling it that way.  

Then when I decided to publish The Intentional Weaver, we used that pdf to test the blurb website.  

From time to time I see a flurry of orders for Magic (like the past week) and I can only assume someone somewhere has got the word out about Magic.

I took a few days 'off' from working on the ms but I meet with my editor this afternoon.  She has been working on the file and it will be my turn to take one more sweep through to deal with the sprinkling of commas I couldn't face last week.  I mean, I love me some commas - just not that many!  :D   I've trained myself over the years to remove commas that aren't necessary.  Perhaps I've swung the other way?  

At any rate, I believe I've decided on a cover photo, so now to get the cover generated.  Out of my wheelhouse - my editor will work her magic on that.

I've also been mulling over the indexing and I may do something less...conventional.  Will discuss with my editor today.  The bibliography is coming along and should be ready Saturday.  I mention quite a few books in the various essays and it's always a good idea to provide information on them in case people want to search for them.  But a bib takes time to get the information collected and I just haven't much felt like doing that kind of nit-picking digging.

I did create a Zoom event for the official book launch.  This morning School of Sweet Georgia listed it on their calendar even though it isn't actually an SOS event.  That was very kind of them, and I'm very grateful.  And not a little nervous!  

It occurs to me that weaving and writing have a lot in common.  You have to have an idea.  You do a shit ton of preparation before you even begin.  You do the physical work of the task.  Then you spend ages doing the 'finishing'.  And you never really know until you present what you've done to the public if the public is even interested or willing to plunk their money down.

Given I'm self-publishing, the marketing is down to me.  And my closest friends who are willing to spread the word...(do feel free to share!)

Zoom link:  for book launch July 9 at noon Pacific time zone

School of Sweet Georgia (for signed copies of The Intentional Weaver after June 28)

Blurb website (for Magic and TIW - unsigned - and soon Stories from the Matrix)

My ko-fi shop (for tea towels and copies of Kerstin Fröberg's Weave a V)

Stay tuned.  I'm going to be 'noisy' about this for a while...just saying...

Wednesday, May 31, 2023



I took a few days 'off' to clear my head and start prioritizing what needs to happen.  The days are going to very quickly fly by until launch day and I need to be ready.

I've been testing images for the cover and I think I might go with this one.  I used it for the FB event listing for the launch and it's feeling 'right' to me.

This was a photo I did for the colour gamp kits I used to make and it appeals to me as a 'nice' photo for a book cover.

The bibliography is building and I'll start on the index key words soon.  My editor will get the next iteration to me, maybe tomorrow.  By then I will have had a few days of quiet and time to weave.  Always a good thing when I'm spinning my wheels.  Sitting at the loom treadling and throwing the shuttle brings me back to balance, my 'centre'.  Yesterday I got two more towels done - today I'll weave one more then cut the web off the loom, then tie the warp back on and weave one more.  I have appointments/meetings for the rest of the week but this warp should come off the loom by next Monday?  And then I will put the next one into the loom and continue with stash reduction.

One of the things I've been ignoring is my ko-fi shop, in part because nothing much has been selling.  And most of my brain power has been focused on getting the ms ready to publish.

I also looked at the drafts in my queue and decided I didn't like the last one I did.  It's too static, boring.  So I will work on another one and see if I can come up with something I like better.

The guild has several sales events this spring and I have inventory there.  Hopefully some things will sell.  My new iPad cost more than I had planned, but apparently buying the more expensive one means it should last longer.  One benefit is that the battery doesn't drain nearly as fast. 

As soon as the ms is done I will focus my attention on getting the workshop in the fall ready.  Right now I still have all the ms files on my desk as well as the SOS classes.  The lace class launches on July 6, I think.  So, a busy time coming up, including a trip to Vancouver the end of June.  We both have medical appointments and it will be good to have those things dealt with.  But that means a week away the end of June, so I really want the ms all ready to go before I leave.  Plus I'm getting files from SOS for the lace class to proof.  

When I said I was retiring, I didn't say I wouldn't be carrying on, in some fashion.  As usual I didn't plan on everything happening at once!  

Anyway, I'm mostly thinking about what needs to happen to finish the ms, then getting the files uploaded to blurb, then sharing the launch info.  

In the meantime, we march steadily on towards midsummer and the inevitable 'turning' of the earth back towards winter.  

Next warp:

this will be the 'right' side of the cloth although I will weave it with the 'back' side facing me in order to lift the fewest number of shafts