Thursday, September 4, 2014

No Contest

Blooming Leaf overshot design converted to twill blocks

Got the next warp up and weaving.  Blooming Leaf is a very large overshot design, so naturally it's a very large twill block design.  So large that I could only fit two repeats into the width and three into the length.   This isn't a very good photo, but the best I can do under the loom.

Reading In Praise of Slow has got me thinking along with a thread on one of the chat groups.

After nearly 40 years of refining my techniques, perfecting my skills, I'm rather efficient.  Therefore I'm rather productive.  But since my goal is to earn income from the fruits of my looms (pun alert!) efficiency and productivity are A Good Thing.

What I am not, is in a contest.  The only person I am competing with is myself, on a mission to become the best I can be.

Bottom line is, I couldn't care less how fast/efficient anyone else is.  Everyone has to do what is right for themselves.  If that's working slowly, so be it.  Some people tell me that they don't want to hurry when they are working with threads.  I am in total agreement, on that point.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - working efficiently is not hurrying.

When you are hurrying it is because you are not in the moment but thinking about the next thing(s) that need to be done.  When you are hurrying, you take shortcuts - which sometimes work, but most often do not and just cause something to take even longer.

On the other hand, weaving cloth doesn't have to take forever.  Not everyone has unlimited time on their hands.  Some people work full time, have family obligations that eat into their play time at the loom.  Some people have deadlines and they want to work more efficiently.  I'm here to say that it doesn't have to take forever to make a baby blanket, a wedding shawl, a birthday present.

Learn the most effective methods for you - what works for me may not work for anyone else.  Select the tools that enhance your experience at the loom, not detract from it.  Believe me there are some tools that don't work terribly well.  Find tools that 'fit' you.  Find methods that work for you.  Work with mindful intention to become better than you were yesterday and the day before.

And if you want to become more efficient, study the processes, methods and tools that someone who is efficient uses and try them out.  It may be difficult being at the slippery end of the learning curve, but in the long run?  You might just enjoy the process even more than what you are doing now.


Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

There's some seriously good advice here, concisely written and genuinely well-intentioned. Thank you for the weaving picture, too.

Athena Grey said...

This is so in keeping with the practice of living mindfully that I had to comment on it. Being really present in what we are doing is both efficient and surprisingly joyful.

My knitting circle thought it was funny when I'd ask people to pause at the end of the row and admire their work. However, they did not think it so funny if they forgot to pause and look, and knit for several inches past a mistake.

I might not pause every row when weaving, but I certainly check often to be sure that the cloth looks right.

Anonymous said...

Well said, I keep reminding myself to take time and look at what I am doing, not just do it! Thank you,
Kelli Page