Saturday, November 30, 2019

One More Day

There was a pretty good turn out this morning for the sale.  All the tea towels I had on half-price sold.  I have three more I will bring in the morning.  There are two painted warp scarves left on half price, and one last shawl.

There is, however, a goodly selection of scarves, both smooth rayon and rayon chenille, plus a small selection of place mats.  One person placed an order for delivery after Christmas because she wanted six and there were only two of the colour she wanted. 

There is a good selection of items still available from a variety of guild members.  We have a good selection of various textile crafts - felting, knitting, spinning and weaving. 

I am really happy that tomorrow will wrap up my craft fair season, and that next year I will be one of the group, not doing the shows on my own.

Doug generously offered to carry everything up to the guild room Friday, and set up the shelves.  All I had to do this morning was set out my inventory on my shelves.  He says that if I pack up what is left in the boxes, he'll tear down the shelves and pack everything out on Monday.

I have made some progress on the fringe twisting.  Tonight I nearly finished the second 'shawl' (the first one is too short for a shawl, so will be offered as a table runner).  Monday and Tuesday I'll focus on the twisting again and get that out of my way so I can dress the Megado with the next text warp.  This time for tea towels.

Again, I'm scaling up - only 24" in the reed, but 50 turns (20 yards) on the beam.  I messed about with twill blocks, didn't like anything I came up with and settled on another 'fancy' twill.  If I don't like the first treadling, I can play with changing the tie up and the treadling.  It's tea towels.  They will work just fine. 

The cone of coppery brown is quite large.  I think it was at least a kilo and I only wove a couple of towels on another warp so there's plenty of yarn left.  Maybe more than one warp will use up.  But 20 yards should make a decent dent in it. 

Time for bed.  Have to be at the guild room by 10 am.  For the last day.

Friday, November 29, 2019

Shameless Self Promotion

Now that American Thanksgiving is over and we are in 'Black Friday', time to remind folk that I have done books.  Weave a V is available from me directly, the other two are available at blurb and can be either PDF or hard copy.  Weave a V is hard copy only and $25 includes shipping.

There are no more copies of Magic with the actual samples.  If you are looking for that, keep an eagle eye out for estate sales.  Copies I've seen being offered on re-sale sites are usually hundreds of dollars more than I got for the original publication.  :-/

If you buy the version available through blurb, I am making the money, not some re-seller.  If that's important.

Maybe one of these needs to go on the Dear Santa list?

Privilege and Culture

My first introduction to the concept of culture and privilege came in grade 6 when the teacher was discussing the colonization of Africa and the 'white man's burden'.  He spoke eloquently about the topic, from different angles.  Mr. Rae was a pretty amazing person and an incredible teacher.

When I got home I told my mother about the day's lesson and how appalled I was at some of the things he had discussed.  I told her that I wished Europeans had stayed in Europe.  She got quite huffy and pointed out that if the Europeans had stayed in Europe, I wouldn't exist.  I told her that if all it took to prevent all the pain and injustice caused by Europeans in Africa - and elsewhere in the world (hello colonial Canada!) I would be happy to not exist.

My awakening to the extent of my white privilege was slow and I still trip over it.  Culture built on a system of inequity becomes a fog we have to cut through in order to see it for what it is.  While immersed in the fog, that is our 'normal' and not perceived as the barrier it truly is.

Human beings have been banding together against the 'other' for centuries when in reality, we are all part of the same population.  We may have differing degrees of melanin in our skin, but we all stem from the same ancestors.  Different groups will determine different approaches to housing and food, largely depending on the environment/climate they live in.  But we all have the same needs - food, shelter, companionship.

There is a saying that has been making the rounds:  when you have enough, build a bigger table, not a higher wall.  As someone raised as a Christian, I see the rightness of this.  It aligns with all the Sunday School lessons I learned as I grew up.

Rick Hansen has been an inspiration, with his work on making the urban environment more accessible to people who have issues with mobility.  The original 'man in motion' he has done incredible work raising awareness about things like ramps, curb cut outs, doors that are wide enough someone in a wheelchair or using crutches can actually go through.

After my broken ankle my personal experience of a huge reduction in my ability to move through this world was another layer of fog lifted.  I was non-weight bearing for 5 weeks, meaning I did not put any weight on my left leg at all.  Getting out of my house was do-able - getting back in by myself with the walker was impossible.  Crutches were better, but still anxiety provoking on stairs.  And my situation was temporary.

Cultural differences are sometimes harder to experience - until you interact with people with a different culture.  I grew up in a mix of European backgrounds, but all 'white', all European.  My biggest introduction to other cultures when I was young was via books.  I read voraciously.  I read everything.  Science fiction was discovered when I was in grade 6 and allowed to take books from the adult section of the public library - because I'd pretty much read everything in the children's section.

In high school, more great teachers introduced other problematic history - the Crusades.  Colonization, not just in Africa, but America, Asia, India etc.  Treatment of aboriginal peoples was presented in a factual way that included the mistreatment - the genocide, theft of land, the white man's burden - again.  Slavery, in the US but other places, throughout history. An examination of WWII and the Holocaust and other genocides.  The 'othering' of people not of your 'tribe'. 

At the time, (1960s) Canada was having deep issues over the French/English divide.  (Aboriginal rights were still being ignored with original inhabitants of North America being told to give up their culture and language as well as their land, and assimilate - but not ever being treated equitably.)

As an adult I find myself recognizing my privilege in more and more ways.  I see the activists working to right at least some of the wrongs against their people.  More aboriginal authors are having their books published.  If I don't know someone from a different culture in real life, I can at least read their books.  It is just a tiny glimpse into their life, but I hope each time I recognize something 'wrong' another chink in my fog will appear and I will see more clearly.

But the first step is recognizing the benefits of the privilege I grew up with.  Even though we were not wealthy, rather blue collar 'poor', our lives were not made more difficult just because of the colour of our skin.  Then listen to the stories.  Learn the history.  Figure out how to make things better for everyone.  Because we are all human.

Thursday, November 28, 2019


This is the season for gratitude.

Recently talked with friends about The Meaning of Life.  In reality the only meaning to anyone's life is the meaning they give to it by their actions.

I hope all my American friends enjoy their turkey - or whatever foods they have chosen to have on this day.

But thinking about my life, because that's about all I am qualified to think about, I am reminded over and over again that 'meaning' comes not from outside but from inside.

When my brother died, far too young, I really wondered why it hadn't been me instead.  I was older than he, and should have been 'first'.  But I'm still here.  Still trying to find 'meaning' in why I am here.

Life can be difficult on so many levels.  I focus, as much as I am able, on finding solutions to the problems that present themselves.  As I get older, I stop worrying so much about what other people think of me, but try to live in a way that is helpful to others.

So many helped me in my early days (and continue to this day), the very least I can do is extend a helping supportive hand to those around me.

Many of my friends are struggling with financial or other difficulties.  I cannot lift them out of their current struggle, but I can tell them I see what they are going through and that I am proud of them for taking care of their families to the best of their ability.

I can point new weavers in the direction of resources.  I can answer questions.  I tell students that a class with me comes with a Lifetime Guarantee - they can email me any time and I will try to find answers for them.  My background is broad and in some areas, deep.

Things can be rocky, especially during transitions, as I have been reminded this year.  Personally I am through the 'worst' (I sincerely hope!) and we are beginning to dig out from under all the work needed to get the studio condensed into one location.  There is still more to be done, but the studio here is beginning to take shape and I am making friends with the Megado and getting some weaving done.

Digging for silver linings, beginning each day with an attitude of gratitude, these are the ways I cope with life.  Not just on one day a year, but every day.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019


17 Motivational Quotes to Inspire You to Be Successful

One of the things I have been dealing with during this time of transition is to consider all the ways our society manipulates people into doing more, striving harder, being a 'success' instead of a 'failure'.

But what exactly is success/failure?  And when does someone need to stop what they are doing without feeling like a failure?

In North America, at least, I grew up in the 50s and 60s with the thought that I ought to expect more from life than my parents.  I should get more education, expect higher wages, have a bigger house, a newer, fancier car.  I was supposed to exceed what my parents accomplished in every way possible.

As a young woman in the 70s I was supposed to be able to do it 'all' - whatever that meant.

So when I chose to become a weaver as my profession, I had high expectations of myself.  With no one to answer to but myself - my harshest critic, truly - I pushed and pushed and pushed.  I kept trying, kept going, kept striving, until the point of ill health and exhaustion.

I worked while I was sick and injured.  I taught in the throes of severe allergic reactions.  Staggered from gate to gate in airports, exhausted, confused from allergies, lack of sleep, coming down with the latest bug.

And yet.  And yet.  I persisted.  Because that was what I had learned I was supposed to do.

On the other hand, there is a definition of 'insanity' of doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result.

Over the years, I ran into situations that clearly were not working.  Or at least, not well enough to keep running my head into that particular brick wall.  Instead of giving up, though, I tried to think of different ways I could keep making and selling my textiles, teaching and exercising my creativity.

I had every intention of continuing to do craft fairs for another two years.  But this year, it became crystal clear that that goal/intention was turning into another brick wall.  It was time to stop.

Someone recently commented that rather than considering that they failed at doing something, they were re-framing that into 'no longer' doing that thing.

To me this takes the whole success/failure perspective out of the equation of life.  And it expresses my lived experience.  I never failed at being a weaver.  I stopped being a weaver who made clothing.  I stopped being a weaver who sold her table napery wholesale.  I stopped being a weaver who wove hundreds of yards a year for a fashion designer.  I did not fail at those things - as much as some of them felt like a failing at the time.

I am no stranger to working hard, having a sharp focus on obtaining my goals, successfully accomplishing many things during the course of my career.  I do not now consider myself a failure by saying 'enough'.  I have done enough craft fairs.  I have done enough guild workshops.  I have done enough to consider myself a 'success' at my career.

Now that I have embraced the concept of 'enough', come through the feelings of resentment of having to quit, acknowledged the loss of a community I will miss, but opened myself to new experiences, new opportunities, I look forward to 2020 and what may come to my door and knock.

If you are tired but not 'done', stop and rest.  Stop and let yourself heal.  Then try again.  But maybe while you are resting, re-think what you are trying to accomplish.  Perhaps your goal just isn't a good fit.  Perhaps you have been working so hard on being a 'success' you cannot hear the knock of a different way of doing something.  Maybe you need to look at different paths, different end goals.

Consider how you define 'success'.  Maybe the definition needs to be adjusted.  Maybe enough is less than it seemed.  Remember that you only get one body and it needs to rest.  So if you are tired?  Rest.  Then decide if you carry on or adjust your course.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019


Now that I'm well over the half way mark on test warp #3(?), my thoughts are turning to the next warp.

In the stash reducing effort, I had planned some more tea towel warps in order to use up the fine single linen yarns that I accidentally (ahem) acquired.  I used a little of this coppery brown on a previous warp and was quite pleased with how it turned out. 

While I have a lot of yarn, it is in limited colourways because as a production weaver, I would tend to beam long warps sectionally.  So I needed enough yarn packages to wind each 1" section.  In the case of the 2/16 cotton for tea towels, that generally meant 32 epi when using the linen for weft.  (I may change the density to 36 once I run out of linen and start weaving up the rest of the cotton with cotton weft.  TBD.)

Beige/browns are not my personal favourite colours, but I have all this yarn left so I'm going to use it next and see how much of it I can use up.  I'm not sure I can use up all of the brown on 20 yards, but I'm still feeling my way with the Megado, and I'm not sure I want to go longer than 20 yards yet.  The current warp is around 15 yards (I forget) and 20 seems like a nice comfortable next step.  Just to make sure I'm getting the beaming down so that I get good tension.  Also, I'm not sure how much cloth I can put onto the cloth beam before I need to cut off and re-tie.  As the cloth builds up, setting the tension can become more challenging.  I'm used to being able to just keep on weaving, letting the cloth build up on the storage roller on the AVL, but the Megado has a more traditional set up and the cloth beam might - or might not - be happy letting 20 yards worth of woven cloth build up.  Again - TBD.  All part of getting to know the loom!

As we transition away from production weaving, re-organizing the studio, getting rid of production equipment, I am keeping a close eye on the calendar.  This weekend is my final 'sale' of the year - and my business.  I will be sorting through AVL loom parts and figuring out what might be of interest to AVL loom owners as replacement parts - I did invest in new gears in an effort to get the loom to behave, so someone might want to purchase those.  They are brand new and I paid a lot of money for them, so it would be nice to get some money back on them.

Plus I will be getting photos of some of my inventory and posting them here.  As someone pointed out my prices are in Canadian dollars (although I would never refuse US$!  I mean, in case someone wanted to 'tip'!!!)

Today I have a massage booked and she always tells me to rest afterwards.  So I'm going to go to the loom this morning, see if I can finish shawl #3 and make a start on #4.  The goal is to get them fringe twisted so that Doug can press them this weekend or Monday.  And then we'll be talking to some people who have expressed an interest in obtaining the press.

Little by little.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Fancy Twills

four shaft Wall of Troy (M. P. Davison)

Wall of Troy extended to 8 shafts

For the past few years I have played with 'fancy' twills.  Someone asked me what I meant by 'fancy' and I had to think about that term for a bit.  While I knew what I meant, I had to think about how to define it.  There are many examples of 'fancy' twills in many resources e.g. the little booklet called The Fanciest Twills, which is likely where I first heard about fancy twill.

Beginning with the four shaft Wall of Troy, it is not a straight draw but reverses in a /\/ progression and repeats.  Technically one might refer to this as an extended point progression.  In the drawdown area of the draft, there are connected diamonds and a clear straight diagonal running through the cloth.

Extending this over eight shafts enlarges the design and makes it more dramatic.  The tie up can change from a 2:2 twill to a 1:3:3:1.

When you have more shafts, the combinations can become much larger, more complex and the tie up can also become more complex.  One of my favourites is 1:3:2:2:3:1:2:2   This keeps floats to 5 (usually) and in the finer yarns I tend to use, a five end float does not adversely affect the cloth.

The key to unlocking how fancy twills worked was from S. A. Zielinski's publications.  Robert Leclerc collected Mr. Zielinski's works, edited them into topics and published them in the late 1980s early 1990s (if I remember correctly).  One of them took twills and played with them on four shafts creating very complex patterning.  His premise was that you didn't need to have more than four to make cloth with complexity.  Since I had 16, I began to play with twill progressions to make quite large repeats.  Having a loom with a dobby meant that I could then enter the tie up and treadling into the computer, and at a flick of a switch change from one tie up/treadling to another making scarves and shawls that were related but different.  Working in a series like this made my inventory more diverse and gave customers a choice over which options they liked best.

Last night I thumbed through Ars Textrina - the information translated from the Old German by Patricia Hilts - about a class of weaves called Gebrochene.  I'm looking for inspiration for my next warp and being entranced once again by 'fancy' twills.  I think I could just weave these kinds of drafts for the rest of my life and still find fascination in them!  

The test warp currently on the Megado is one of these fancy type of twills.  Each shawl is being woven with a different weft colour, but also a different tie up/treadling.  As I mix and match the threading with different treadlings, the resulting cloth is similar but different.  

At the end of my thumbing, however, I reflected on the colours I was going to use for the next warp and instead of a fancy twill, I will do something with twill blocks.  My inspiration will be the colours of the south west and my pattern will reflect something of my feeling of the desert when I visited New Mexico and Arizona.  

At least, that's the plan.  For now.

8 shaft Swedish Snowflake.  Another example of a 'fancy' twill.  Areas of straight and point progression, advancing and satin.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Tweaking the Set Up

Little by little, the studio is taking shape.  With the replacement of the AVL with the Megado, changing the old computer cabinet into a music storage cabinet, I needed something for the laptop to sit on.  We jury-rigged something until Doug had time to fetch the table from the annex, but I asked if he would put a shelf underneath. 

There were a few things I wanted to have beside me, rather than behind me - pads of post-it notes, pencil, scissors and a place to put bobbins.  And the boombox.  The Megado has a fairly loud solenoid click, and with hearing loss a reality, I felt it would be prudent to wear hearing protection while weaving with the Megado - just like I'd done for 40 years with the AVL.  Different looms, different noises, but still...noise. 

There are still lots of things to be done, but these little steps of progress feel good.  The studio becomes a little more functional every week.

The corner at the back, behind the computer stand, will have another set of shelves installed, but they need to be fitted to the space so will take some time and effort yet.  Once those are done and whatever I decide to store there gets stored there, the final position of the loom and stand will be determined.  And then the rest of the studio can be adjusted as well.

In the meantime I managed three sessions at the loom today.  The bad news is that I'm so far 'behind' where I'd hoped to be I don't know if I can get the shawls off the loom and fringe twisted in time for Doug to press next weekend.  But the press is waiting for this warp to be done as these will be the last things pressed on Puff.  The end of an era!  Then it will be back to the small flat bed press.  So in all likelihood I probably won't make shawls in the future, just scarves.  To be determined.

Now that I'm almost at the half way mark on this warp I have been thinking about the next warp.  I will return to tea towels, so the width will decrease to 24" but the length will increase from 32 turns of the beam to 45.  The warp will be 2/16 cotton at 32 epi.  The yarns are already pulled for two tea towel warps, each one intended to use up as much linen as it takes to weave them off.  I just have to decide on a design.  I will continue to scale up slowly until I'm sure I've worked out all the processes so that I'm getting good results.  This warp was 32 turns and so far the tension is fine, so that is feeling positive.

And it just dawned on me that the Megado has almost no vibration to speak of so I could actually listen to CDs on the boombox, not just the cassette tapes.  Hmm....more options!

A Little Knowledge

In English there are a couple of sayings that I think about at times:

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.  Or:  I know just enough to be dangerous.

When it comes to learning a new skill, there are levels of knowledge.  When you don't know what you don't know, you don't know that you don't know it.

The danger is that as one begins to learn a little bit, the assumption is that you know more than you actually do.  A student has a few experiences, draws conclusions based on those experiences, then extrapolates that limited experience to the entire body of knowledge - which they don't know and can't in some cases, even begin to comprehend.

Then they get set in their ways, assume they know The Answer, become reluctant to listen to anyone else about how things might not actually be the way they think it is.

The problem then becomes the repetition of the information that is incomplete at best, or just plain wrong.  When corrected, sometimes the person does not react well.  

When they go outside of their comfort zone, scale up in some way either by making longer/wider warps, use a different quality of yarn, or a different fibre, their results may be less than what they desired.  

At times I have then seen the blame being assigned to the yarn (it was 'bad'), the equipment (it was 'bad'), the advice they were given (which may have been ignored) - anything but accept that their process may have been at fault and needed to be adjusted to accommodate the changes to their regular routine.

When I advise people to apply a hard press, I've been told that it isn't necessary.  That if I'm getting iron tracks on seams, I just don't know how to press a seam open properly.  I've been told over and over again that wet finishing is just 'washing'.  I've even been told that it isn't necessary.  Which it may not be, depending...

I've been told that my advice on ergonomics or processes/efficiency is just plain wrong.  That somehow their X years of experience supersedes my 44+.  All I can say to them is, you do you.  If it's working for you, then that's what you need to do.  

One of the things I learned very early on was that becoming a weaver was going to be a life long journey.  That has turned out to be very true.  As I change my life, change my focus, change how I approach the creation of cloth, I look forward to continuing the journey of learning.  Of gaining more experiences to add to my foundation of knowledge.  I still explore, take workshops from other weavers - because their experience is different from my own - buy books, read magazine articles.  When I discover that I have been wrong about something, I add that to my growing - ever growing - pool of knowledge.  

I still make mistakes.  I still learn.  I find that exciting.

Friday, November 22, 2019


One of the big benefits of the internet is being able to connect with other folk, literally around the world.

I first met Kerstin Fro:berg at Convergence in San Jose, then we were both members of an early chat group.  Eventually I visited her in Sweden, and she came to visit me.

She wrote about her approach to making a V shaped shawl, and I encouraged her to translate it into English and voila - Weave a V for English readers came into being.

You can purchase Kerstin's book (Swedish and English language versions) from her directly, or in North America from me.

The monograph explains how to create a V shaped shawl using double width.  She includes information on both rising and sinking shed looms.

$25 includes shipping within North America.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Next Step

One of the reasons for doing the craft fairs to finish out this year was to say goodbye, not just to fellow artisans, but my customers.  To that end I posted the following message in my booth:


This is my last time participating in this show.  I would like to say thank you for the encouragement and support over the 40 some years I have been doing craft fairs.

While I will still be weaving, I will be returning to what drew me to the creation of cloth in the first place - all the various ways thread can be manipulated to make a textile.

Over the years I have met many lovely people, visited places I would never have done if I hadn't decided to become a weaver in the 20th - and onward into the 21st century.

It has been challenging, stimulating, educational and very satisfying on so many levels.

Thank you to those people who purchased my textiles and have let me know that they were used and enjoyed.  I hope they have given you as much enjoyment in the using of them that I had in the making of them.  

Thank you!

The sign sparked interest, and many reactions.  Folk commented that they would miss seeing my textiles on display (and me, too!)  Other artisans asked if I was ok, others how I felt about retiring.  Many, in my age bracket, either shared this was their last year, too, or shook my hand and congratulated me.

Today I emptied the boxes of what is left of my inventory.  Too much, as it happens, but less than a full shelving unit.  The next step is to go through the stacks of items, pull out inventory for the consignment shop.  I'm hoping to deliver that tomorrow as I need to be next door to the shop for an interview for a podcast.  (Will post link here if anyone is interested.)

I had hoped to weave the rest of the shawl I began yesterday on the Megado, but I slept in this morning, took too long to get mobile, then had appointments and a much longer wait at the lab to get blood drawn.  And was reminded not to exercise afterwards.  So, no weaving today then.  And likely none tomorrow unless I actually get up with the alarm and don't slouch through the morning.

However, I will also be offering my things for sale via this blog.  The top two shelves are scarves.  Prices range from $100 for rayon chenille, to $110 for rayon, to $125.00 for some rayon, to $145 for silk/rayon.  There are also more scarves in the two boxes on the next shelf down, which also has small table runners the same quality as the place mats, which are to the far right of the next shelf.  Table runners are $27 while place mats are $13.50.  The runners are more than double the length of the mats.  Next to the mats are the smaller of the wider table runners.  Price on those is $60 each at about $58-60" length

The next shelf down has tea/kitchen utility towels.  Some have 20% linen, most have 50% linen.    The 20% linen are $32, the 50% linen are $38.  The longer of the wide table runners are on the same shelf.  Those are around 90" in length and are $90 each.  

Orders for $100 or more will receive free shipping.  Payment can be by Paypal.  If someone wishes to do credit card, I can try the 'remote' feature of Square and see if I can make that work.  Canadians can do e-transfers.  Or if you are really old fashioned, I can accept a cheque, either Canadian or US.  But I won't ship until I receive the cheque.

If anyone is interested, email me laura at laurafry dot com, tell me what you are looking for, I'll see if I have anything of that nature, take photos and email you back.  If you need to know dimensions, I can send those as well.

One step.  Two steps.  Another step.  And another.  Progress!  

A Single Step

Progress.  It's ephemeral, at times.  When working on a 'big' project, or even just living a life, each day can seem endless.  Progress can seem incredibly slow.  At times, not noticeable.

When I was writing The Intentional Weaver, life interfered on numerous occasions.  It seemed like I would never get it done.  And every time I was poised on the brink of giving up, tossing the manuscript and declaring that Big Project a 'failure', something would happen and I would open the file again, and try to slog through it.  Again.

Frankly I had no intention whatsoever of writing (and self-publishing) a second book.  I had poured everything I had into Magic in the Water, I'd said all I needed to say.

But the more I taught, the more I saw that there was something I did need to say.  I was saying it over and over again in my classes.  Ergonomics.  Efficiency.  Peeling back the layers to better understand the basics. 

One of my Olds students was the impetus to begin but other students kept me going, asking the same kinds of questions.  Questions which I had thought about, researched, implemented in my own practice.

Most people really have no idea of just how efficient I became over the years.  I remember the first time I posted a video to the internet showing me weaving.  The very first response was something along the lines of  'that's interesting, but why did you speed the video up?'

I found it amusing that the person thought I was speeding the video up when the fact was that I'd actually slowed down in order that people could see what I was doing more easily.

People, including weavers, have constantly commented that I must never sleep I was producing so much.  I am, was, just that efficient that I can do a lot more in the same amount of time others have.

Plus weaving was my job.  I worked at it.  I became good at it.  Some even call me a 'master'.

But here's the thing.  What I do isn't anything special.  If someone really wants to, they can learn how to be more ergonomic, more efficient.  Learn how to work ergonomically, learn how to reduce extraneous movements, stay focused and in the zone, and efficiency will increase. 

It doesn't come overnight.  It takes work.  It takes mindful practice.  It takes those 10000 hours - but those hours have to be mindful.  Because repetition without analysis just makes permanent, not perfect. 

Now that I am 'retiring', shutting down my business, learning how to weave 'better' on a brand new loom which is very different from any other loom I have woven on, my progress has been slow.  Much slower than I expected, given my level of expertise.  But a return to beginner mind is good.  It reminds me that people learning new things need time to learn the new thing.  My impatience at how long it is taking needs to be tempered with constant reminders that progress is progress.  A single step in the right progress.

Constant reminders that I am no longer doing craft fairs, so I no longer  need to be producing lots of inventory, means that the rate of my progress is just fine, even if it is just a single step. 

I remind myself daily that I am still alive to take that single step, two or three on a really good day.  So many others I love/respected are gone.  I am still here.  Still able to teach (I hope).  Still able to weave, as slowly as that may be.  Still around to encourage and support others.  Mentor when I can, amplify when appropriate.

During Art Market, a woman came by and asked to talk to me.  It was Sunday morning and it wasn't very busy so when I finished with the customer I was dealing with, we talked for a few minutes.

She wanted to thank me for my DVD.  She had somehow injured her neck and for two years she went from doctor to specialist and finally saw one who commented that he had only seen such an injury in people who did a lot of (demonstrating the motion of taking shuttle out of the shed at too high an angle).  She asked him "Do you mean weavers?"  "YES!  Is that what you do?"

Turns out she had her bench in a 'bad' position and her posture wasn't great either.  She and her daughter went through The Efficient Weaver DVD and they re-arranged her loom bench and she is working on her position and posture, learning how - after 30 years of doing it in a poor ergonomic fashion - to throw and catch the shuttle in a way that will be friendlier to her body.  She is now weaving again, although she will always have soft tissue injury to deal with.  But she wanted to thank me for the advice and the techniques shown in the DVD.

This is why I keep leaping up on my soapbox.  This is why I will keep teaching.  Blogging.  And count my progress in inches if not in feet.  Because at the end of the day, the end of my production career, I am still learning.  And I have always loved to learn.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Incredible Lightness of Being

As mentioned previously, I tend to write to process my thoughts/emotions.  As I flounder trying to work out what I think, how to proceed in this life, I have shared (overshared, some might say) my process.

Well, I'm about as 'done' as done can be.  I am now into the official closing of my business.  It will take some time to take care of the details.  One does not build a business over 40+ years and shut it down in a couple of days.  Or, at least, I don't.  There are still things to deal with, things that need to be done, things that have to happen before the door officially closes on Laura Fry Weaving Studio as an official entity.

One of the reasons I went to Art Market was to say goodbye to some of the people I've become friendly with and who I will no longer see, because the only time I saw them was doing craft fairs.  Some of the people I wanted to talk to were not there, but I did manage some goodbyes, and that felt good.

I had posted my "Farewell" statement in my booth and several exhibitors talked to me about the fact I was retiring from the business.  Almost all of them asked how I felt about it.  Those in my age bracket shook my hand and congratulated me.  :)

If you are a regular reader, you will know that I did struggle with the decision, in large part because I felt it was being imposed on me.  As the weeks and months passed, it became apparent that it was the right decision.  As that realization dawned, it morphed from resentment to resignation and now to acceptance.

There is power in acceptance.  The previous stages were uncomfortable and weighty.  Acceptance means I am giving the weight of resentment away. 

During a time of heaviness about life, I sought help from a professional.  One of the ways suggested to me was to pay attention to what I was feeling but not wallow in it.  Each morning I was to set the stove timer for 15 minutes and during that time I was to write (in long hand because there were no personal computers much available then) about everything that was going through my brain.  Every random stray thought, every anxiety driven fear, every worry.  When the timer went, I was to put down my pen/pencil and for the rest of the day when those anxious thought squirrels began to rampage in my brain I was to say Stop - out loud if necessary - and then go on with my day.

At first my day was a litany of Stop, Stop, Stop, STOPSTOPSTOPSTOP to the point of tears.  But as the days passed, as I recognized and acknowledged my anxiety and fear, but then got on with what needed doing, the destructive thinking began to fade.  I began to learn the lesson of seeing my fear and anxiety, but looking to the solutions, instead of getting mired in the anxiety.

It wasn't easy.  I worked hard at it.  I still have bouts of anxiety that plague me but I can usually pull myself out of it, sometimes by the StopStopStop thinking, but usually by writing it out.

So now I am in acceptance.  I still have no idea what will come next.  With age comes wisdom, it is said, and I am old enough now to know that something will come along.  Opportunity will present itself.  It might be something I have actively sought, or it might be something completely unexpected.

I have plans for the coming year but they are tentative.  What I have done is get rid of deadlines.  Not all of them - I am deadline driven - but the 'hard' deadlines of show dates, the deadlines of needing to produce inventory to feed the craft fair circuit.  The deadlines of teaching multiple workshops for guilds, deadlines of getting travel organized and paid for - and the paying of bills, the balancing of ledgers and the collection and remittance of sales taxes.  The kinds of deadlines that can bring a boat load of repercussions if they are missed.

So retirement for me is to get rid of those kinds of business associated responsibilities.  I am choosing to have fewer deadlines.  Fewer responsibilities.  I choose to have a quieter life.  A less weighty life.

One of the discussions I had with someone was that I am choosing to 'act my age', accept that I am now an 'elder' in my community and that part of that responsibility - because I AM still alive, still capable of thinking and even weaving (although at a much slower pace, dammit, but I don't need to be as fast because I no longer have the craft fair mill to feed - see how this writing thing goes?) - that it is now my responsibility to be a resource, a mentor.

I have not read the book The Incredible Lightness of Being - but the title pretty much sums up how I am feeling about entering this next phase of my life.  Because that professional who helped me?  Asked me if I could set down my burdens and walk away.  At the time I told them I didn't know if I could.   Turns out that I know now.  And I can. 

Light.  That's how I feel.

Sunday, November 17, 2019


Doug is at the hall, waiting a turn at the loading dock.   

This is the last big show and I am relieved, I guess is the best word to use.

Physically the three craft fairs we just did were very hard on me.   Since there is no guarantee that I will improve much, I prefer to ‘save’ what energy and stamina I have for teaching and actually weaving.  

But I was able to say goodbye to several people, thank the show organizer in person for all the work she and her crew does every year.  We passed a couple of display items to another exhibitor, and moved some inventory.  There is still a lot left, too much, really.   One of the priorities once the van is unloaded and the boxes of textiles unpacked, is to go through and select what will go into the consignment shop, what will go to the guild sale.   After the guild sale hopefully there will be less inventory and more money in the bank. 

The rest of this month will be major sifting, sorting, and disbursing.  And some weaving.   Still cautiously making friends with the Megado.  The new year will bring new things.  We will have company in January, perhaps two lots.  February is the weaving workshop.  I’m keeping fingers crossed for Olds classes, but haven’t heard anything yet.   

I’m toying with flying to TN to visit friends and wander Convergence.   But that will depend on how things go.   To be determined.  

September is a school reunion and I’m thinking of going.  After all, I will be ‘retired’ and can plan on doing things other than scrambling to get ready for craft fair season.  

Several people have asked how I feel about this latest development in my life.  I confess I did struggle with it for a while.  Initially I felt forced into it due to a confluence of things.  And I am stubborn enough that I don’t like feeling pressured to do something.  But it has become very obvious that stopping doing shows and shutting my business now is the right thing to do.

I look forward to teaching for Olds when they want me, mentoring my students, encouraging other weavers, and taking some time for myself.  Beyond saying that, I have no idea how things will go.   I’m sure that any void will be filled.  One way or another.  

Friday, November 15, 2019

My Way

People sometimes ask me what I will do when I retire.   I have plans.  Of course I do.   But really?  I am leaving myself open to whatever happens.  

There are things I would like to do.   Things I would enjoy doing, but wouldn’t be terribly bothered if they didn’t happen. 

A few people have asked if I’m going to take a vacation or have a break.  I don’t see that happening any time soon because I have to wrap up the business of being a production Weaver.   The annex needs to be cleared out and more stuff sold, given away or tossed.   Because there is not enough room in the studio for it. 

Doug will install more shelving and I have to sort through the bins of teaching samples to see what I need to keep and what should be tossed.  There is a great deal of work to be done so that I can give notice and move out of the annex.  

I had intended to inventory the parts of the AVL and try to sell them but honestly?  I just want them gone.  The piles of loom pieces are taking up a big chunk of my life and I’m tired of the clutter.  

Doug is trying to find a buyer for the large industrial steam press including the baby boiler.  We have given some booth apparatus away, to be taken away at this show, and sold some things.  I’m torn about getting rid of everything when I could use some things at guild events.  But neither will I have much room to store things.

There are boxes of paper that Doug will start shredding.  I need to keep the past seven years worth of year end papers, but the rest can go, along with the estate papers for my brother and mother.  Storing those at the annex meant we just kind of ignored them.  

My lace stash will need to be gone through and organized.  Will I make lace again?  Having an organized stash would make that more likely.  Ditto the spinning stash.  I will order more fibre before I give up my Ashford dealership.  Because why not?

The majority of my weaving stash is already at the house.  There are a few more boxes of things to be moved over.  

We are half way through this final ‘big’ show.  We head for home Monday and I have some health issues to deal with, the guild sale, and the rest of the shut down, including remitting appropriate taxes, closing business accounts, cancelling the business telephone line and so on.

Every day is about making more decisions, shaping what the coming year might look like.  

Every day I look at how to live my life my way. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Next Test Warp

The Megado is definitely a different loom from the AVL.  There were many things about the AVL that worked for me very well and beaming sectionally was one of them.  The beam of preference was up high which meant I could stand and turn the crank, cut off and tape the section, then easily attach the leader string to the next.  And all the while, the sections were visible and I could ensure that the 'ribbon' of warp was going into the section flat, not bunched up against one or other of the dividers.

The Megado is a much smaller loom with a lower profile.  The beam is down low and the first couple of warps I struggled with the new location and how best to address filling each section.  Part of the problem is that the sections are below the back beam and the box 'race'.  I'm using the AVL tension box because I prefer it over the Louet that was supplied.  For one thing it has a 10 dent reed to guide the threads, and the reed mount swivels, so I can make the ribbon narrower if necessary.  Or do a compound sleying to keep the ribbon about the correct width.  The AVL beam was also a full yard, while the Megado is just 14".  So lots more turns to get the same warp length.

I didn't like working in the shadow, needing to bend over to be able to see if the ribbon was laying flat so this time I added a light to illuminate my actual work area.  Especially with this very dark warp which is mostly a very dark navy, 4 fairly dark green and the rest black.  Hard to see in the first place, then even more so on another gloomy day, in the shadow of the loom.

The stool is the exact height that makes the job do-able, but it means leaning over to crank, especially on this wider warp, so I'm taking more frequent rest breaks to make sure my back doesn't get doing the job.

I am also having to tweak my hand motions - how and where I tape the bouts, then tie off the ribbon for the next section, then attach the leader string.  After 20 sections, it's becoming smoother and I'm not having to stop and think about it every single time.  But it still isn't my new default, and may not be even for the next few warps.

My goal is to get this warp beamed today and begin threading.  There are 1080 ends in the warp and it is going to take a while.  I'm hoping to get it threaded before we leave, but if not it will get finished when we get home.

The threading is a re-run of the last tea towel warp I did on the AVL, adjusted for this wider warp.  The tie up and treadlings will be changed.  It is a 'fancy' twill over 16 shafts, with the motif repeated across the width and straight draw borders.

As a test warp, it will do.

The warp should be long enough for four shawls.  I will use the same red, blue and purple for three of them, then finish with a slightly finer grey rayon slub.  For that I will most likely add extra interlacements to increase stability.  The scarves have a lot of drape so the shawls should as well.  I may beat a little harder because wider warps generally have more resistance than narrower ones.  And a slightly denser (more ppi) cloth will also have more stability than one with less.  I think that might be A Good Thing in a shawl.

Change one thing...everything can change...

Friday, November 8, 2019

Life Changes

After wet finishing including a hard press and a final 'burnishing' with the hand iron, the new scarves are (almost) finished.  This afternoon I will trim the fringes, then tag/price them.  I found a tube and will roll them around the tube for transport, in part because the boxes are all loaded into the van and it will be easier to just pack them in my suitcase - but I don't want to set creases in them.

Major life changes are considered major stressors.  Shutting down one's business and making a gigantic change in how one spends one's days is surely up there in the top 10.

One of the ways I deal with stress and complicated emotions is to vent.  My mother never approved of such 'venting' - her watch word was that one never aired one's dirty linen in public.  I find that if I don't, the stress becomes anxiety and the anxiety turns into fear and anger. 

I use this platform as a way to work through my emotions.  By writing them out (a therapeutic tool I learned about in my 30s) I can tease out what is actually bothering me, see my way clear to a path through them, discover the silver lining in the current cloud.

Several people have encouraged me to continue blogging even as I down size my life.  Be assured I will continue to post, even as my focus shifts from production to...who knows what.

Life is complex.  Emotions are complicated.  My friends allow me to talk through my difficulties and once the pressure has been released somewhat, the kernel of what is bothering me becomes more visible.  Once it is visible, I can begin to reduce the influence the issue has been having over me.

I made the decision to be public about my health issues when I began this blog in 2008.  For most of my childhood, cardiac and cancer were spoken about in hushed voices.  Especially cancer.  It was as though someone 'catching' cancer had done something to cause it.  And during most of my childhood, both cardiac and cancer were pretty much death sentences.

As part of my cardiac recovery my medical team made sure I understood that people dealing with cardiac issues needed to be aware of the emotional impact.  The cancer team has a social worker attached to it, because again, major life challenging issues are involved.

Being public about each meant that those people who have similarly experienced these health issues contacted me to encourage and support while I was going through treatment - and the aftermath. 

Discovering that so many of you have or are dealing with the same thing(s) became a huge positive impact - because y'all had survived!  And there was hope that I could too.

So yes, I'm discombobulated right now.  Yes, I'm struggling.  Yes, it's challenging in a way that I wasn't ready for.  And yes, I will continue to write about this journey. 

I have no idea what the future holds, but seriously?  None of us do.  We make our plans.  God, in her wisdom, laughs.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Full Size Sample

No photo description available.

There are times when weaving a 'full sized' sample is a good idea.  With this warp, there was a dual purpose - I was becoming friendly with the Megado, so I didn't want to commit to a long/wide warp.  A scarf warp seemed ideal.  With the goal of getting some shawls made, weaving some scarves to 'prove' the loom and the concept seemed like a really good idea.

This week has been busy so I haven't done much in the studio - at all.  But I did get the scarves fringe twisted, then run through the washer/dryer last night.  With such a small load it wasn't worthwhile to fire up the big industrial steam press, so I did them on the small flat bed press.  The problem with the small press is the much smaller bed, and the fact it doesn't apply pressure evenly.  Or as evenly as I would like.  So I'm going to burnish the surface of the scarves with the hand iron.  Just as soon as Doug gets back from the annex, where it is currently stored.


On the other hand, I can see well enough that the combination is good.  The epi, yarn choices and weave structure seem to be playing well together.  I started getting the Megado ready to beam the warp, but errands took priority and nothing will happen before tomorrow now.

In the meantime, while I wait for Doug to get back with the hand iron, I will start reading the written work from the box of Olds homework that arrived yesterday.

Unfortunately I'm running out of afternoon and may not get all three scarves done before it is time to eat and head for the guild room.  I have to go up early tonight and open the room for drop in.

Tomorrow I need to start packing for the trip.  Doug has the laundry caught up so it shouldn't take very long.  I just like to do it a few days before I leave in case I forget something and can just toss it in with the rest of the stuff.

Currently Reading The Comforts of Home by Susan Hill.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Ticking Boxes

This morning I dealt with some business - both personal and studio.  I commented to the agent that after spending 40 years building up my business, it took time to shut it all down again.  And some things have to wait until my business is actually closed down before I can cancel them - like the business telephone line, the business banking, the insurance policy.

It seems like every day I remember something else that will need to be stopped, canceled, sold or given away.

We are also waiting for snow to arrive.  It's 'late' (climate change?) and there is the additional worry of what the roads will be like, especially through the mountains.  At this time of year, rain instead of snow means the possibility of black ice when temperatures drop.  Or slushy roads which are physically exhausting to drive through.  Wet, slush, dirt, all things I'd rather not deal with and had hoped would not.  But we don't get to choose our weather, just how we deal with it.

Thankfully Doug is a good driver and after years of dealing with winter weather highway driving, nothing much fazes him so I will bring knitting and books to occupy my passenger time.

No matter what someone is dealing with, life tends to go on, one way or another.  The guild received the donation of a loom, spinning wheel and miscellaneous books and fibres as one family deals with putting their mother into hospice.  At least we could take that worry off their shoulders and either fold it into the guild equipment, or find a new home for them.  A reminder that some folk are dealing with much bigger struggles than I am at the minute.

Having a few days of 'quiet' (because I don't have to scramble, scramble, scramble) has allowed me to help a friend, also dealing with stuff and needs help, but also to think about my own situation.  This morning I came up with a new Plan, having rejected Plan A.  In the end, I think B is a better solution.

My business/studio insurance is paid for the coming year and will be reviewed in January.  By then I will have a much better idea of what equipment I will be keeping, how much inventory I have, take some time to estimate my stash.  I've done a good job of weaving it down...but then got a huge gift of 7 boxes of silk yarn.  So probably value of my stash went up, in the end!  But I will continue to have way more studio stuff than an 'ordinary' household insurance policy would cover, so I will keep a separate rider for those things.

Today I am fringe twisting the scarves I took off the Megado the other day.  I'd kind of like to wet finish them before I decide on the weft for the sample shawl warp planned for the next Megado test warp.  Plus I received a box of homework which I want to mark sooner rather than later.

With several days before we leave, I am still hoping to beam the shawl warp and see how much of it I can get threaded.  The threading draft is printed out.  But I'm tired of things half done so I'm determined to finish fringe twisting today.  I have to leave soon to drive my friend to another appointment so I need to stay focused.  I'll bring my library book and read while I wait for her.

Currently reading A Better Man by Louise Penny.  (Another excellent page turner - highly recommended.  Begin at the beginning if you haven't read any of her books.  Set in Quebec, mostly, unabashedly Canadian.  Five hearts.  Maybe 10.  Maybe a whole lot more.  Can you tell I like her writing?)

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Half Full, Half Empty

For the longest time I saw the glass as half full, knowing that I could fill it again.  That there would always be capacity to improve, grow, fill.

Until my well of energy and wellness started to run dry.

The glass half full or empty is a powerful image, but it doesn't address the population who is struggling just to make it through the day because of a chronic (or acute) health issue, or life circumstances that are toxic. 

Those people who declare that if your glass is half empty, find a smaller glass and use that instead just don't get it.  Any of it.

It's like white folk who tell people of colour that they just need to get an education, get a better job, do better, assimilate better.  Then when they do get the education, get a better job, tell them 'not like that'.

White privilege is about the colour of your skin not preventing you from getting that education, finding that better job.  Not making your life difficult *because* of that colour.

It's like able bodied people telling people with physical challenges that they are worth less.  A cartoon on Facebook this morning kind of summed that up so well.  A man cleaning the steps off, telling the person in the wheelchair to wait until the steps were cleared for all the mobile people and the person in the wheelchair pointing out that clearing the ramp first meant *everyone* could access the building, not just the people who could use the stairs.

Rick Hansen (man in motion) has done more to raise awareness of accessibility in Canada - and around the world - than any other person I can think of.  But we can do better.

As I age, I am finding myself more and more compromised in terms of mobility.  As I deal with chronic pain and a body that seems determined to slow me down, regardless of how I feel about that, I become more aware of the fact that no matter how much I yank on my bootstraps, I cannot do certain things any more.

While I remain positive in my attitude, I have to admit that my well is running dry.  That glass?  I cannot refill it.  Switching to a smaller glass is to acknowledge that my activity horizons are smaller.  It becomes more and more difficult to do the things I used to do.  I have already curtailed my travel.  I am working on curtailing my expectations for how productive I can be.

So yes.  I can pour what I have left in that large glass into a smaller glass and remain grateful for what I still have. 

Doesn't mean I don't - at times - feel sad for what I used to be able to do.  And now cannot.

Sunday, November 3, 2019

Two Down

Show Two is now over.

It went ok, as shows go.  I met some lovely folk, got to share what the future holds - so far as I know it.  Let people know where to find my textiles now that I won't have a booth there any more.

I'm still metabolizing the fact that I don't have to come home and leap back into production.  Yes, I'm running low on stuff.  That's the whole point!  I still have plenty of other stuff - like lots and lots and lots of tea towels.

I plan to make more, partly because I have yarn stash to use up.  So I'm hoping that tea towels will sell well in Calgary.  The place mats are nearly gone.  Almost not worth putting them out for sale, but I will.  Because they won't sell in my basement...

There are still piles of scarves, although they are shorter in height.  My next test warp on the Megado will be for four shawls.  I need to continue to scale up slowly on that loom so that we can become good friends.

It rained today, but it didn't snow and the ground wasn't covered in ice - so that was a 'win'.  But snow is in the air and the drive through the Rockies may not be as pleasant as we'd like.  OTOH, it could be lovely.

No way to know until the time comes.

Two down.  One to go.  Then the guild sale, where there may be things on deep discount, just to move them out of my basement and free up space for whatever new stuff I make in my 'retirement'.

Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Serious Child

This photo remains to this day my favourite one of my father, brother and me.

Dad hated to have his photo taken, and so do I.  This photo, captured by a street photographer - likely on Granville Street in Vancouver in June 1959 (a month before my 9th birthday) encapsulates the personalities of the three of us.

My father, quiet, introvert, never one to push himself forward, most definitely NOT wanting to take the ticket from the photographer.  But mom always took them and bought the photos so I insisted he at least take the ticket and give it to her.  Mom being mom immediately went to the place you could buy them and loved the fact that she had this photo of the three of us together.

My brother who noticed the photographer, full of joy and mischief.  Me, gazing off into the unknown, also quiet, introvert, not liking having my photo taken.

Doing the 'last' of the shows, there has been plenty of time for reflection, introspection, remembering.  Forty years is a long time to do anything.  Well, actually more than forty years - the decision to become a professional/production weaver was made in 1975.  It just took a while to learn the craft, then get enough inventory made at a good enough standard to sell.  So my first craft fair was 1979.

Talking to another exhibitor this morning, he asked how long I'd been doing 'this'.  When I said forty years, his jaw dropped.  "That's a long time!"   Yes, young sir, it is.

As I reflect on my life I see how the threads (ahem) of my lived experience, even as a child, led me to this place at this moment in time.

I see how my curiosity, my mechanical aptitude, proprioception, creativity, love of textiles instilled from a very young age, in no small part because of my mother's and aunts involvement in creating them, all managed to weave themselves into who I am.  Who I have become.

Once I found my passion, my intellectual understanding of how threads came together to become cloth, plus a desire to share what I was learning, my ability to write reasonably well, came together to bestir me to begin teaching.  Then writing.  Then publishing articles/books/this blog.

Doing 'this' has been hard work.  If I wasn't also willing and able to do that hard work, nothing much would have come of any of it.  Dealing with rejection is also a slice of the pie that is me.  Because even if someone isn't meaning to be 'mean', they can be willing to explain why your work isn't acceptable to them.  I had to quickly untangle their comments into something that reflected on them, rather than me or my work.  Because it is always about the 'me' in the giving and taking of such comments.

I will be frank - therapy helped.  I am empathetic and will take on the emotions and problems of other people to help them, make them feel better.  Therapy helped me understand how to snip that obligation and leave the person with their problem to solve (can't afford my textiles?  Not my problem to solve!)

So a serious child grew into a serious adult.  I took my craft, my profession seriously.  I worked hard.  I moved heaven and earth to make deadline.  Sometimes I just couldn't, but I tried.  And when I couldn't I learned to notify people to let them know.  They may not have liked what they heard, but I had been honest.

Like the day I got rear ended, having just beamed 100 yards of warp for the fashion designer I wove for.  I told her that I would keep going the best I could but at the time 20 minutes was the most I could manage before needing to take a long break to let the pain go back down.  She was then able to gear her other weavers up, adjust her production schedule, and I continued - all through my recovery - to weave and ship fabric just as quickly as I could.

While I try very hard to not take myself seriously, I do take my obligations very seriously.

Without being that serious child/woman, I very much doubt I could have continued for this long in what is a very insecure profession.  Never knowing from year to year if anyone would buy what I made, book me to teach, invest in first Magic in the Water, then The Intentional Weaver - plus magazine articles, smaller 'monographs'.

Yes, I have had fun.  But I have also worked hard.

And now I am seriously ready to rest.  

Friday, November 1, 2019

Show #2, Day 1

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Yesterday we arrived at the hall and got set up, heading home to deal with trick n treaters.  This morning we arrived in time to finish 'fluffing' the booth, turn the lights on, get the till ready and generally say hello to some of the other exhibitors with whom we are friendly.

Most of them are in our age bracket - or close enough - and all of them congratulated me on the upcoming retirement.  One said that the time is coming for her as well.

The booth directly across of us is a young man who works with metal making mostly wall plaques/art pieces.  Some of his things are made from recycled sawmill saw blades - about 3 feet in diameter.  While it wasn't too busy this afternoon I had a chance to chat with him.  He and his two helpers were so cheerful all day, it was refreshing. 

Doug and I tag teamed and I was able to spend some time in the guild booth and visit with guild members I have seen very little of since the conference.  It was also nice to see the work of the members, attractively set out.  Next year I will try not to inundate the booth with my stuff - who knows, maybe by then there won't be much left and it will only be new work?

I made a sign saying 'Farewell' and letting people know I'm not doing shows in my own name any more.  A couple people made the assumption that I would be going back to having weaving as a hobby again.  I explained that it's never been a hobby for me, but now it will be.  :)

Several people had no idea of my age and while expressing disappointment I won't have my own booth, understood why I was retiring.  Several mentioned that they had textiles that had to be easily 25+ years old that they still used daily, in some cases.  Most were astonished that I've been doing this show for 40 years - 1979-2019 - not a bad run!

Since it wasn't terribly busy for me, I even had a chance to visit with a few people - something I will miss.  But maybe I'll have more time to meet friends for coffee, or even attend guild drop ins/meeting/seminars!  What a concept!

The first show was two days, fairly short hours.  This one is three days, with somewhat longer hours.  Then we have a week to rest, drive to Calgary and do Art Market - four days with longer hours and a much bigger show.  It's all coming to an end.

And then close down the business and see what happens next.  It's an adventure!