So today is launch day for the SOS class, The Intentional Weaver.
It was meant to be a happy day for me, and instead I'm still dealing with a body that seems bent on making me miserable. I have an appointment - in person - with my family doctor, this afternoon, and I really hope he has something to help me. Because I've been looking forward to this day and it's being 'ruined' by feeling ill.
Ok - whine over.
Felicia Lo was my on screen student and she has done a You Tube video talking about experiencing being a student. She talked about how when I do the various tasks involved in weaving I make it look so 'easy' and how we talked about students might feel intimidated when the same techniques don't come easily to them. And she agreed to be the student to show that when you learn something new it is going to feel awkward. And the solution for that awkwardness is, in fact, to do them with intention. With mindfulness. Paying attention to the motions.
She asked her viewers to share some of the awkward things they have experienced, in part as a way to acknowledge that feeling awkward is a normal part of learning something new. That you only gain proficiency by steadfast mindful practice.
Sometimes I will answer a question on line and people will be amazed that I am able to put my finger on exactly what the problem is, and suggest a solution. The thing is, the reason I know about these solutions, and the situations, is that every single one of them has happened to me.
Weaving is not difficult, but it is complex. There are a multitude of steps tht must be taken, in order, so that you wind up with good results.
There are principles to be learned so that you can more easily diagnose a problem, then knowing the principle, make an appropriate fix.
The one I share about my own journey was the time I neglected to go over the back beam of the loom while dressing the warp. The warp travelled directly from the beam up to the heddles. When I treadled, I could not get a shed.
Doing this once was bad enough. But I did it twice in a row. So now when someone says they have their loom all dressed but can't get a shed, I look for signs that they, too, have neglected to go over the back beam.
I have even neglected to go over the knee roller on the AVL which meant I wasn't getting good sheds as the springs were being impeded from working properly because the apron was in the way.
Mistakes happen. They are part of life, part of weaving. My hope with writing the book and doing these classes is that people will learn the principles and fixes to problems. And not be upset if they make a mistake. Because we are only human.
Sometimes we aren't feeling well and we aren't thinking clearly. Sometimes we are stressed or distracted, and not paying full attention to what we are doing. Sometimes it has been too long since dressing the loom last time and we forget things like knee rollers and back beams.
Embrace the journey of learning. Accept your human-ness. Take pleasure and satisfaction when things go right, but don't beat yourself up when they go wrong.
And PS - while setting up the loom for the taping, I showed how to check for a clear shed and discovered that oops - I'd crossed threads between the heddles and the reed. This was not a 'planted' error (although I'm not beyond doing such a thing), but a mistake I actually made. In the end I was glad because it showed that I just dealt with it and carried on. That yes, I do still make mistakes. Being a 'master' weaver doesn't mean you don't make mistakes, just that you don't panic, you just fix them.