Wednesday, June 19, 2024



When I decided to retire from doing craft fairs in 2019 and then in-person teaching (because of Covid) some of my friends wondered what I would do instead.

I had no ready answer for them, other than that I thought I might like to take a deeper look at weaving.  Deeper than I had been able to do for a while.

I'm no stranger to sampling, and experimenting; I just wasn't sure what route I would take in that exploration.

A few detours arrived and I enjoyed the journey.  They allowed me to examine certain things in more depth, which I enjoyed very much.  I also wrote 2 books(!) because it seems like I hadn't said everything I wanted to say in the first two.

So much of my energy has been needed to just keep going lately that there hasn't been a lot of time nor energy for anything beyond the mundane.  But I *can* still weave, so there is that.

I've been on the naltrexone since November and it takes the edge off the pain - not completely, but enough I can (mostly) cope.  The more important thing is that I have my brain back, now that it isn't clouded by opioids, and I can think again without trying to peer through the drug haze.

A few months ago I found myself stating, quite firmly, that I wasn't going to 'pitch' articles to publications but only write what I wanted to write.  I'm old, I'm fairly stable financially (for reasons that are beyond my control, but for which I am grateful), and with covid NOT over, I won't be traveling or teaching in person any time soon.

So I mostly just sat with my thoughts and did the best I could to get through each day.

Time passed, and I waited to see if my muse was going to appear with a whip and insist I needed to write more - what that might be, I had no idea, but they had shown up previously so I was confident that if they wanted me to write, they would bring the seed of an idea that would spark my interest.

Well, my muse didn't show up, but 3 different publications contacted me in the space of 4 weeks, asking for articles.  They were very specific about what they wanted me to write about and every one of them was right in my 'zone' of wanting to write about those things.

Two of the articles were so specific I had to come up with experiments to make sure I could write about them.

One was a very short deadline, and I tackled that one first (it will appear soon - will let folk know where and when), one had a very open deadline but two of the topics were things I knew well and didn't need to weave any actual samples for, and the third was very specific in what they wanted.  And for that one I needed to weave samples and do some experiments.

So I shuffled my weaving schedule and piggy-backed the samples onto warps that I had planned to do 'down the road', and instead brought them forward to do immediately.  Bonus for having enough yarn on hand to weave the samples (and enough samples in my teaching boxes for the rest).

Both of those topics are, shall we say, broad enough to require some digging, but specific enough I needed to produce examples to illustrate the topic.  Both are wet finishing related, but aspects that I had never had time to really, thoroughly explore.

The first set of samples (topic 1) that I needed to weave are done, with one sample started for topic two.  I've decided on my approach to the experiment I will run for topic 1, counted up how many samples I will need to explore the options, and purchased a product that I haven't used, until now, but was recommended and which I will try, to see if it works as advertised.

In the meantime I am weaving off the rest of the warp I used for topic 1 samples, have pulled the yarn for topic 2 samples and will throw that at the loom as soon as the current warp comes off.  I have enough yarn for a 3rd warp if I find, in my actual experimenting, that I need more samples.

And then the rest of the samples should already be in my teaching bins, so I need to collect the bins and sort through them to see what I have.

I have written down the first experiment and just need to do the wet finishing and run the experiment.  For the second topic I finally figured out how I would go about doing it, worked out a way to document the different samples and be able to identify each one so I can make comparisons.

Because only after the wet finishing happens can I begin to examine the results, make comparisons and then possibly come to some meaningful conclusions.

In the meantime, I keep weaving, even at a slower pace than I would like.  I have mixed feelings about what is happening to my body, but since I can keep weaving, that is what I will do.  And when I can't weave anymore, maybe I can keep writing?

As for when the articles will appear?  There is usually a 6-12 month lead up time from when someone is asked to write an article and when it will appear.  Stay tuned!

No comments: