revenons à nos moutons

Thank you for permitting me to get off topic yesterday. It is an issue that has the potential to affect us all.

Back in the studio, I am slowly working my way through hundreds of Texsolv cords needed for the countermarch on my Glimakra Standard. Although the cords come in a package of pre-cut lengths, the ends are but lightly sealed by the hot knife used to cut them. I am taking each cord, heating each end at a candle flame to soften it, and then rolling it to a point. I have a bowl of ice water at hand to protect my fingers, but it is still something that I can only do for a while, maybe thirty ends in one sitting. It’s time well spent, because the Texsolv cords will not fray and will be much easier to use in the tie up.

I am also marking up each cord used to tie the lamms to the treadles, according the Vavstuga tie up system. These reference marks make the actual tie up quick and painless compared to counting holes in the cord or tying up by guesswork.


There is something very grounding and loving about sitting inside my loom, connecting up the cords. I feel encircled and embraced by the loom. It reminds me of the many joyful hours spent sitting on the floor beside my mother’s chair, as we chatted and stitched. I would begin sitting on a chair, but would invariably slip to the floor because it was more comfortable. It becomes a meditation, time spent being present in the moment, thoughts stilled by the task in hand. The loom slips easily between reality and metaphor.

“I am the Goddess. My feet are rooted deep within the earth… My arms are open wide to hold eternity…”

-Lyrics from “I am the Goddess” by P. J. Seale


None of this is weaving. All of this is weaving.


(about today’s title: If your French language lessons never took you past looking for your aunt’s pen, you may not know that “Let’s return to our sheep” is an old idiom for returning to the subject at hand. Magique, my little Francophone cat, just murmured a sleepy and surprised comment that her aunt always knew where to find the feather stick. I love the way that cats look at language…)

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