towels

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The black and teal towels are officially cloth. They’re off the loom and they look much better than I had expected. The tension issues had a slight impact on the first two towels. They are a bit off square.

No one will mind when they are hanging from a hook in the kitchen. Towels are useful; perfection is not required.

My weaving plans have gone a bit sideways. I may tie up the remainder of the Dreaming warp on Honey (Schacht Standard) and audition the draft I want to use for Fleece to Shawl. That would be productive and practical. You know I really want to weave the placemats on the Glimakra.

In the meanwhile, I have given Justine (Leclerc Compact) a complete cleaning and going over. I think she is a bit easier to treadle now. Isn’t it ironic that my least friendly loom should end up as my partner for this next adventure?

pausing to…pause

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Even with boxes everywhere, I find that I can finally pause and be present in my surroundings.

I have taken time to weave the third of the four tea towels. I have taken long, admiring looks at the yet unnamed Glimakra, and woven a few picks on the monks’ belt placemats.

At night, I’ve turned off all the lights and been amazed at the carpet of stars visible from the studio windows.

At the end of a hatha yoga practice, lying in savasana and melting into the support of the floor beneath me, I acknowledge that all striving is done. There is nothing to do but absorb the wisdom of the practice.

Yoga permeates all life, not just the hours spent on the mat. As these periods of striving have ended, both the immediate one of moving to this house, and the overarching one of returning home, I am taking the time to absorb the wisdom of these as practice.

I can’t help but see the frenzy slipping away from my work. The weaving need not shout to be heard. It can speak in sighs of relief and murmurs of pleasure, and in the deep silence that comes with being completely at ease.

It is surprising how much gets done in this mindful reverie. When there’s no internal conflict, no energy spent building walls and holding them up, no time spent deciding what is and what is not, things just work. Like the swan gliding along the canal, there’s plenty happening under the placid water, but it’s all about gliding forward, not about flapping wildly and splashing water everywhere.

When the bench is properly adjusted, and my focus is on moving smoothly and purposefully, the tea towels seem to weave themselves.

I make only vague promises for what comes next. The gardens will bloom as they always have, and I will observe. The looms will be filled with useful cloth and I will weave in the studio that is the heart-center of this home.

So, with four looms….

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So, with four looms….I should be four times as productive, or four times as happy.  Something like that? I think I am on the way to being four times as happy, and will be when I get the right projects going on the right looms. Things are a bit muddled right now, with quick projects on slow looms, and vice versa.

I might just finish Alisoun’s hair ribbons, a quick project, on the Glimakra band loom, and then put something deliciously complex on the loom, maybe a wide band with more than 20 pattern threads, surrounded by a pair of wide and interesting borders.

My floor loom will probably take a rest after the Midnight Snowflake scarf.  I hope to be moving to a new home and studio space in the next five months. I don’t want to repeat the hasty cutting of work-in-progress that was symbolic of my journey here. I can be content with two slow projects and a quick one on the smaller and more portable looms.

I still marvel every day at the convergence of circumstances that brought me home and continue to enrich my life.

Fulfilling a promise

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I’ve been so busy weaving that I forgot to realize that I am fulfilling a promise I made to myself when I first set up my floor loom.

This project, Dreaming myself Awake, is the ten yard black warp that I promised myself in 1985.

Except that it it has a few purple stripes in it. Except that it’s 14 yards long.

Numbers have always been a bit ethereal to me. I have no idea why I’ve believed all these years that my warping board measures a ten yard warp. Maybe because it should. Maybe because when I was a costumer and was buying fabric to have in stock in the studio, I always bought a ten-yard length. Maybe because it’s an easy and comfortable number.

Does it matter?

Not really. The piece of cloth I am weaving was always too long for the garment I have in  mind. Now, its just that much longer. The ten yard promise was just my way of saying a long piece of cloth that could be as many things as it wanted to be. It is beginning as a complex tapestry of more than thirty different yarns. It may end as something completely different.

I think I’ve completed two yards of cloth. There’s much more fun ahead of me.

Keep on with your dreams.———————-