Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Weaving as a Personality Profile

Dear Mom,
The weaving class I took on Friday and Saturday taught me about more than just weaving. The project I was assigned was a scarf with lace panels. Great! I'd not done any lace and definitely had an interest. Once my wool colors were chosen, I wound my warp threads, dressed the shop loom (Donna Reed stayed home) tied up the treadles and studied the treadling sequence. I made a little cheat sheet for the treadling sequence and taped it to the beater on the loom so I could keep track. Thankfully, the treadling sequence turned out to be one that was easily memorized and I could read the progression of that sequence in my weaving making it possible for me to figure out where I was in that sequence in the event of a sudden day dream, lunch break, or just plain forgetfulness.
There is always a planned-for amount of warp on the loom that allows for "sampling". For me sampling is not so much about evaluation as it is about PRACTICE. I sat down and began "sampling"- watching my edges and studying the treadling sequence in an effort to make sense of it all. Linda, the shop owner and mostpatientweavingteacherever, gently suggested that I not beat the life out of my scarf, but rather to gently place the weft threads next to each other. In other words, loosen up. Until that point I didn't realize how desperately I was compacting those threads! Lining them up in nice, neat, tight, well-behaved rows. Hmmmm. Psych assessment, perhaps? Good heavens, I had to concentrate to relax!
A little more kinder, gentler sampling and I was ready to begin my scarf for real. That lighter touch gave me the lacy look the scarf was meant to have. Old habits are hard to break, or whatever, but I caught myself weaving a bit more heavy handed right after the lunch break and I had to remind myself, again, to lighten up. If I look close enough at my scarf, I can see where I picked up again after lunch.
The scarf is finished and hemmed. It is soft and feather light. And pretty if I do say so myself.