(I’ve been sitting on this post for ages, trying to take new photos with better lighting. Since it’s February, I’ve given up.)
My friends and I talk about yarn the same way normal people talk about food.
“I broke my diet again, but the MadTosh was too delicious to resist.”
“Eh, it’s little bland, but the texture is unbelievable!”
Perhaps not coincidentally, one of my more frequently used comparisons of weaving and knitting is as follows:
Knitting is like cooking. You’re always moving around, keeping track of five things at once, and it makes me immensely frustrated. (Note that this aspect of knitting is less true the more I practice. I’m getting better at the juggling act.)
Weaving, on the other hand, is like baking. All the hard work is at the beginning, and once everything is set up and running smoothly, it’s only a matter of time before you have a delicious finished good.
I suppose spinning is equivalent to making tea, all soothing and repetitive. And bobbin lace… is confectionery?
Sorry. I’ll quit torturing the metaphor. Here’s a guinea pig.
However, since I normally only get to my crafts late in the evening, the sun has yet to shine on many of my projects. Working so late poses some obvious challenges: fatigue is not the ideal state of mind for some of the more technically demanding aspects (also known as “fiddly bits”) of making well-crafted objects. Once in a while, it’s nice to step back from the challenges and work on something repetitive.
Last night I spent my crafting hours, not concocting some interesting new creation, but working on the projects that stack up on the coffee table waiting for me to get to them. I don’t mind. Many of the hobbies I enjoy are based on lots of little steps, rather than a single process repeated; it gives me a delicious sense of productivity when I complete even the tiniest of crafty chores.
Weaving is the perfect example. For the project you see below, it took me approximately forever to get through all of the steps necessary to wind the warp, get it on the loom, weave samples, troubleshoot problems, and begin weaving without disastrous consequences.
By contrast, I tend to tire quickly of more continuous crafts like knitting. Not only is it relatively slow (at least, my knitting is), I can’t relax until it’s finished and error-free. When I weave, simply seeing the pattern unfold before me is soothing– as is knowing I can cut it out if there’s a mistake. The stress is all in the early stages: once a project is on the loom and everything is working correctly, I can just go and go. In the case of the Troublesome Scarf, even after all of the mistakes I made, all of a sudden everything clicked into place…
…and I was able to weave the rest of the scarf in an evening. Whereupon it made its way to the coffee table and sat waiting for me, along with the spindleful of yarn and a number of other patient projects. When I got home late yesterday, tired and irritable, they caught my eye– so I spent the dark winter evening enjoying the small tasks of winding balls of yarn and twisting fringe.
And when I saw my nearly finished scarf on the table this morning, I took a photo with the first light of the day.
Welcome to my fledgling craft blog! I’ve admired the online galleries and blogs of many different craftspeople and artists, and hope you’ll find something here that interests you as well.
At a certain point in my creative career, about when I began to observe an alarming quantity of my free time disappearing without a trace, I started keeping a to-do list. The following excerpt should be representative:
Blankets 14 epi
Still need to make floor: how to represent dirt? Rushes?
Leaves overshot draft—copy out
Wind and WRITE DOWN calcs this time
After months of scrawling these cryptic ideas in various notebooks and on the back of supermarket receipts, I am finding the brevity of the entries and the monstrous proportions of the list to be somewhat at odds. In other words, I can’t remember what half of it means! It seems that a more comprehensive approach to record-keeping is in order.
Enter the blog.
So, what do I make? Here’s a sampling of current projects.
First, a historically inspired, more than historically accurate, attempt at an Anglo-Saxon mead hall in 1/24 scale.
I am also learning to spin…
…and to weave!
In future posts, I plan to go into more detail about specific projects and techniques. Hope to see you then.