Sittin On A Porch

Sittin On A Porch
Our little back porch

Monday, January 16, 2012

The magic of weaving

I have yet another new passion, weaving.  Oh my the magic that we weave, the colors and textures, the patterns and designs.  By the end of the day my fingers had found their own pattern of grabbing and poking and pulling the yarn in and out.  Pulling the yarn through the shed between the rows of the warp to make the weft.  What I love about this loom is that you are putting the warp and weft on together.  I had a small table loom and by the time I got the warp on I would be sick of the color of the yarns.  There was no pattern until the weft goes on forming the geometric pattern of the yarns as they meet at 45 degree angles.

my loom is 7 feet wide by almost 4 feet tall

see the pattern emerging

see how big the loom is when you see my hand against it
I brought my triangular loom home. I am loving this.  Watching the pattern emerge is really so fascinating.  The loom and project made it home not bad riding in the back seat, safely buckled in to the back of the toy with the lid down.  I drove home never going faster then 45 mph and it survived pretty well.  It looks a bit spacey at this time, but when you finish the project and then pull it off the loom it will pull in significantly making the pattern much tighter.  I have homespun yarn in an Ivory and pearl color, brown with specks of cream angel hair yarn, a brown soft acrylic semi chunky yarn, two types of eyelash yarn, one coppery the other with gold and sparkly and then a thin brown and cream stripe acrylic yarn that really does not add much to the project.  I am learning so much. 

Our Instructor also taught us how to make lacy patterns and satin finish.  For this first one I will just do the straight or tabby weave.  If I were doing all one type of yarn in different colors I would consider the lace weave to add some design interest, but since I have instead chosen lots of different textures I will let my yarn be the star.  I am so happy learning this new technique that for the last two nights my dreams have all ended in weaving.  If I am dreaming about cars, pretty soon the cars driving down the highway would morph into patterns of the black ribbon road and the red, blue, silver and gold of the cars.  If I dreamed about cards the red and blue bicycle pattern on the back of the cards would weave in and out of the red, black and white on the face of the cards.  The dreams were extraordinary and when I woke up my heart would still be singing in the rhythm.  When I got to class we were supposed to finishing hammering the nail into our looms, but I can hammer later, I wanted to get my fingers into the yarn and weave.  I was like a prima dona ballerina, my fingers floated up and down the warp weaving the weft in and out, in and out.  The rest of the class came by and stared in a amazement as they watched my patterns emerge and how my fingers floated.  My yarn and colors were different then everyone Else's.  Each of us had such different colors, but mine were the colors that you could best see the pattern with the contrast between the pale creams and the dark browns.  I was the first to have a melt down on Saturday.  I just could not get the concept in my head and understand what I was doing.  I started taking it apart and was not getting it still until the teacher came in and found me in my state of confusion and dismay.  I did not get upset or anxious.  This is good.  I was trying with all my brain to understand what was I doing wrong.  When she came and stuck her hand up into my project it clicked.  I got it!!  Now I could see the warp, the weft and the shed in between.  Then with all the dreaming of the process I had worked it through my brain so Sunday I went from behind the average in the class to zooming ahead. 

The best part of the class, well, one of the best parts was every half hour or so someone would get it.  When Judy came into class on Sunday she was lit up  like Christmas lights.  In the night in her sleep her brain had also solved the mystery of what our fingers were trying to do.  She also starting zooming.  Her yarns are the same texture and size.  They are both chunky yarns, one purple the other variegated purple, green and blues.  The patterns are lovely but using the same size of yarn she needed to try a pattern to add interest to her project.  The lace pattern she put in about a third of the way through the project was perfect and added that extra little something.  The teacher had taught us the lesson of thirds.  It is amazing how using these little secrets make your projects look so professional, even on the first one.

Can you tell how much I love this craft?
It is cold here. It has been cold for way too many days so far. It is supposed to start to warm a bit this week. I know it is January and I get so tired listening to people complain in August that it is too hot. But I never complain about the hot, and so even though it is supposed to be cold in January, I still feel perfectly fine complaining about it. I have so much yard work to do, but I have so many fun projects to do here in the house and it is too cold outside, so I will stay inside and play here. There will be time to play outside when the temperatures are more my speed.  I should be able to tell by the end of the day how many plants survived these last many days of temps in the 20s and 30s.  I feel a little bad because I had made my friend up in Delaware a scarf for Christmas, but then I did not send it to him because I had decided to go with life saving presents that would keep him warm.  I will mail him the scarf tomorrow.  I made it the color of the University of Delaware, the Blue Hens.  Hee hee I love that name.  I hope it keeps him warm.  His job is outside on the docks in Delaware, you know I would not survive doing what he does.  He amazes me, and makes me laugh and giggle like a teenager when we talk.  I hope he likes the scarf.
scarf that I hope is Blue Hen blue
But before I can get back to my weaving, I am finishing the last scarf that I have to have donemade by tomorrow. I gave my doctor a camel colored alpaca scarf, and I have made scarves for the 2 nurses who take my blood, the doctor's two nurses, the receptionist, the file person who handles my insurance and the two woman who handle my scheduling. The rest I have made will go to patients who need something warm. Then I will switch back to my weaving.   As class was winding down yesterday none of us were even close to be done so we decided to make a weaving club and our first time to meet and work on our looms as a weaving group will be Thursday.  I am so happy!! 
Tomorrow I will go see the amazing Dr. M and Ms Judy is going with me, maybe Ms Moon, it will depend on her schedule with Mr. O.   And then tomorrow night I have a gold selling party and then a meditation dinner. way too busy, but I will just stop by the gold party and then head on to the meditation. I have a very busy schedule and I will have to cut back pretty soon so I do not wear myself out before rehearsals for the play. As I announced earlier, I am playing the part of the muse (the wall) in the Fantasticks.
Yes, I am still just zooming along, loving this year.  We got off on a metaphysical discussion yesterday about the changes occurring in all of our lives.  I don't know exactly why I have gone from a tough hard year where I had to deal with a lot of depression to this new happier year.  Yes, I know I try not to say or use the word depression on my blog.  I try to keep a positive outlook, but I can't do it all the time, and as the year wore on I got more worn down.  I had asked for a hard year last year without realizing what I was asking for. 
This year, I am asking for much more happiness.  I plan to deal with the depression, which is mostly chemically based from my meds, into looking at in another way.  Honestly, most of the depression last year was from wearing myself out.  So when I think I am going into depression, I see it for what it really is, just exhaustion.  And instead of disappearing into the dark gray world, I will be grateful for all the wonderful things I did to cause the "depression".  I in no way mean to minimize the depression that others are faced with.  It is a serious disease that needs medical attention to give your life back to you.  I see the amazing Dr. M once a month, so I am watched constantly like a rat in a cage in a scientific experiment. 
I enjoyed the discussion about where we might or might not be as a civilization, as a species in this giant universe.  Most of those leading the discussion felt very optimistic.  I have to say that I am almost euporphic happy each day.  Is it from the vibration level surrounding us?  I don't know.  Is it in the stars and the enlightenment of the planets?  I have no idea.  All I know is that I am happy.  I am alive, I am doing so many fun things, I am trying hard to make time for my friends.  I used to think that I had to make time for myself.  Well, by simply changing my perception, by making time to enjoy myself with my friends.  By making time to learn and grow and do activities that I love I am making time for myself. 
I am sending out positive thoughts and love to my friend Phyllis.  She is down at the Moffitt Center and will go through surgery tomorrow.  I told her that she could do this, she is strong.  She texted me back and said she was not sure that she was strong enough.  That she was anxious not knowing what to expect.  I texted her back an inane comment that I understood what she was going through and that I knew she could do it.  I thought about that stupid response.  I texted her back.  I have not gone through what she is going through.  I understand the not knowing part.  I understand that we question our strength and ability, but everything is unknown, and that is the scariest part of all.  I texted her back again and this time I simply reminded her that she only has one job.  To breathe.  That is all.  It doesn't matter what is going to happen, the doctors will deal with that.  All she has to do is to keep breathing.  She is going to Moffitt.  They are leaders in this field.  She has hired the best doctors she can.  She has put her trust in these doctors, and they are the ones that have to know what is going on and what to do.  That she was anxious not knowing what to expect is understandable, but doesn't matter.   All she has to do is breathe.  She texted me back and I could tell, that it had hit home, that had helped her to remember what was her job.
Just breathe.
I say I don't fight my little "c".  But I guess that I am fighting a passive aggressive fight.  I hired Dr. M to do all the battling for me, to lead the war and to use the weapons of mass destruction.  I take the meds he picks out.  Well, most of them.  I take the chemo.  Other then that if I eat and rest and just breathe then I have done all that I have to do. 
I can do that, I can breathe.
And the final word before I return to my scarves is what about that Saints/49ers game!!!  I mean talk about great football!!!  I texted back and forth with my friend in Delaware as we sent such exciting texts as "What a pass"  "What a catch"  "wow" and then finally "what a game".  I love watching sports of most kinds.  Not so crazy about violent sports that involve hitting each other, but this time of year during the football playoffs, I am sitting in my living room knitting and watching the games.   Yelling at the TV with my advice, disappointment in a play or my exhilaration at a great play.  Oh yeah!  And then we move to basket ball and I love the play offs and the Sweet 16.  I don't pay that much attention during the regular season, but once they have separated out the wheat from the shaft, so to speak, I do love to watch the teams that are hitting on all cylinders.  The hail Mary passes, the catches surrounded by the other team and falling to the ground under all the other players and not dropping the ball.  It is never good to drop the ball.  hee hee
Okay, sports, weaving, good wishes, a happy life, oh yeah!!!  This is starting out as a magical year, and now once again to move my fingers in the soft yarns and weave or knit the magic.  Grasping some of the fairy dust that floats unseen before our eyes, the magic of the flowers and trees and rocks and water and animals, the birds, the people, and catch it and weave it into my project.  Then the biggest part of magic of all, sharing the scarf or shawl or whatever the project with others.  That is why I love making things with my hands, that is what I love about playing with others on the stage, that is what I love about sports. 
That is what I love about this world
this life
this magic that is all around all of us.

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