Tuesday, June 19, 2007


pile yarns June2007

This is seven pounds of fear. Or maybe trepidation, or perhaps just a bit of a case of the butterflies. Whatever. There are plenty of skeins, lots of colors (or rather, the colors I wanted), there are dark and light values, some white, grey and dark (on the left there, hard to see, thank you madam photo-stylist).

Here's another two pounds worth of fear:

warp yarns June 2007

warp yarns. 3 ply, tightly spun, plenty. Fun to spin, so maybe I went a little overboard with the amount.

Starting a new project can be exciting. Planning a new project is fun. Thoughts of the completed object are perfect, every little detail falls into place: the colors are just right, the design flows, the hand is perfect, the project goes smoothly. In thought.

In fact, things rarely fall into place so easily. So it is with a bit of hesitation that I start a new, big, project, despite the careful planning and preparation.

At some point in the preparation, I often realize that I am procrastinating. I will spin far more than needed, because the spinning is going just fine. I will dye enough yarn for two projects, just to make sure.

But when all the spinning and all the dyeing are done, there is nothing left to do but start.

And once that happens, all manner of problems may arise. It is that may arise that keeps me spinning long after I know I have enough. Why court trouble? Everything is going just fine here in spinning-land, I think I'll just stay here.

What do I fear? Well, the inevitable glitch. I know I am resourceful though, and can work my way out of most problems.

So is it the fear that the project won't be perfect? Well, yes, that enters into it. In my mind's eye, it is already done. The real physical project rarely matches that perfect picture. Is that bad? No. It is what it is. Sometimes it is just an indication of my limitations, made real, in physical form. Who wants to be reminded of that all the time?

But if this is what I can do, then I need to accept that. Work on it, Do better next time. All those things I know to be true.

I am my own worst critic. I know where all the skeletons are buried: where the color was not right, but good enough. Where in my mind's eye, that curve, that line was different, better somehow.

I will get over the fear. I will stop with the preparation and just jump right in. I will let go of the idea of perfection and just trust (or, more likely, just think: the hell with it, let's get this over with).

Starting is the worst. Take a deep breath, cut the yarns, and put them on the loom. Keeping on, working on it, are not so bad, once the parameters are set.

The work is fun, the idea becomes real. Having a physical object come to life that was once only an idea is a joy and a pleasure. And maybe, someway, somehow, with work and skill, the idea and the reality will someday match.


Blogger Caroline M said...

My fear is the starting of spinning. The fibre is perfect, whatever I spin will be better if I spin it in a year because I'm still on the steep bit of the learning curve. If I start to spin it for a sweater then I lose the chance to spin it for socks. If I dye it brown then I've lost the chance to dye it blue. As soon as I touch the fibre it loses its potential in some way simply because I'm imposing form on it.

I thought it was just me and now I know it isn't. Thank you.

9:28 AM  
Blogger Valerie said...

Wow..I thought those feelings might go away after such successful execution of so many projects!

Thanks for "being vulnerable"....but I'm sure this project will also be successful. Can't wait to see it and read about it!

12:04 PM  
Blogger Laritza said...

That is exactly how I feel. My biggest fear period, because it is not a moment. Is between measuring the warp and the moment I put my foot on the last treadle when I am checking out the warp. When I know I don't have crossed threads and that I counted right and that the tension is right, then I relax until I finish weaving.

3:43 PM  
Blogger Jackie said...

You sound just like me with my lace shawl. Queen of procrastination land over here. It is amazing how many excuses one can come up with when faced with something that is a bit more challenging that our usual skill set. For me any way. My latest procrastination? I need to clear a few bobbins so that I can spin the second half of the white for my mythic shawl.

5:53 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

Whew, I'm glad I'm not the only one to feel this way. I'm trying to work up the nerve to put a first warp on a new loom and have yet to run out of excuses. Truth is, I'm afraid of what I'm getting myself into!

8:47 PM  
Blogger dragon knitter said...

it's like having a baby, and not knowing the sex. the girl you bear kills off the boy you thought you had. the boy gurgling in your arms replaces the sweet lass you dreamed of dressing in those silks and laces (i read this in a book ,lol, i'm paraphrasing like mad). then the child is born, and you eventually forget the potential, and revel in the reality.

on a different note, i watched an episode of uncommon threads, and they made a "patch" with a mini loom. they did knotted pile, and looped pile. which do you do? and they used fabric glue on the back to lock the looped pile into place. i sat there and wondered waht you thought of that, as you are the only weaver i know who does pile. very interesting

10:44 PM  
Blogger fibergal said...

Holy crap, Batman! Look at that magnificent mountain of yarn. That is what the new piece should be called: 'Magnificent Mountain'. Your work is distinguished by its consistent loveliness. You may have fear, but *WE* all know that this will be another winner.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Whew! Thank god someone else goes through this hell with each project... Once I get past the initiation of the project--warp is on, the weft is thrown, the big hurdle for me is finishing the project... as long as it's not quite complete it can't be imperfect... there's always an excuse. I'm constantly plagued with that little bump on the selvedge, the one pick that wasn't beaten firmlyl enough... the hem that should have been 1" instead of 2"-- Alas... we still weave.

8:25 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Growing up, when I worried about details, my grandmother would quip, "Who's going to notice that on a galloping horse?" My parents were so old when I was born that my grandmother seemed a time out of sequence, but you know, she was right. Details - it's a love/hate relationship.

6:37 PM  
Blogger Alyclepal said...

Hi, I recently started reading your blog and am trying to read all the entries! May I ask if you are dyeing with natural dyes or acid dyes? I have a yurt that we camp in frequently with Central Asian style decore and am into felting rugs. I have been trying to incorporate similiar color choices into my rugs after seeing your blog. Thank you for blogging so much. As a beginner weaver, spinner, and knitter I'm finding it exceptionally helpful and inspiring. Lisa in NC


8:07 AM  

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