Friday, August 31, 2012

Just Noodling

Many (most) of the things that I spin/weave have a reason. They are planned out, specific: a gift, an item of clothing for a particular event or person, an article, a sample project for a class, magazine or book projects. From start to finish, the steps are laid out, from buying the fiber, spinning, dyeing and making the fabric.

In the past year though, some of the "reasons" have been Just To See.

Which fibers shrink most? felt more? fuzz (fibrillate) more in finishing? How does twist affect the structure and surface of the fabric? How many ways can I blend colors as a spinner? How does varied grist in the same fiber change the hand/drape/weight and utility of a fabric?

To answer these questions, and several more, I spun and wove samples.

Not projects, not finished things, just samples.

It was a very freeing thing, to spin for samples: they are quick, require very little investment in fiber and time, and showed me lots of things, even those in which nothing much happened. Some oft-repeated truisms were confirmed, others, not.

If we truly put hands to tools, we learn things in a way no teacher can teach. In a tactile way, a muscle memory way; a visceral way of knowing, not an intellectual way of knowing. I am weary of intellectual, verbal, repetitive, accepted information. I want it tactile.

And from all this busy-ness? I learned a few things. Perhaps what I learned is only true for me, my way of working, truth for only one fabric, but I'm fine with that. I can speak clearly and confidently about what happened with my fiber, my yarn, my fabrics.

Also? I got ideas. I have more to do now than ever, which, good or bad, seems always the case: work generates work. There is just no substitute for doing the work. No talking about it, no wishing or thinking about it, no reading about it, no journaling about what I will do next, no daydreaming or imagining how things would work, no repeating truisms will teach what the fibers really have to say: nothing beats just getting things done.

I'm looking forward to SOAR, coming up in a few months. I actually can hardly wait: I keep having to remind myself to take things one step at a time. As much as a teaching experience, this is also a learning experience for me: days with people who do things, not just think about things. I hope for questions, insights, things I did not notice to be pointed out. I have much new stuff to share,and look forward to what comes of it.

Of course, there were deadlines involved with all this wriggling in samples, so I had to move on, keep going and put those new ideas down on paper for later.

It's later. I am a bit rung out, so I will start with a few simple things that I can do while listening to the latest Three Pines mystery:
red silk warp

Then I will dive into the Next Thing, and make some new samples along the way.

Another Next:
El Segundo1
Segundo! (Segunda??) coming soon to a family close to me.

7 Comments:

Blogger Barbara said...

looks like someone(s) are following the "make something" directive!!

congrats on the upcoming baby and thanks for the motivation.

1:07 PM  
Blogger SpinZen said...

I've been trying to push myself out of the place where I think and design and worry, into a place where I just do. I'm letting myself learn from my mistakes as well as my successes. And I'm learning by seeing what you're doing, too. Thanks for putting it out there!

3:27 PM  
Blogger Lynn said...

Maybe I should make 1-yard samples next year, instead of yardage lengths. I'd get more done (maybe) and learn lots doing so. Hmm, hmm...More small ideas, fewer big (long, tedious) ones.

2:42 PM  
Anonymous Sarah said...

Bebe! Many congratulations.

3:02 PM  
Blogger Charleen said...

How wonderful! Another grandchild! Thanks, too, for the link to the Inspector Gamache books. Looks like a series I'd really like.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Mardi said...

I'll be sorry to miss SOAR this year. It meant so much that yours was the first friendly face saw last year. But I just ordered my first (RH) loom! Adventures ahead...and congrats on the new baby!

10:33 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

That was pretty sage, about work. I hadn't thought of it in those terms, but work does breed work. Oh and congratulations - that's fantastic!

9:31 PM  

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