Saturday, July 26, 2008

Tyranny of the New

star sampler corner
I am generally a single project person. I like to wind up something before I actually start something else. Oh, I may plan the next thing. I may even start dyeing or spinning for it. But I don't cast on until the first project is done. I have only one floor loom, too, so I can't put the new warp on until the old warp is woven off (hey an insight: perhaps this is why I am a single project person, trained from long years of weaving this way....hmmmm, ruminate, ruminate).

Several months ago, someone who is younger but apparently wiser than I told me that writing the book would change the way I teach.

Hmmmm, I thought, skeptically. I'm writing a book about what I teach, how could that change the way I teach?

The writing progressed. Projects were planned and executed, there were the usual surprises, and culling. Some projects did not make the cut, and a few new ones were added along the way. Nothing earth-shattering or different, just judgement calls.

Then it happened. The new idea. The kind of idea which springs out of the process of creating: step by step decisions are made and then suddenly you have something new. Yes, it is still knotted pile. It's just a different project, different methods and different yarns.

I'm teaching the old ideas next week at Golden Gate Fiber Institute. It is a class I have honed for several years: knotted pile, in this case using silk yarns. I really like the class, the project and the process we learn.

But I had an opportunity to arrange a class for the new idea, the following week in Boulder, Colorado at Shuttles, Spindles and Skeins. This necessitated a new plan: new handouts, new calculations, new equipment, new materials. Luckily, Shuttles has most of the equipment and materials handy, so we can wait until the class starts before we try to choose colors and decide on a design, all very hard things for class participants to do before they have even gotten to class and found out what it is they are doing!

I hesitate to say I am using these unsuspecting people as guinea pigs, but really....they are indeed going to be testing out new stuff. And I will then be able to adjust the instructions in the book (ssh. Don't tell them they are being used). The book won't be completed and published for another year yet; I have time to make a few changes.

I have been flip-flopping back and forth getting ready for two different classes on much the same subject but with different equipment and projects. This is making me crazy. I want to concentrate on what is new, exciting and full of potential, so I am indeed adjusting the class at GGFI to accommodate the new ideas(Sssh. They don't know it yet either).

All this means it is more fun for me to anticipate these two classes, but also more work. Whoops. Like I needed to add to the work-load.

And it means Anne was right.

These young people. They are going to take over the world someday. We old people had better watch our backs. And keep coming up with new stuff :).


Blogger claudia said...

The new, the shiny....

Guess we'll have to wait and see what evil you are plotting.

5:37 PM  
Blogger Charlene said...

You're not old. We're not old, just experienced.

6:19 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

Aaaah, the sudden appearance of new and exciting ideas - one of the greatest delights in life! :-)

Magpies rule!

6:43 AM  
Blogger Marcy said...

I would imagine that anyone signed up for one of your classes would love to be used by you. Just don't cackle too loudly, or you'll frighten all those young people.

7:52 AM  
Blogger Sharon said...

The County sent me to a mandatory Myers-Briggs workshop - huh? It's supposed to make us all work better together - whatever. I work fine with everyone. That said, I discovered that we all really do have different ways we process what we do. I don't know how much credibility this profile thing has, but I can tell you that the results of my questionnaire said that I can't function unless I have multiple projects going at a time. And howdy. I always finish my projects, but work on one thing at a time? Not in my lifetime! I get scared when I have less than four projects on needles, and always need to have two spinning projects in some incarnation, weaving, etc.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Birdsong said...

This is really kinda exciting... not that old reliables aren't good, but your mind will appreciate the effort. Hope the workshops at both sites are going along well, and the travels are fun.

3:08 PM  

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