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 :).

Friday, July 18, 2008


My how time flies.

It has been three weeks since my last post and apparently I have sinned. I'm getting the phone calls again. If Lindsey and Patricia ever hook up, I will truly be reciting penances.

Thanks for all of your comments on my last post. For those needing something of substance to read, I suggest starting there, because here, you will get nothing.

My favorite comment was Claudia's:

Ah the irony: a post on invisibility with no pictures.

So, herewith:

silk fabric July 2008 small

Silk fabric. On the loom. Quite far from off the loom, and must be done soon.

That's it! All for now. I know, depressingly brief and pointless. You may all thank Lindsey.