Staying Inside

It’s a chilly, raw, wet typically November day here in the Pacific Northwest. The meteorological hotshots tell me that the last two weeks of this month have the wettest, nastiest weather of the year. Today is proof positive. Last week was snow and very cold — uncommonly early but not unprecedented. Just enough white stuff to be beautiful for a day or so and to either keep people tucked in at home or out sliding around on the unplowed though eventually sanded roads. Some folks were without electricity right into Thanksgiving Day, so many celebratory dinners were postponed till the weekend. I love that weather, and am happiest being out in it tromping around. Now if only I had a pair of boots . . . .

The weekend’s Anne X 2 show and sale went off hitch-free. Decent traffic on Friday, better on Saturday. We had good visits with a number of friends and supporters, but dang few sales. In the ten years we’ve been doing this event, this was the poorest for income for both of us, a big disappointment. People love the work, are gratifyingly complimentary and admiring, but the wallets and checkbooks remained pocketed. This is hard on two women who work diligently to earn a living, and there’s no graceful way to smack folks with the realities of inadequate income. We’re both moderately philosophical about it (“well, there’s always next year”) but of course that doesn’t pay the bills or buy the groceries.

Today I spent a couple of hours at the Big Loom weaving away on the third (and last) Evening in the Garden shawl; it went along quite well, now that I’ve adjusted a couple things on the loom as well as the way I push down the left treadle. It’s the one that signals the computer to pass along the instructions for the next group of lifted shafts, allowing the shuttle to go through with the weft thread. If the treadle isn’t pushed down firmly enough, the signal seems to get garbled and lo and behold I have weaving errors!! Aaaaarrrgghhhhhh.

What gets clearer to me is that so much of operating these looms is knowing how they work, and developing techniques in how I move and weave to enable the loom to do what it’s supposed to. It’s a complex tool, the right tool for me to be using in creating the beautiful cloth I envision, but it does have to be operated properly. I’m still learning that part.

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