Monday, January 14, 2008

Organizing Projects: Part One

Dorothy made the following observations on my post "Weaving for a Living...........or Not":

"Hmm. I think I manage two weaving projects at a time. One on the loom, one I'm designing, or finishing off. But really, I prefer one at a time. I was thinking the other day that if I had more than one loom I'd have more than one project, and I'd like one better, or just find it more interesting, and then the other wouldn't happen.

"So, if you have three projects, how do you organise them? What happens if one is a big favourite, do you still keep a couple of others moving along?"

Back in the dark ages of my youth I firmly adhered to one project at a time. Then sewing projects were my major projects. Indeed, I would not buy the fabric and pattern for my next project until I was almost done with the current project. Part of this was not wanting to end up with a fabric stash, most of which would never be used. Part of this was just my one nature.

When I came to weaving I was in my early to mid 50's. I could weave for fairly long periods once I figured how to strengthen and stretch my quads and hamstrings in order to protect my knees when treadling. Then it was mental fatigue which got to me. But after entering my 60's the rest of my body started to argue a bit as well. Exercise helped enormously. But still it was clear that I just had to come up with a way that I could spend the majority of my free time weaving but only a part of it at my loom. Over time, the current process of having three projects at different stages grew.

I don't have a specific plan for organizing all this activity other than making my first priority to work at the loom each day. That is my first priority. That done, I try very hard to get at least something accomplished on one of the other two projects, depending on time available, my mood, the weather..........

1 comment:

Meg in Nelson said...

I am so all over the place, sometimes I have about 7 or 8 that I'm thinking about, some of the unconsciously for a long time. I decided a while back not to police this, as I don't want to stifle any possibility. I do wish I had another 16-or-more shaft loom, in place of my 4-shaft, as my ideas tend to be more often multi-shaft projects.

In reality, I have one 16-shaft, one 4-shaft, and another 16-shaft table loom, and I have to work around these. Recently, my commission and exhibition projects have been on the 16-shaft, my cashmere (supposed to be my bread-and-butter) on the 4-shaft, and I don't seem to make much progress on the table loom.

A while back, I used to like measuring warps very much, and I used to make two or three warps at a time, only to be bored of weaving a given size/type after the first one, and a few years on, I have about half a dozen already-measured warps. This, I will never do again, at least not intentionally. I have concrete plans for each warp as I warp; I just want to do something different by the time I weave up the 8 meters.