Posted by Peg in South Carolina
“Give yourself room to fail and fight like hell to achieve.”*
Giving myself “room to fail” means, to me, trying out ideas, structures, colors that I have not woven before. But why should I give myself “room to fail” at all?
In recent years I’ve given myself plenty of room to fail in my study of crackle. But as I progress in my studies, I find that there is less and less room to fail. I am becoming quite comfortable with crackle. But what about the wool crackle sampling I did?
I have to admit, I kind of threw things to the wind. I had not used either wool or heavy yarns with crackle. And I had not specifically designed this warp for crackle and certainly if I had been designing it, I would not have used blue and light gray wide warp stripes. I had used those stripes simply to check for color relationships in the lace weave structure I was trying. That the unplanned crackle attempt turned out, in terms of design and color, as well as it did was pure serendipity.
On the other hand, I had woven with this yarn before, had fulled with this yarn before, and had some idea of what might happen. And I certainly was not “fight(ing) like hell to achieve” anything. It was just a let’s-try-it-and-see project. Moreover, it was the only way I was going to get anything woven for the spring Crackle Complex Weaver’s Exchange.
(Question: does serendipity happen without the previous wrestling?)
Perhaps giving myself room to fail doesn’t necessarily mean I have to give myself a huge room. The silk crackle shawl I am currently designing does seem to be providing me with a fairly good sized room. But again, why give myself this room at all?
1. It is the only way I will learn.
2. It is the only way I will find and continue on my own particular journey.
3. It’s fun.
But fighting “like hell”? I know that faithfully doing my morning exercises is one version of fighting “like hell.” There I am fighting hard to keep my body in shape so that I can weave (and garden) hopefully well into my 80’s. But back specifically to weaving.
I suppose that weaving sample after sample is fighting. And probably, thinking about it in those terms, I don’t fight enough; probably I don’t weave enough samples. I know that with this crackle shawl I should probably put a lot of warp on so that I can weave each of the motifs and trying different ways of weaving them. Or another narrow warp to try the different ways of weaving them.
Using the full width for this type of sampling is wasteful and serves no real purpose. Indeed, With the full warp on I would be so eager to get through the sampling and into the “real” weaving that I would doubtless shortchange myself.
A narrow warp is a good idea. What is holding me back from just doing it? The difficulty of winding and warping the silk. Can I look at this winding and warping more 60/2 silk as another opportunity to improve my skills there? Yup, that will help a bit.
A narrow warp I think it shall be. No, a narrow warp it SHALL be……………sigh………………
*”From Words to Paint By” (Irwin Greenberg) as found in The Painter’s Keys. Go here to read all the “Words to Paint By”.