Friday, January 25, 2008

End of a Strange Week

I'm glad this week has come to a close. I've had a strange and uncomfortable week.

I'm having trouble with my eyes again, not being able to focus, so much so that when I had lunch with my friend Marj, I kept shifting my eyeglasses, shifting my position, just shifting restlessly so I can focus on her face across a small table. So measuring the warp for the latest project took a little bit longer, but that wasn't so bad.

I wound and started threading yesterday. I couldn't shut out the noise in my head, so I put on an orca call CD. After a while, I felt a little giddy. I do like weaving and all the preparations associated with it. (I told several people during Twilight Market I actually get an adrenaline rush when I throw the shuttle.) And the mundane, ancient-ness of weaving keeps me grounded. Who else besides weavers use sticks and strings for work this century? And we don't even require electricity in many cases. The only plugged equipment was the radio yesterday. I thought even if I ever become a billionaire weaver (dream on!!) I'd never let anyone else dress my loom, because bad tension or broken warp, I find the process of dressing a loom soothing. But that was yesterday.

This morning, I still had threading to do, and still couldn't focus, but this project has a simple threading, almost straight, so I worked slowly. When I'm anxious, deliberately slowing down my movement helps me psychologically and increases my accuracy. Since I got started a bit later than expected in the morning, I thought I'd go on until 2, then have lunch, and I expected to finish prepping and weave and wash a sample before the end of the day. Except at around 1.50, I noticed a mistake; the numbers of heddles already threaded didn't look right.

I made a mental note, and had lunch. And I thought about how I was going to fix the mistake. My eyes were so tired I didn't get back to the loom until after 3.30. Straight away, I started to look for the mistake. I knew I had it correctly up to Repeat 20, so I looked this side of R20; I looked from the left, and then from the right but saw no mistake. So I looked at all the warps threaded so far, first from the left then from the right, and saw nothing. I repeated this for over an hour and saw nothing. The halogen lights in the basement flicked like a bad disco joint, but my sparky (electrician) is on a long holiday and can't come until February. I finally counted the heddles already threaded again, and there was nothing wrong there, the numbers matched.

Two and a half hours later, I resumed threading, slowly. And all went well, except I had two extra at the end. I'm hoping I measured 569 warps by mistake, instead of 567 as planned, skipping two somewhere.

After 6PM, Ben came home, Megg Hewlett came over, and I finally had a shower. The evening was a lot more pleasant than my strange day. I hope tomorrow's sampling and weaving goes well. I'm weaving Liz's Warren's shawl.

8 comments:

  1. oh Meg. problems with the eyes, such a scary thought! please be gentle with yourself and perhaps find an alternative light source to counteract the flicker until Sparky can arrive. take care.

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  2. Yes, I must. I'm not being an alarmist or a drama queen, but I did contemplate, this week, about what I must do if the problem persists. I did wonder if I can be a blind weaver, kind of seriously.

    My mother, when she used to do a bit of volunteer work, taught a blind woman how to spin. This woman was very keen, and wanted to learn to knit and weave, too. Good on her.

    On the plus side, if I'm blind, I won't see any of my mistakes or uneven beating, that's for sure.

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  3. I wonder if it just isn't a combination of the lights and working on the threading for such a long time. My eye doctor tell me I need to look outside into the distance every 30 minutes or so. It's really no different than standing up to stretch every 30 minutes or so, which is very good at preserving the body...........
    I usually don't do either because I generally don't thread for long periods anymore any way because I lose concentration (as well as ability to focus!).

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  4. Hummmm... In my case, I'll have to resurface from the basement, I guess.

    I've really got to do something, though, because it's getting a bit silly. If it gets bad enough I start hallucinating about what would happen if I turned blind, (Gee, I'm such a drama queen!), it is time to change my practice, Peg. Definitely.

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  5. Hey Meg, I left you a little something on my blog. Hike on over and take a look.
    http://weavingspirit.blogspot.com

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  6. Ahhhh, thank you Bonnie. It's an honor, especially coming from someone who maintains a sane, grown-up, tantrum-free blog!! I am humbled. :-)

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  7. Hi Meg....I came here via Bonnie.

    I have difficulty with my eyes focusing at distance if I've spent a lot of time working close (knitting w/ beads, threading heddles and reeds). I've found that yoga eye exercises help a lot. In addition to these, when I'm outside I look to the horizon and use my eyes to slowly trace the line of the horizon, both left to right & right to left. It has really helped!

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  8. Valerie, hello! The Yoga eye thing sounds absolutely fascinating - I'll read it when my eyes are a little less tired.

    What you have to know, however, is that I have hidious eye-sights to begin with. I think, back in the early 80's, I read somewhere that without my glasses, I'm legally blind in some of the US states. I can't remember if that was in earnest. So in many ways my eyes were always going to be my weak point, but the bad lighting doesn't help either.

    Luckily, my sparky is back in town, and he left me a message today. So soon at least the lights will be fixed!

    I will do what you do, too, when I'm out and about. We have a very pretty horizon, Nelson being surrounded by hills and the sea.

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