In spite of the title post, I'm not grumpy or cranky this evening. I just need to figure out a different way of doing things.
A big chunk of the dissatisfaction/disillusion that was Santa Fe preparation was my technical incompetence. As hard as I try, I'm not that a skillful weaver, and a good chunk of that possibly has to do with the fact that I don't seem to be able to see well, but possibly something else.
Mind you, my parents and teachers always scolded me for being careless and not paying attention, and the most urgent issue for the last ten years has been even tension of the warp. I've spoken to more than a few weavers about how they wind their warps, and even had a few demonstrate. At one point Mom thought perhaps it's because my looms were built for soft NZ wool, but I insist on using them for fine cottons and cottolins, weaving with high tension. That was the case with my first floor loom; the cottolins were digging grooves in the warp beam, but I doubt that's the problem now, especially with my 16-shaft.
I'm always aware I can't see well, not only because of my eyesight but also because I'm short, I have short arms and legs, and the big loom is big. I listen to the loom attentively, and I rely on touch perhaps more than a "normal" weaver. I deliberately move slowly and allow myself time to check things many times. I've also built in extra checking routines for every warp and sample, sample, sample.
Still, it's possible to find, 1 2/3 scarves later, a threading mistake and a missing warp end! That, after I threaded carefully, then rechecked each warp a repeat at a time, then rechecked as I sleyed, then lifted one shaft at a time, then wove plain weave as a final check. I even found a twisted heddle I didn't see when I sorted out the heddles in May.
I'm not sure if it's the florescent lights, but lately my big loom never seems straight. Sometimes the height of the reed seems uneven; sometimes some of the shafts appear crooked. I get off the bench and stand back and have a look, and bang, everything is auto-magically straight and square again!
I'm starting to feel helpless. See, my theory was, I learn to weave, then I improve technically, then I don't have to worry about the technique so much and can concentrate on the aesthetics. I never expected to dress a loom with my eyes closed, but I did expect it to gradually become less painful and the main part of weaving. If my eyesight, and attention span, deteriorate before I get to the point where the tenique of weaving becomes almost second nature, do I have to settle for forever being a mediocre weaver? That, to me, has been the black hole of my creative aspirations this past week.