Not Getting Easier...

I had a session with Ali today.

I was able to show her a badly woven sample of this draft, which took me all day today to weave... badly.

We went over how I worked on my problem and how I arrived at this draft, by backtracking, using the Fiberworks PCW software's sketchpad and draft conversion capabilities.  The most difficult part was to try to explain what it is I know I don't know but would like to know, though she seemed to have understood what I meant.  The best that I can describe "it" is, I'd like to know how shafts behave in Summer & Winter so I can construct a draft, rather than draft shapes on a grid, put it through the software conversion, and confirm my shaft count.  In other words, I'm back to where I was in July (not August) in my un-knowing-ness.

We brainstormed options; here are what I can remember, or what I understood; there were more good ideas but I was so flustered I couldn't find the words to write them down.  

* On cloudy days like these, weave with contrasting wefts so I can see.
* Don't worry about the final product but just work with the designs.
* Examine the software's use of shafts and especially the treadling; there may be ways I could economize and make my lifting life easier.  I had blind faith that the software takes into consideration maximum economy, but she wants me to check, which I think is a good thing.
* Difference scale: how changing scale will affect the appearance of the shapes, how different fibers will yield different results from same drafts; most importantly, how to enlarge a design without sacrificing shafts for details.  We arrived at no conclusions on this one. 
* Do I really need to sacrifice a shaft for the negative space?  Try designing not the pebbles, but the negative space.
* Try different sizes and different degrees of detail.  Also, try small variations, e.g. changing the width of the main part of the shape.  This kind of trick will increase the variety without using up shafts.  
* Go back to the original sheet and remember why I liked this bit on a whole sheet of random mark-making.  Then design something that emphasizes what I liked about it.
* It's OK to request a session when I'm stuck and don't have anything to show her; in fact, this is exactly when I need to see her, I guess.  

There were many moments when my eyes glazed over; I could feel the muscles rearranging and my attention fading.  I hate not having a clear idea of what I want to do and how I'll do it; it feels as if I took a big detour this last week but came back to where I was in July; I found a way to navigate around some of my problems, but I don't really see "progress".

Yeah yeah, process, journey, blah, blah.  But I did enjoy the sampling!

* * * * *

For 10 years and seven months, I used my Klik loom with the shafts color-coded but unnumbered, because the color coding is pretty, but the numbering, not so.  In my frustration of weaving the sample today, I hastily wrote the numbers on the shafts, which made the weaving a lot quicker and smoother, but I still think it's defacing a beautiful equipment.  No matter.  It's done.

EDIT: Ali's moved to Wellington, ending our mentor/ee relationship. But thanks for the time you've given me. 


Stacey Harvey-Brown said...

Meg, I sometimes work away in total confusion, trying to get my head round something and dismally failing, only for it to suddenly 'click' after a few weeks. I did an internet workshop with Bonnie where this happened. My fellow student was firing on all her cylinders, and I went very quiet, feeling like an absolute idiot, but persevering anyway. I got there in the end, and now am really having fun!!
Keep at it! The fog will lift in time....

Meg said...

Thank you, Stacey. Keeping at it is the only thing I can think of doing at the moment. (And I've got too much stash to quit now.)