In Japan, by/on New Year's Eve we're supposed to clean our houses, (even though it's a terrible time of the year for the task;) then on New Year's Day see family, especially those older than ourselves. Come the Second, we're supposed to do something for the first time for that year. For example, "kaizome" means the first time one engages in calligraphy for the year; by attaching the suffix "-some/-zome" we can describe what we did for the first time. Dreams had early morning on the Second, (and failing that, the Third,) is called "hatsuyume", the first dream of the year, and is supposed to foretell the sort of year awaiting you; I didn't this year.
I can't remember what we did on the 31st, but we cleaned the house on New Years Day. On the Second, I promptly had my "orizome", probably not a real word, but my first weave of the year. And then a great deal more today.
Uncharacteristically, I have no big plans for the year, no project started, no list, and not even a resolution this year. But this first project in the last couple of days gave me something of the sort; to trust my instinct more.
In the interest of learning/experimenting/expanding my horizons, I have made many decisions/choices in my weaving counter to my instinct or first choices since 2002, when in a correspondence course on colors, I learned there are no ugly colors, but personal preferences and/or unattractive color combinations. Not going with instinct sometimes worked and sometimes so not, but among other things I'm much less beholden to certain hues, and I much prefer asymmetrical to symmetrical drafts. But there are things I've learned without knowing I have, and it's high time I put those knowledge to use.
Case in Point 1: the weft I chose two days ago and wove 45cm but abandoned. (And from here on, ignore the colors. While trying to learn about white balances on my camera I've done a bunch of things, completely interfering with the brightness and ergo some hues/values are all very inaccurate.)
I sampled with the pink and the straw colors, noticing two very different textures and appearance.
I used the straw-colored silk in a cotton-warp piece, and though slightly crispier than what I expect of silk of this size, (don't ask; skinny,) it washed nicely. This sample with the merino warp is soft and lighter than feather, and visually in harmony with the wool.
Potential Case in Point 3: in the bottom part of the two samples showing the loser draft, I used in the weft the same merino as the warp. In another part, I've used the same merino from a different dye lot, a slightly more indigo version. I love the look and feel of the cloth which is feather-light. But while weaving, I had to stop and think; on the loom these looked gauzy and much like some cloths I've seen woven in India or West Asia. The fineness of the weft means slow weaving. So would I want to weave pieces like these? The answer is, for now, no.
My fascination of weaving started when I saw Tatsumura textiles at Grandpa's in my childhood, so since I started weaving I've pursued finer and finer threads. And I love weaving with them, there's no question about it. But I felt my weaving with thin yarns for the sake of thin yarns are over for now; I should have a nice project, a good reason why thin yarns are called for, to do it. I'm more interested in the merit of the whole cloth rather than concern for its parts.
So, I guess 2016 will be a year of instincts. Come October it'll be a decade since Randy Darwall told me to be my own apprentice. Do you think this is the right direction?