I Daresay I am a Better Weaver Than a Weeder

In the last days of January, I made four cotton warps in quick succession, still struggling with blues. Then I did nothing for 11 days weaving-related. Even though I've been fairly productive and healthy this summer, (take away a couple of days on a couple of occasions I was knocked out by vaccination side effect; I never ever used to be so "delicate", even as recently as my second Covid jab!) Normally I wouldn't worry about the 11 days since I'm now retired, but I did promise the new Suger Gallery Shop manager on December 19 I'd come around with a few things in the new year, (therefore becoming semi-retired,) and now it's February, heading towards mid-February. Not only have I not done that, I don't have anything I want to show her on hand, nor made plans.

OK, I lied. I thought about it quantitatively a lot, but qualitatively nada. I've been thinking of a "quick" cashmere warp or two on the 4-shaft jack, but I don't want to make "boring," so I'm stumped. We've arranged our furniture in the living room last October, so I can't set up an 8-shaft there, either. So the choice has been either an interesting piece on 4 downstairs, or on Klick in the stash room, which involves much tidying up and putting away, which I don't mind as long as I have a good project/idea/plan, but I don't. Yet. Plus, I had to put away my warp-making thinking cap because, seriously, I'm trying to reduce the number of pre-made warps, and did quite well last year, so I don't want more without weaving some first.
What I'm learning is, unlike flower gardening, (the way I grow them,) veg growing is such a high-maintenance, every day job, weeding, checking bugs and ripeness, and at our place, checking daily or even several times a day for wind damage. We've had 50- and 60kms winds on several occasions, and 30kms all the time. I untied the tomatoes from stakes at one point so they don't break where it's tied, and stuck and restuck stakes a few times a day so the plants lean on them instead. That I have them growing more densely probably doesn't help, (or does it?); some natural attrition has occurred, and I manage to weed as much as my arms reach, so they are doing OK, but in spite of their good looks, are far from ripe. Yesterday was a rare cool day I could stand to have the oven on, so I slow-roasted the reddest looking ones, but they were so not ready none of the dried pieces had the summer sweetness of acid-free toms.

This veg-growing is like having kids or pets, I tell you.

While I await my orange gems to ripen, there are other signs autumn is definitely approaching, and with that comes the exciting/dreadful prospect of the cold/wet-weather gardening. I'm mindful my arthritis has been oh-so-much better since I stopped pulling out the really difficult weeds and break clay. This summer I told myself it's OK just to pull the top of the weeds, when I do weed, because it's been so dry and getting the roots out is too difficult. But also, I've managed less and less every hour/day/week I work outside, so even on conscientious years, the sum of work I get done year have been curtailed, not to mention our weeds came through 60cm of mulching once. So what's the plan this season? Do we want to grow veg again next year? And if not, do we have a long-term "solution"?? 

Some days I get so angry having to balance gardening and weaving, when I have ideas or plans I'd like to work out, especially because if I weave, I get scarves, but if I weed, in two or three weeks the weeds come back, in some cases more robustly because I made nice gaps for them to grow into! In a way, this has been nagging me since last April-ish, particularly this summer since I tend to get more weaving time in the dry, hot season. While the thought of growing into a nice old lady pottering around a nice old garden is (somewhat) inviting, and I do genuinely dislike living amongst so much mess, "old" is the key; I have to take care of my body and apply due caution, not to mention, think of how many good weaving years this body got left.

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An intriguing thought that requires further thinking: the lockdown internet activity as an equalizer of sorts.


Leigh said...

Oh gosh, do I ever hear you about balancing weaving and gardening. My loom and stash were stored away for 14 years while we established our homestead and gardens. Weaving progress is slow, but I'm just so happy to be able to weave again that I'll take even slow progress.

Are you mulching your garden beds? I find a thick mulch, after my veg plants are big enough, does wonders for keeping weeds down. A still few grow, but with good mulch I do very little weeding, plus the mulch feeds the soil as it decomposes and also keeps it from drying out (less watering).

I can't say I've found the perfect balance between gardening and weaving, but a little gardening every day and a little weaving every day is at least something. Just have to find time to sort and organize our storage bedroom so I can set up my Glimakra!

Meg said...

Non-gardeners/great-indoorsy humans, devastatingly mild year-round climate, unbelievably robust weeds, steep slopes, and arthritis don't make for good mix. [sorry-not-really-sorry emoji]