Workshop(s) in Review

So, I went to the weaving workshop a little over a week ago. My guild had Deb McClintock as a guest speaker and she held a workshop after the guild meeting in a member’s home. It was so much fun. She talked of the methods that Laotian weavers use to modify what are essentially two-shaft looms so that they can hold as many pick-up pattern warps as you want. Her slide show was mesmerizing. And I took… very few photos. Even fewer that are useable. You just have to go visit her website. But I think I had the most fun of anyone there.

See, we had spent some untold time period learning these interesting techniques for turning an over-complicated 8-harness American (okay, Canadian-made) loom into one that mimics the Laotian system and Deb asks, “So, who wants to weave?”


Seriously! We have here a room with perhaps 8 or 10 long-term weavers in it. I see no bad here: Dressed loom. Silk weft. And no one wants to even try? Afraid that by now I’m wearing out my welcome, I raised my hand. And I got to weave on and on and on. Like I said, I had the most fun of anyone there. Except maybe for Deb, who got to eat a stinky salad and spread gorgeous Laotian samples all over the place.

But look. I said workshops, plural. The reason is this: My Mother’s Day gift from my guys was amazing. Chris sent me to a WordPlay! one-day writing workshop this past Saturday. From 10am to 4ish that afternoon six of us (the two facilitators, the friend who owns the property, and three others of us) wrote until our hands cramped in response to Bettina’s prompts. Then we wrote some more. Then we took a break, drank tea, wandered the amazing gardens of Madrigal (which was a nursery and has now gone semi-wild, all in the middle of a random La Mesa suburban street), wrote some more, did a little yoga, wrote, had lunch, and wrote. The prompts began at 30-second time limits and ended up at 30 minutes each. I came away feeling energized, imaginative, renewed, all of those good adjectives. Not the least of it was that the group was all women (by accident), so there was this wonderful female energy to the process. I felt safe to read everything out loud (stop, you. There was nothing there to make me uncomfortable, but I didn’t have to be uncomfortable in the first place). So I felt like someone had given me a space outside of time, outside of testosterone, outside of responsibility, to be completely imaginative and rock in a hammock of nurturing.

Then I met my guys and friends at D.Z. Akins for dinner. Which just goes to show you that the Geeklet and his dad are darn fine people.

In other news, I have (in the spirit of the Harlot) instituted Wednesday as the official spinning day. This is after my discussion about the wonderful benefits that I reap when spinning–mental clarity, spiritual focus, relaxation, etc. So I got to thinking.

Me: “I like spinning. I get so focused, so mindful.”

The other me: “I don’t have time for this. I need to… [insert inane household task here].”

Me: “I feel so good when I see a little baby skein and I know I’ve spun it.”

The other me: “Yeah, but it’s never enough to do anything with.”

Me: “Look, it’s fine if you want to make time to, oh, read a book or eat chocolate, so give me a break and make some time, you!

You get the idea. I work better in a framework so Wednesdays works for me in principle. Let’s see how much actually gets done. But oh, I have a yummy bowlful of pencil roving from The Black Sheep, freshly attenuated (don’t you love that word?), just sitting on my bookshelf and I know it is looking at me. It’s saying with its eyeless, soulful woolness, “What. Are you going to just leave me here, to grow dusty and covered in cat hair, waiting for the day when Hershey learns how to get up here and lay on me? But am I complaining? Noooo! I’m just wool…”

Why does my roving talk just like Kharold? Hm. Anyway, I have a CD spindle and 15 minutes before the Boy has to be released from his prison… er… allowed up from his nap (he’s happy, he’s singing, I can hear him from here). Let’s see if anything comes of it.


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