Sunday, February 23, 2014

Life is a Journey

An Adventure. And I am the Hero. 

Or so I am told. That is a thing of which I still need to believe.  And apparently [out of some 200 participants], so do others who have embarked and set sail upon the heroic seas of Suzy's [Wool Wench] and Arlene's [Spin Artiste] adventure to Fibery Goodness, and quest for a Golden Fleece

Upon reading similar concerns, and joining the conversations of other fellow travelers, whether in the Fibery Goodness Forum, or on Facebook, I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed. I am not alone in questioning my want, or lack thereof, in looking back upon my life. Been there. Done that. And I am far from alone in pondering where to actually Begin. 

Module One Collection
With Module One came instructions. I started collecting. Tools. Fiber. Things. Memories. I even created a specific Module One Pinterest Board.  And boy, was I stubborn about wanting to do the Pinterest Thing.  I simply looked at it as one more media site I would struggle with keeping up.  But--- Resistance is Futile. I so get it now. And so wish I'd gotten on board sooner. 

Here's a link to my Inspiration Board created when the first group signed on.

Said crew is looking a tad perplexed!
I downloaded my Coloring Book, but had to wait until I could get out and about for new ink cartridges.  I printed off one page, though.  My little ship.  The print was so pale I had to re-color all of the black outline. But once her sails were unfurled, and my crew was On Deck, my little ship was upon its way.

With Module One came questions. And as indicated earlier, I struggled with where to begin.

While I am a strong believer in the unwavering ability of one being able to influence the choices of another, whether for good or bad, this specific choice is purely mine. Truly one that no one else can make. And in trying to answer just the first two questions, and my entire reason for writing this post, I have come to understand that my Adventure [for now. I reserve the right to invoke "A Woman's Right to Change Her Mind" prerogative. (Yeah--- That's the ticket! That's my Story. And I'm stickin' to it.)] is more about rekindling. A reclamation of sorts. And a Call unto its own.

I know now that my Adventure began when--- After becoming physically disabled, and spending time Mourning the life I no longer had: Hiking; Wildlife Photography; Gardening; Working for a Living to maintain a roof over my head; and more--- After determining the need to downsize and questioning why certain of things I continued to hang onto for decades--- I determined to reclaim a time in my life. One that I sorely missed. 

I pulled out a little drop spindle and painted it. [I so wish I had taken a Before photo, because it was not very pretty. But it had been a Gift.  And so was Kept.] 

It had been so long, and I wasn't quite sure of myself, so I started to surf YouTube for videos on hand spinning. I eventually found a burgeoning community of fiber people on Facebook. My Adventure had thus begun.

Click on the images for larger view options
I won a bag of assorted wool fibers upon entering a Facebook Page contest [I had the makings of a Stash], and I started to spin. 

It takes me FOREVER to get anything accomplished, because I simply cannot sit at it for long stretches at a time. So I am QUITE grateful that the course requires only a few meters of yarn, for each module, and not a 4 oz. skein. Because, where someone can spin up a fantastic skein of fibery goodness in a day, over a weekend, it can literally take me WEEKS.  Months, when frustration and periodic Recovery Modes set in.  But--- I have fallen in love with all these new artsy batts and yarns. [No such thing when I first learned to spin.] And I have YouTube and Facebook, and all of these wonderful inspiring artisans I've met, over the last few years, to thank. So--- Thank You!

But--- I'm not totally sure that THAT's even where my new Adventure truly begins.  Because what REALLY changed what I saw myself doing, was the Facebook photo album Suzy [Wool Wench] shared of her using an old drum carder gear to weave shields.

OMG! I mean, O. M. G!!! I finally knew just how I could use my little hand spun Torn Denim skein.  Lights went on. Bells rang out.  THIS I could DO.

And this is what actually leads back to the REAL reclamation I was in the midst of [some eight years ago]; just as everything physically all went very wrong. Navajo Rug Weaving. Where my Adventure in Fiber truly began [literally decades ago].

Younger Me weaving outdoors.
I'd been pricing lumber online, and researching Navajo weaving supplies and resources.  I was going to build a new floor loom. 

But multiple ruptured discs, a lower spine riddled with Osteoarthritis, another disc made bad during physical therapy, Fibromyalgia, and yada, yada, yada y-e-s there's more---- (Heavy sigh!) It was with a great reluctance that I eventually put my books and measurements and pricing away.  I deleted bookmarked resources. I was not going to be weaving any kinds of rugs. 

But what's that old adage about Hope springing Eternal? 

Younger Me weaving indoors.
Back in February of 2013, Natalie Reading [Namaste Farms] hosted a Blog Talk Radio show featuring Lynda Teller Pete [a Two Grey Hills Tapestry Weaver] . Her interview and weavings rekindled my desire; once again.

The loom she teaches on reminded me, that like quilting--- I did NOT need to quilt an entire full sized bedspread to get involved in quilting. I could start small; with a wall hanging or pillow top.

I can no longer sit on the floor and attempt to weave in front of a large loom.  But, graciously, I realized that I could build a much smaller one, kept set upon a table top, and weave in tapestry.  So I had THAT mulling around quietly inside my brain matter for months. Thank you ever so much, Lynda Pete!

Auditioning possibilities
Enter the Drum Carder Gear loom, a large metal ring, and my small skein of hand carded raw ginned cotton and a Mystery Wool--likely a merino/silk blend.

For months after discovering Suzy's circular weavings, I wracked my brain trying to figure out how I was going to make it work with something I already had on hand [without spending any kind of money; due to living on a very limited (SSD) income] --- a stash of metal rings.  Perfect.  A pre-mounted wall hanging.  I did sque-e-eeze in a small purchase of some beautifully hand dyed 100% Mohair Boucle from Grace Gerber's etsy store [My jaw dropped when I saw her update of all those little skeins of boucle--I so wanted to buy every last one!], in anticipation of my first real weaving.

My first real weaving
And one weekend, not so very long ago, when all things were right, I determined how I was going to make Suzy's shield weaving work for me---- I  pulled out my large metal ring, and went about gathering other fibers to audition.  But when I opened the door to my studio closet [where my commercial yarns are stored]--- right in front of me was my large yellow round Knifty Knitter loom; hanging by a ribbon looped over a hanger.  

Pegs. Gears. Removability.

"Pick Me! Pick Me!" it screamed.  It took a few tries to figure out the right warping, but soon I was on my very merry way.

On that very same weekend, Arlene and Suzy posted a sneak peak of their Fibery Goodness launch. "OMG!" I was thinking, "What pure Synchronicity."  Truly one of those Come-On-Universe! Open-Up-and-Give-Me-A-Sign moments.  I sent them both a photo of what I'd been up to.  And while the Majacraft Loom is yummy pretty, my humble little Knifty Knitter Loom was long ago bought and paid for... No Math required there.  I could WEAVE!

So--- I do believe that my Turning Point is more in the Here and Now.  But--- I know there will be a bit of Looking Back involved.  Because a part of my Creative Spirit died Way Back When. And I know we are defined by our Past. But, what's done is done, comes to mind as I write this. And some things ARE better left where they lay. But I am very open to new discoveries.  And maybe, just maybe, a key to a possible future is buried in a treasure chest of the Past.

My Captains Quarters
Wow!  All this--- and I haven't even read all the questions. Yet. But then I'm still collecting. Fiber. Photos. Print outs. I'm still getting a hard copy Journal going. I started coloring my Module One Shield just last night.  I made ready my Captains Quarters, and fiber preparation for my Module One Yarn is currently begun. 

I'm looking forward to sailing the virtual open seas, and discovering what uncharted Creativity holds in store.  And though I am the only Captain at my helm, I know I am not traveling, or waffling, or struggling alone.   The open seas are not always calm.  But I am not the only ship set sail. 

Module One Yarn Preparation
OK! I've babbled on long enough.  I've more coloring to do, and there are words that are yet to be read. Plus I've a roving what needs plucked of unwanted golden tinsel. 

Happy Sailing to my Fellow Captains.



  1. Lovely post. Isn't it nice, to know it's OUR journey, but we are not alone?!

  2. Wonderful post! I don't have as many physical issues as you do, but I do have fibro and arthritis and have to fit my crafting around still working five hours a day, (and not being able to sit for long periods of time) so I can sympathize with the frustration of having things take longer. Your resourcefulness is inspiring, though! Bon voyage!

  3. Thank you, Ladies!!!! It's been cathartic and productive; this journey we are on. And yes, Martha. We are not alone. And Bon voyage, to you as well, Beth!

    Blessings~ Laura