Oh dear. I have spent hours putting together the first part of a handout for a guild workshop. The handout is looking quite nice: I have found some good illustrations to use, thanks to the enormous stash of photos on my laptop, and my thoughts have been less difficult to organise than I feared. The step-by-step instructions are the hardest part, but I forced myself to get them down and I think they are OK for a first draft (though I still need to test them on a couple of victims). The problem is this: when I look at what I have written, I think, “Who the blazes would ever do such a ridiculous-sounding thing?”
The idea for this workshop arose from a talk I gave to the guild last year. I took along a sackload of samples so that it would be less about me talking and more about touching bits of cloth, which is what we all really want to do, isn’t it? People were very gracious and complimentary, which was lovely, and the pieces they liked the best were the ones where I had a madly multi-coloured warp. How did I do that?
So anyway, this workshop arose as an attempt to answer that question, and it is going by the name “Weave a cloth of many colours”. Of course, there are a thousand and one ways to weave a cloth of many colours, but I’m concentrating on the sort of weaving that was included in that sack of samples and, specifically, on some different approaches to designing a variegated warp – like these:
I am planning various exercises for people to try and I am hoping that they will be bold, if not on quite such a large scale! However, as I look at the step-by-step process I have outlined for getting from a yarn wrapping to a warp plan (never mind getting to an actual warp), I am wondering why on earth anyone would do that, unless they were completely insane. And this bothers me. Are my working methods really as arcane as they seem when I put them on paper? Were they always like this or have they evolved to be so? Although I thought I was just writing down a normal and rational process, I now feel as though I have tied myself up in a gordian knot and mislaid the knife. Or is it that everything seems bizarre when you try and write it down? This is the hope I am clinging to, by the way, so please don’t snatch my lifebelt away…
So now I am looking at my handout, wondering how on earth I am going to encourage people to try it, or whether in fact an honourable person should be discouraging them. This way madness lies! Beware! Turn back while you still can!
I must admit that I am feeling both disheartened and rather exposed. And I haven’t even started on the afternoon session yet.