Most of my patterns are improvised as those who view my UFOs and FOs on rav know by now. My main modes of fiber expression have so far been designing quilt patches mostly from handloom fabric (from India), crocheting with handdyed/handpainted yarn which is mostly (even if not always) handspun. My so-called knitting project frogged because I cannot sustain interest long enough nor do I have time away from my day job (which is really an all day all evening and all night job depending on what time of year it is and what writing and teaching projects I am in the middle of) to learn more on knitting. I tried many times to commit to buying a sewing machine but I dont see myself being able to spend time at a sewing machine – so my quilting designs are mostly simple hand sewing (with practice I hope to be better at the sewing – for now I just enjoy putting the designs together in patches I may someday sew into a quilt).
I recently (well its getting to be two years since I took my first lesson and a little over a year since I bought my four harness table loom – at a fiber market day – and my ashford antique spinning wheel -off e-bay and some spindles – off etsy…) started weaving and spinning – and have had warp anxiety and so on … the spinning wheel I have has broken parts and repairing those I am told may be more expensive than getting a new one.. .. I am waiting an thinking before getting a spinning wheel – it will have to be small and portable for now – so a spindle does the job fine and I am still learning – I have watched my mother with the charkha and the takhli spindle and since I am still in awe of her perfection in craft – I wont be able to succeed in learning those just yet (my mother has tried teaching me many things – crochet, beading, cooking, sewing, takhli spinning, charkha spinning – but I have never been successful in the face of my mother’s careful perfectionist mode of expectation and teaching – I have had to journey through learning spaces on my own and try to learn in memory – visual in my mind or through finding teachers who allowed me to make mistakes over and over again …. I am not good with paying attention when people are teaching – because once I start watching someone else doing something – I am fascinated and my mind wanders into a land of enchanted craft possibilities – if only I knew the skill – dont know if this makes sense to anyone else – I am the same when reading – therefore a very slow reader … I live and think to my own rhythm in my head – have always done so – but not many people know this – they may see this as fanciful, flightly, distracted or just plain obstinate and lazy:))
so… my crocheting practice comes from slyly watching my mother (slyly because if I let her know of my interest she will try to teach me – and I cannot learn from her! and depending on when in her age span she has tried to teach me she retreats in irritation or hurt – but I think at some level she does understand now that what I have learned I have learned from her. My father never actively tried teaching me anything (maybe some math or algebra when I was in high school – but not really) so it was easier to learn his ways – he let me lurk around – I dont know if he knew I learned that way or he was just an older father not knowing what to do with his youngest daughter born later in his life when he was fully caught up in an international travelling/journeying career.)
my crochet designs then – are free flowing but very much from having watched my mother never actually use a pattern (or so I thought – she may have poured over paper patterns but rarely) she mostly got the patterns off actual artefacts that others made and was meticulous in following that pattern (this practice she learned from her mother-in-law – who made intricate white cotton doilies and table cloths I recently discovered… will share a snapshot sometime of a piece my sister found amongst my mother’s things a while ago) – I however can neither follow a paper based (on website based ) pattern, a how to video nor can I consciously and with awareness of the stitches – get a pattern off an existing artefact.
I just crochet.
So when warping requires a different level of planning I struggle a little – but I think I will figure that out too so I can work around my own demons of perfection and my practice of learning my watching and lurking when others are not
focusing their attention on me…