It’s a quiet time of year. The to-do lists of the holiday season are checked off and tossed away. The company has gone home. The decorations will soon be stowed for their annual hibernation.
This is the time of year when I try to clean up the studio and record the drafts I hurriedly tossed on the pile after the warps came off the loom, weigh cones of yarn and replenish supplies for upcoming projects, ponder what I might want to explore in the coming year.
This is the time of year when I delve into something I’ve been wanting to learn but haven’t had time yet. A couple years back, I spent a few mornings with guild friends learning to tat. There was the year I attended a Fiber Retreat to hone my spinning skills.
So what will I do with the treasure of winter 2017?
Photography is one of those things that I know I can improve on. I spend way too much time struggling with lighting and focus, and then trying to edit the photos into my vision of what they should be. So with a little time and a different camera, I will see what I can do about that. There will be a learning curve, of course. I don’t expect stunning results right off the bat, but I’m willing to work on it.
Then there’s damask. I do love the sheen of satin damask, but so far, I’ve only tried 5-thread satin damask and only at a very narrow range of setts. What about 6- or 8-thread satin? What about varying the sett? If the tie-downs in the satin are spaced wider, would the fabric have more sheen or just be sleazy? I have some warp on the big loom that waits for sampling.
Our guild presents a challenge each year as a way to push our creativity. This year, we visited a local museum and are to translate inspiration into fiber. Some years ago we had a museum challenge and I wove fabric in the colors of an iridescent vase on display. This year I’m considering something with varying blocks to imitate drape since several of the paintings showed lovely fabrics on the subjects. We’ll see how far I get with that!
Now is the time to explore, before spring comes with a garden to plant, before we travel to see kids and grandkids, before I buckle down to more production in preparation for the fall. Now time is a treasure not to be wasted.
How to you spend your winter treasure?
I love this time of year, too, for the reasons you state, Jean. I should follow your lead and push myself in some new weaving directions. I have fallen into the cozy trap of weaving the same sorts of things over and over. It is confidence-building but I won’t learn much new this way!