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I believe in omens. No, more than that: I DEPEND on omens. Omens are guidance that appears in unexpected places in physical form. Carl Jung called that phenomena “synchronicity.” Others call it “answered prayers.” They’re not just about the big questions; they’re about everyday life: what should I fix for dinner or which way should I turn at the corner or should I study Shadow or Crackle weave?
That last one has been my question as I finished the tie up, wound the warp and got the sunny yellow threads on the loom. All that remained to be done was to thread the heddles. But, the question that needed to be answered was just how to thread the heddles? In what order? Heddles are like that, you see. They demand order. They want a system, a numerical system, one (or two or three) before the others. Heddles and how they are threaded are the heart of weaving. They are the source, the underlying pattern of that particular creation. A smarter weaver than me (or at least, a more traditional one) would know these sorts of details before she even started. But, as much as is possible in the orderly world of looms and weaving, I weave intuitively. Sometimes that may not look like the smartest way. But, it works for me. Works really well, actually. So, with everything done but the heddles, I needed to choose: Crackle or Shadow?
My reasoning, so far, was along these lines:
- Both would work well for yardage or wall hangings.
- Both are new weaves for me, and I want to explore something new.
- Both can be done with one shuttle, or multi-shuttles.
- Both can be done as inlay with a tabby ground.
- Both have really neat looking pictures in Strickler’s 8 Harness Weave book.
- Both can use 8 harnesses which gives me more options with blocks and inlay.
- Shadow Weave is an enticing name. Going into the shadow is a good mythological path.
- Crackle Weave was the weave of choice by my friend Estelle who died several years ago, and I miss her. A lot.
Then, the answer came on Mother’s Day. As I walked through the doors of church that morning, the greeter handed me the welcome program, hug, and big smile, plus a small chocolate wrapped in pink:
This is exactly the sort of thing I dislike about Mother’s Day. My mother was not sweet. She was creative, moody, impractical, impatient, mean at times, over-the-moon living life, depressed, manically happy, driven, avid gardener, adventurous, innovative, disdainful of “normal” people, and, best of all for me, an artist who used threads, beads and cloth as her media. But she was definitely not sweet. And, just maybe because I am her daughter, I also don’t aspire to “sweetness.” I dropped the chocolate into my knitting bag and forgot about it until 2 days ago.
Pulling out my prayer shawl to knit, the pink-wrapped chocolate fell into my lap. Chocolate. It was chocolate after all, and why reject an innocent piece of chocolate because of its wrapper? I carefully peeled the irritating pink paper away and, beneath it, the true wrapper around the chocolate, was this:
Need I say more?
Heddles are being threaded.
It begins, of course, with an idea: make the dye area/outdoor studio space more useable with less glare from the sun,
First, a good foundation.
Gather the necessary supplies.
Measure, plot, clamp.
Helpers will appear.
Sewing is also building.
Cloth and wood.
Weaving cloth and wood together.
Fold, place, attach securely.
Late afternoon. Almost done.
Done! An inviting space to work in with soft, natural light.
Helpers, of a sort, still available.