Yesterday the weather wasn’t conducive to gardening, or much of anything outdoors. Although there was plenty to do in the house (like vacuuming) I decided to finish up the project on the loom.
This is a 72″ runner with a linen warp and wool weft. I made it for a friend of mine who has been one of my weaving cheerleaders since the beginning. She has an older home and her love of blue and white traditional overshot drove the project. I told her last year that I would make her something and that’s what lead me to the linen warp. It was an experience.
These are my favorite projects, the ones I make for particular people. It’s a different kind of effort. As I said before it’s really the process not the project. Once it was off of the loom, fringed and wet finished I photographed it and then folded it and got it ready for presentation. The gifting is my favorite part.
The end of last year I was weaving some beautiful twill towels with the intention of gifting one of them to one of my biggest cheerleaders. The intent was Christmas as he wondered how he could get on my Christmas list. Well, as usual, life got in the way and they weren’t ready by Christmas, or by January. His health took a turn for the worse after the holidays and in my heart I knew this was the end. It all but stopped my progress on that project. It came to a screeching halt actually. He passed away in March and with that I had to change my entire mindset on those towels. I did finish them and gifted them to my oldest daughter – they were her colors. In weaving the last of the warp though he was constantly on my mind.
I don’t know how to explain what happened when he died honestly. The week after his death I was a total mess, trying to find meaning in what had transpired surrounding it. After his memorial service I was at total peace. Not just peace with his passing, peace with everything. It was as though the moment he died he took all of my lifetime crap with him when he left. I just had to be quiet enough to see it. Now I always knew we had a connection and over the past year or two he was more than ready to lend an empathetic ear but this was unexpected. There is no other explanation, the calm with my life came when he left. Thank you.
The loss of a dear friend, in the middle of a project like that gives urgency to finishing things when they are made directly for someone. I really want this to go to its intended home. Although I have never seen her table I imagine it laying there and the pleasure it will give to its recipient.
Last year, after winning a blue ribbon on an overshot throw at the Eastern States Exposition, Paul wrote on my post about it. “Hands made this. Hands were used by a person. A person made this. It holds and conveys the sense and feel of those hands and the spirit of that person. Yes, it is beautiful.” There are people who intrinsically understand this about things that are hand-made. Maybe it comes from making art of your own because I know many people who don’t get it.
I will continue to weave and create beautiful things and giving many of them away. I think a little piece of my soul goes with them most of the time and I gift to those that can see it.
The bonus on most weaving projects is I always warp a little longer than required so I can play at the end. The photo above is a small table runner I made in a variation of the pattern and that one stays on my table.