Thursday, April 26, 2012

Life is too short .....

I have been feeling a little guilty about not blogging recently. And I did get a little grief this week from my fellow Tuesday Weavers. But I already had an idea for today's I will save "Guilt, obligation and the joys of weaving" for my next blog.

Two weeks ago, I went on a retreat at one of my favorite places on earth - the Hermitages at Valle Crucis Conference Center. Here are a few picture from an earlier stay. For more information about the hermitages check out their blog -

The Thomas Merton Hermitage - one of four on the site
The living space

A tiny but full kitchen
My porch faces into the woods
This is my forth retreat in this lovely spot. This time I was there for four nights - once again it was not long enough. My soul longs for silence and solitude - I find it here. The first two days I spent brainstorming with two friends about creative work we might do together. The last day and a half I journaled, read, journaled, hiked, slept and wove. I spent Thursday in total silence. After journaling with my morning tea I began to weave.

My warp is natural bamboo - threaded for twill. The warp had been on for at least 6 weeks. I had begun weaving with two colors - also bamboo. The pattern was a tabby and 1/3 twill - fairly simple - but I was juggling those two shuttles and having to watch my pattern. I found that it was not something I could weave while watching television with my husband.  I wasn't really enjoying it but I thought that was because I was weaving with distractions. In 6 weeks I had woven maybe 20 inches. I thought - I can do this on retreat.....

So I began to weave on Thursday morning. Watching the pattern and juggling the shuttles. I wove for an hour - ten inches - at that rate I was going to have to weave non stop all day to get the scarf finished. I wove for another fifteen minutes or so and thought - this is ridiculous. Why am I taking my precious day at the hermitage to race through something that was bringing me no joy. That is when it hit me -


So I stopped - did a few throws of tabby and hemmed stitched that puppy. Who knows what I will do with that remnant - another blog post title for another day "Weaving remnants."

Several weeks ago, when I was at Great Northern in Kalamazoo, I picked up a neutral/natural rayon chenille. I had thrown it in my bag along with some extra bobbins and a winder. I pulled out Dixon's The Handweaver' Pattern Guide and found several Hopsack patterns that looked like fun to weave - simple patterns requiring only one shuttle. Within 30 minutes I was up and running with my new scarf. Happily weaving away - no longer feeling stressed to weave. So it was time for a hike. Here is a picture of my destination - Crab Orchard Falls.
A wonderful place to sit still
After I got home I quickly finished that scarf. (sorry no photos) Then  I chose another Hopsack variation and a peach chenille. I am most of the way though the second one.
My simple - "tactiley" interesting scarf

See 43 inches done!

Sorry the photos are of such poor quality - I left my camera at the center on Tuesday.

Lesson learned -


I will try not to be such a stranger.

Be well,


Bonnie said...

Yeah, Ann. You got the post done. That looks l ike a great place to get away. So true. That if you are not enjoying something, don't do it.

Tina J said...

That same theme is running thru my head as well! Lovely retreat center, I am glad you got a chance to enjoy it.

LA said...

I agree totally!!!! My weaving time is precious to me, and it shouldn't be spent with a project that isn't working. Sometimes our problem warps teach us the most important lessons...but we don't have to continue the torture just to prove a point. What a great place for your looks very relaxing.

Maggie said...

Ooooh! I want to be there right now! Being quiet! Thanks for sharing your stories.

Linda said...

What a lovely place for a retreat! I wouldn't mind going away for a while!