Study for Meditation Mat

Study for Meditation Mat
Handspun Tapestry Weaving

Friday, 11 October 2013

Do the Wrong Thing: Always Question Authority

You know the phrase, "There are no Spinning/Knitting/Weaving Police!"?  Apparently, there are.  Lots of them, everywhere, ready to scold you if you don't do things the "Right" (i.e. Their) way. I've run across several of them, just in the last few days-people who insist that there is one true method to practicing one's art or, conversely, one technique that is absolutely forbidden.

I find this amusing-what will happen if I don't follow your direction?  Will my looms, spindles and wheels fall apart?  Will you come and confiscate my yarns?  Or, perhaps, everything I've done and may do will be sucked into the vast vortex of "U R Doin' It Rong!" and I'll be sucked along with it.

I've been practicing fibre arts for a long, long time, long enough to know that, there are rules to everything, that it's a good idea to know those rules, that sometimes rules can prevent catastrophe, though I have yet to hear of "Death by Pre-drafting Before Spinning."  Could happen, I suppose.  Don't see how, but I'm open to the possibility. (On the other hand, those life rules you are given?  It's often a really good idea to follow them.  "Always check your safety equipment before bungee jumping." comes to mind.  Notice that I didn't say, "Never bungee jump."  I wouldn't, but that's just me.)

The thing is, I learn the "rules" in order to break them. Yes, sometimes I make a mess-my yarn is too dense, warp frays and breaks, the tapestry design is really, really bad.  More often than not though, time, practice and experimentation have led me to the "Happy Accident," that moment when all elements of material, technique and experiment coalesce and you discover:
"That bit there? It was an accident.  It was the best mistake... .It's my favourite piece; it's just great." (Kate Bush)    
The next time you are told Never or Always, listen carefully, respond thoughtfully, test thoroughly and then Do As You Please.

Explore.  Follow your own path. Have fun and don't be afraid to do the wrong thing.

Unless, of course, fun for you means jumping from a high, high place while you're attached to a large rubber band.  In that case, you might want to follow the rules.

No, she doesn't have anything to do with the theme, although there's a potential yarn colourway in her markings, I think.  I spotted her in Kelowna and thought she was beautiful.