How come so few people ever talk about their failures? Not only is failure often darn good entertainment, it’s an essential part of the learning/growing/living process. I can say all this with authority, because I am the type of person often paralyzed by the fear of failure. It’s unfortunate. Imagine how much I could accomplish if I could bottle up all that fear and pitch it out the window of a fast moving train!
As my dad always said, “Your successes cannot exceed 50% of your failures, so get out there and fuck up!”
I do my best.
Having woven three beautiful scarves, I was due for some fucking up. And here’s just how it went down.
In the projects book I got with my loom, there was a pattern for some cool looking placemats with a loose and gap-ey weave. The pattern called for stout linen thread. As you may recall I am practically incapable of following recipes, and patterns ditto. I had some gorgeous silk yarn, single spun with wispy threads of every color going every which way. The spirit of the yarn went perfectly with the spirit of the pattern, I imagined it was going to be divine. Table runners, I thought, or maybe even wall hangings. I set out to warp the yarn so that I would use the whole skein, and be able to get two finished pieces for x-mas gift giving. This meant that I spent half an hour warping, and the next hour and a half pulling the extra through, bit by bit, to use up the whole skein. Of course it was hard to warp such uneven, rough yarn at all. Let alone pull through several yards of extra. But I forged ahead, straight through knowing I should stop to feed the Toddler, straight through knowing I should stop to feed myself, until we were both on the very cusp of Total Meltdown, but I was finally goddamn done goddamit.
Later on, after beating down the Meltdown Beasts, I returned to my loom with weft in hand. I wove a few rows. Huh. Why does that look…. crappy? … Surely, it’s going to come together in a minute and knock me dead with fabulousness.
I wove a few more rows, and my eyes bagan to narrow. It just looked crappier and crappier. What the fuck?
I set my loom aside, thinking maybe I just had artist’s eye from too much weaving. Next day I came back to confirm my fears. It looked like hell.
I slowly realized that the pattern had used a very clean, tightly spun, single color yarn. More of a stout thread really, not soft, and certainly not scraggly. With this type of thread, the loose pattern of gaps was an obvious pattern, and looked fabulous. But, although the rustic unfinished look of my silk yarn was lovely in the skein, combined with the gap-ey pattern, it just looked like a really bad weaving job. Like a big ugly mess of yarn.
So. This morning, for the first time of doubtlessly many, I unstrung my loom. Having already cut the warps, I couldn’t just roll the yarn back up into a ball for use in another project, boo hoo.
The good news is, I have another Big Idea. I got it when I was warping up all that psychedelic yarn.
And now I can’t wait for Mardi Gras, cuz that shit’s gonna make a wicked cool wig.