In Praise of Ordinary Time

“There is a very fine line between a groove and a rut”
--Christine Lavin

Ordinary time is underrated. You know the time I mean, the days that are routine - work, house-work, school-work – whatever your routine happens to be. A block of days where one day melds predictably into the next, busy, yes – these days who’s not? – but busy in a predictable way.

I haven’t had very much ordinary time lately. In the twenty years that I’ve been weaving, weaving these stoles has been the most intense project I’ve undertaken. I had a very tight time frame – just five weeks from start to finish. Five weeks to plan, order, then dye the yarn, warp the loom three times and weave four stoles. In the middle of this, I had a clase to prepare for and teach at the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Retreat.

Under normal circumstances, I greatly enjoy the Fiber Retreat, held annually at Camp Verdugo Oaks just north of Castaic in the Tehachapi mountains. That would have been true this year, too, but I arrived and promptly started developing the symptoms of a cold that promised to be serious (I still have congestion and a nagging cough). So, unfortunately, I had to come home from the retreat a day early. There are some great blogs about the retreat - here's one at Mixed-Up Melange.

With all this going on, it’s small wonder that my days were anything but ordinary. My house has descended into chaos, my vegetable garden is over grown (I think there might be a zucchini out there that is large enough to qualify as small planet), and my family hasn’t had a home cooked meal in six weeks. I’m anxious for some ordinary time.


The green stole (for ordinary time) wove up faster than all the others – the shadow weave design, a gothic cross pattern from A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns, did not require a tabby thread, so there was less treadling.

So all the stoles were finished in time, with a couple of days to spare. Pastor Walt was thrilled with the gift, and it was a joy to see him wearing the red stole last Sunday (the red one is my personal favorite).