Something Special

It's always fun to weave something special - especially if I know the person I'm weaving for.  

My friend Kevin asked me to weave a shawl for his wife Margaret for their 30th wedding anniversary.  Thirty years!  I was at their wedding - I couldn't possibly be that old!

Because Kevin is color blind, I conspired with another friend to help me choose the colors.  I sent Carolyn to the hardware store to pick up paint samples of colors she thought Margaret would like.    Carolyn mailed me the paint chips, from there it was a simple case of matching the paint chips to the samples in my dye notebook.

I painted a gradient warp and paired it with a solid blue weft, using Tencel for its sheen and drapeability.  Weaving a gradient warp is fun because you get to see what happens as you weave through the color changes. 

I'm very pleased with the outcome.  It frequently happens that the last thing I've woven is my new "favorite thing" - and that's especially true this time.  

As a bonus, I overestimated the amount of blue weft that I needed, and have enough to weave another shawl.  I will use different colors in the warp, though, so that Margaret's shawl remains truly unique.

Sunflower Gold

votes sash.jpg

In 1867, the women's suffrage movement targeted the progressive(!) state of Kansas for an amendment for women's suffrage in that state.  To that end, the suffragists adopted the state flower - the sunflower - as a symbol of the movement.  The effort was not successful, but from that time forward, sunflower gold was one of the colors associated with women's suffrage.

Sunflowers.jpg

Persistence - Being Heard

My grandmother - like pretty much every other woman in my family - was one to speak her mind.  I imagine it was because speaking at all was very difficult for her.  Born without a palate, it was a miracle she survived, let alone learned to speak - which she did through sheer persistence.  

I can’t say for sure that my grandmother was a suffragist.  I do know that she was a business woman, owning her own needlework shop in her home town of Gridley, California, in the early 1900’s.  I know that she was the executor for her brother-in-law’s estate - which was an unusual role for a woman in the first half of the 20th century.  I know that during the great depression she organized a WPA project to help poor women support themselves by making quilts.

 Mamie Sala in front of her needlework store, Gridley California

Mamie Sala in front of her needlework store, Gridley California

But I also know that when the 19th amendment passed, my grandmother, then a farmer’s wife, worked to register women voters in rural Minnesota.  Herself a descendant of revolutionary patriots, she was frustrated by her German and Scandinavian immigrant neighbors who told her “Oh I couldn’t vote - my husband wouldn’t let me.”  My grandmother couldn’t understand passing up the opportunity to make oneself heard.  

To me, my grandmother personifies persistence.

“Nevertheless, she persisted” has become a rallying cry for women this year.  It means that we will continue - to vote, to speak up, and eventually be heard. 

Persistence - Marching Part 2

This was going to be a blog about how long it took - how much persistence was needed - before women won the right to vote in this country.  Indeed, the early 19th century suffragists were literally not allowed to speak for themselves - there were laws against women speaking in public! I'll publish that blog another day.

Yesterday, this was going to be a blog about the need for level-headness, and peace, and prayer in the face of wars and rumors of wars.  And let's not be too quick to say this is God's will, and these are the end times, because we've heard that before, and in the immortal words of Bob Franke "the Spirit blows where it wills, so beware of the man selling tickets."   

But today, this has to be a blog about how we must persist to fight injustice, and insanity, and just plain evil.  Because even though we thought we were done with this in 1865 and in 1945, this happened today (and I can't even believe that I'm posting this picture):

Evil.Jpg

But this also happened today.  In the face of men with guns and clubs and evil intent (because peaceful protestors don't bring those things to march), men and women of faith linked arms and sang "This Little Light of Mine."  

ThisLittleLight.jpg

And so do all men and women of good will persist in the face of evil. And now I'm going to persist a little while at my loom, and sing "This Little Light of Mine" while I weave.

PersistenceScarf.jpt

Getting ready for my next project, and thinking about..

Marching 

On January 21st I marched with my friend Laurie, her mom Lillian, and several hundred thousand of our closest friends, in a sea of pink.  It was an exciting and uplifting experience.  All told, around the world, millions of women, men and children marched.  We marched for many different reasons, but the universal message was: we are not going away, we will not be silent, we will make ourselves heard (cue Helen Reddy here), and you will pay attention to what we have to say.

 Lillian and Laurie Jenkins

Lillian and Laurie Jenkins

 LA Women's March, Jan. 21, 2017

LA Women's March, Jan. 21, 2017

We wore pink pussy hats - symbolizing an epithet that we chose to embrace rather than be disgraced by, and pink, the color of Barbie, and Easy Bake ovens and all of the domesticated toys intended to separate us from the boys.  We marched in subversively knitted hats - as knitted hats have been since the days of the French Revolution.

Over a hundred years ago, women marched in Washington for the right to vote.  It was the day before the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson. As the women marched down Pennsylvania Avenue, they were harassed and assaulted by crowds of angry men, the DC police looking on.  Crusading journalist Nellie Bly documented the events.  Congressional hearings were called.  The District of Columbia police chief was fired.  

 Woman Suffrage Procession, March 3, 1913

Woman Suffrage Procession, March 3, 1913

This was a turning point in the suffrage movement.  Women made the news, and they stayed in the news - by such “militant” tactics as chaining themselves to the White House fence, and going on hunger strikes when they were jailed.  

The colors of the 1913 women’s march were white and purple and gold - the colors of the National Woman’s Party.  They wore these colors in sashes and cloaks and cockades and carried them in banners.    The wore them for seven more years - until their cloaks were ragged and the banners were faded. They wore them until the 19th amendment was ratified on August 26th, 1920 - now celebrated as Women’s Equality Day.  

On August 26th, wear purple and white and gold in honor of the suffragists who marched before us.  You may also want to wear a pink hat.

What took you so long?

“How long did it take you to make this?”

This is a question dreaded by most artists and craftsmen.  Because this isn’t really the question that is being asked.  Frequently, what the questioner really wants to know is something like:

“Why did you spend your time making this thing?  Wasn't there something better you could do with your time?”

“Why do you charge so much?  Don’t you know that you can buy something like this for a fraction of what you’re charging?”  

The answer to the first question is simple.  I spend my time weaving because I love to do it.  We all have limited time.  Shouldn’t we spend it doing something we love?

The answer to the second is also simple.  I am almost certainly not charging enough.

“How long did it take you to weave this?”

The answer is - I really don’t know.  

I need to know.  In my day job - my living - I run a business.  I prepare budgets, revenue projections, productivity analyses.  I can tell you exactly how many hours each lawyer and paralegal need to bill for the law firm to be profitable.  

But at nights and weekends - in my weaving business - I don’t really know.  I’ve resisted knowing.  I need to know - but I don’t.  

I’ve tried tracking my time, at some point end up forgetting to start the timer, and then give up.  Ok, I’ve known lawyers who weren’t good at tracking their time, either.  On my current project, I’ve determined to do better.

I’m using an app on my phone that allows me to track my work according to task.  I’ve broke down the project into separate steps - planning, measuring, dyeing yarn, threading the heddles, winding the bobbins, weaving.  So now, for this project, I know.

I knew before - or had an idea.  But now I have figures to back it up.  For this project I can tell you that I can weave nearly ten inches in an hour - just over 7 hours.  But I can also tell you that the preparation - before I ever put my shuttle through the web, took nearly twice as long - almost 14 hours.  And, although the weaving is done, the project is not.  I’m guessing about another ten hours before the stole is completed. 

So, over 30 hours.  That’s how long.  I’m not sure I wanted to know, but now I do.  And it's a start.

All the Colors of the Rainbow

This morning I started weaving the second stole of the Rainbow Stole warp.  I wove an inch and then started hemstitching the ends.  There’s time to think when I’m hemstitching - unlike weaving where I need to count, or likely loose my place in the pattern.

It seemed odd to be weaving vestments on this day when all of the altars are stripped bare.  Tomorrow they will be ablaze with white, but today, surrounded by vigilants in silent prayer, the altars - wood for the cross or stone for the tomb - are not softened with any fabric.  

The ends of the rainbow stole are white, and it occurred to me that it is white fabric that marks the beginning and the end of life - the swaddling cloths and the shroud.  White, that holds all of the colors of the rainbow.  It is in the middle of life that the colors are broken out and with which we mark the turning of the year - purple for the days of preparation and penitence, red for the strength of youth and the power of the Holy Spirit, green for the days of fresh pastures and still waters.  

But today, for a few inches, I will be weaving a shroud.  Tomorrow, it will be the swaddling clothes of rebirth and resurrection - one in the same.  And after that life goes on, in all its colors.

Rainbow Days

The most beautiful rainbows I ever saw were at Bryce Canyon National Park.  My family was camping during the summer monsoon season.  Most days the afternoon thunder showers would provide welcome relief from the heat of the day.  But this day the rain started early and kept on steadily.  

The canyon trails become slick and unsafe in the rain, so activities were limited. I’m pretty sure there were endless card games in the tent for a while, until my mother decided that we would take a drive down canyon.  We ate our picnic lunch in the car, but we got out at every single vista point.

Eventually the sun broke through the clouds, and that’s when the light show began.  Looking east from the canyon rim across the dessert, thunderstorm cells were still collected over the mesas. Lightening strikes competed with glorious rainbows - not just one, but double rainbows, sometimes more.  There were rainbows at every vista, and they kept getting better. (Scientific note: this is because as the afternoon wore on the sun was lower in the sky.)  

Somewhere in my garage is a box with my mother’s carefully cataloged slides from family vacations.  I have not looked for the pictures she took that day with her trusty Instamatic camera.  Experience tells me that the Ektachrome slide film will be sadly faded.  Memories are better.

The truth is that we all stop to look at rainbows.  They fill us with awe, and joy, and a sense ofpeace. I’ve seen drivers pull over on a busy street to look at a rainbow, traffic slow on the freeway, and office workers stand in the rain to look for one.  Then we go indoors and we shake out our umbrellas and we ask each other “did you see the rainbow!?”

Weaving a rainbow:

Here's a nice photo of a rainbow at Bryce Canyon - (taken by someone else:)

 By Marc Averette (talk · contribs) - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Hike395 using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5588645

By Marc Averette (talk · contribs) - Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons by Hike395 using CommonsHelper., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5588645

Nature & Nurture

This is one of my favorite things in the world - a freshly dressed loom, ready for weaving to start.  

This is a world full of possibilities - innumerable possibilities (though not, as my mathematician husband reminds me, not ‘nearly infinite’).  A tabula rasa.  

But not quite.  Because although what you see appears to be identical white threads, there are differences lurking behind the reed.  Very much like every strand of DNA is made up of just 4 amino acids, and through their combinations, all life on earth is defined, each thread on the loom goes through a heddle on one of eight shafts.  The ordering of those threads defines part of the pattern of the weaving. 

This, along with the physical properties of the thread, and the closeness at which they are sett, make up the “nature” of the cloth.

Then, as I weave, I decide which shafts to raise when I treadle (actually, I’ve already decided the order in which they will be raised - and hope not to make any mistakes!), and which colors to weave, and which threads to use.  This is the “nurture” of the cloth.  

In weaving, as in life, choices are made moment by moment.  At any given point, I will have choices to make as I weave - which color to use, which treadle to press.  In the course of this weaving, about 168,000 choices total.  The sum of which will make up the totality of this cloth. 

The DNA of the cloth limits what it can be.  The warp is too narrow to make a shawl, to delicate to make a rug.  The threading cannot make lace or a herringbone twill.

But although the DNA limits what the cloth could be, it doesn’t define what it will be.  This warp would make nice towels or napkins, or a table runner, or even fabric for a blouse.   I don’t expect it will be any of those things, but the possibility is there.

A Promise

... or a Meteorological Phenomenon?

My first exposure to the story of Noah and the flood was in first grade Sunday School.  I don’t recall the exact details, but I’m fairly sure it included flannel animals going two by two into a flannel-graph ark.  What I do remember clearly is the end of the story.  The teacher told us how God put a rainbow in the sky as a promise that He would never again destroy the earth with a flood.  

But then the teacher to it a step further and said something that wasn’t strictly speaking necessary.  She told us that this was the first rainbow ever - that there had never been any rainbows before that one in the history of the world.  And I remember thinking “that doesn’t make any sense.”

(Note: Bruce tells me that this is a common interpretation of the scripture.  I don’t get that.  You can decide for yourself - Genesis 9:8-17.)

A few years later, in an elementary school science lesson, our teacher showed us how a prism broke apart light and made a rainbow.  It was a particularly rainy year and I remember the class going outside to the playground to look at a rainbow in the sky.  The teacher explained how the rain in the sky acted like the glass prism and broke apart the sunlight to make the rainbow.

Click. I remembered the Sunday School lesson.  Now I knew why it didn’t make sense. 

But here’s the thing - and why it wasn’t necessary for my Sunday school teacher to chance her arm - because whatever else it is, a rainbow is a promise.  A promise that after the deluge, the sun does shine.  That after years of drought, the water and the sunlight together will bring green growth and bright wildflowers to the hillsides.  That when all around us is chaos and devastation, and everything seems hopeless, yet there is still hope.  And that is God’s promise to all of us.  

 A rainbow of hand-dyed yarn for my next weaving project.

A rainbow of hand-dyed yarn for my next weaving project.

Immersion

I woke up this morning to the sound of rain on the roof.  This has always been a magical sound, and afters years of drought, a most welcome one.  Eventually the sound ebbed.  I got up to boil water for a cup of tea.

I just cut a project off the loom - a wool scarf for my husband Bruce.  I’m done weaving - but I’m not finished!  “Wet finishing” is next, a crucial step in the process of making fabric.  

This is not just washing, although there is an element of that.  You see, the yarn remembers.  Remembers being spun, being stretched into a warp, wound around beam and bobbin.  The threads of the cloth lie next to each other, only reluctantly going over and under.  But they are still thread - not yet cloth.

The weaving goes into the warm soapy water.  Pushed down, swirled in the water, gently squeezed.  This is no sprinkling, but full immersion.  Eventually, the threads relax, their roles as warp and weft forgotten, they lie comfortably together.  The over and under of the weaving becomes part of who they are.  In the case of wool, they can literally become part of each other.  

A couple of rinses and it’s done.  There may be future washes to clean and freshen, but this is the “finishing” - the transformation from thread to cloth.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday after Epiphany - the day in the year when we remember the baptism of Our Lord.  We will be told “remember your baptism, and be grateful.”  It is one of my favorite Sundays of the year.  There have been other baths, and showers, and soaking in hot tubs.  There may even be a few moments standing in the rain, and being grateful for that.  But there is only one baptism.

Scarf for Chelsea

At last - I can talk about it.

I don’t often take commissions for my woven clothing.  My projects are usually planned out well in advance, using the same threading for several variations to save warping time.  But when my friend Risé asked me to weave a special scarf for daughter Chelsea for Christmas, I readily agreed.

The parameters were simple - it had to be long enough to wrap, drape well, and be in Chelsea’s favorite colors of purple and orange.

Because Chelsea has a flame spirit, I chose a weave structure called an “undulating point twill” - sometimes called a “flame twill” because the points resemble the fingers of a fire.  I invited Risé to help paint the warp, gradually transitioning from purple to orange.  The weft was dyed a deep purple.

I decided to use Tencel because it has a nice sheen, and drapes better than silk.  The warp was sett at30 ends per inch, using 16 shafts on my AVL Little Weaver loom.  

The finished scarf is just about 90 inches long - long enough to wrap and tie.  I am absolutely thrilled with the way it turned out.  

For such a time as this

I wove on the red Star of Bethlehem stole last night, the news playing in the background.  

Red is the liturgical color symbolizing the presence of the Holy Spirit.  Is it worn at Pentecost, at ordinations, confirmations and on the feasts of martyrs.  As I wove, the words of a modern hymn repeated in my mind.

“Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down
Oh, Comforter and Friend
How we need Your touch again
Holy Spirit, rain down, rain down”

As the news drew to its conclusion, I felt with certainty, and in dread, that Krystallnacht is coming.  And I prayed that like the faithful Christians of 1930’s Germany, that I would have the strength to be a martyr if I were called to such a task.  Finally, I could not continue and went to bed.

I took up my Bible, but the specified daily reading from the Gospel of Luke did not speak to me.  I turned instead to the book of the Prophet Micah.  In this book, Micah predicts the inevitable destruction of Israel and Judah, and the once mighty kingdoms that they built there laid waste.  

In the midst of this there is a bridge.  The question is asked “With what shall I come to the Lord?”  And the answer is given:

“He has told you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justice, to love kindness, 
And to walk humbly with your God?”

For many years this has been my daily prayer, with a coda of the Psalmists prayer: “Show my your ways, O Lord.” Usually - frustratingly - the answer has been marked with silence.  But last night there was an answer:  “You have been praying this, for all this time, for this time.  To guide you and strengthen you for the days to come.”

A couple of weeks ago, my Pastor said prophetically - and in a context that was both the same and different - that she believes that we have been put here “for such a time as this” - smiling at me as she quoted from the Book of Esther.  

And so it was all put together:  For such a time as this we are strengthened by the Holy Spirit to do what the Lord requires of us.  To do justice.  To love kindness.  To walk humbly with our God.  

And then I slept.  Only to wake early with these words formed.  They are very personal, and I wasn’t sure if I should share them.  But as they have been entered onto the page, I realize that they haven’t been given to me for me alone.  And so, now, my friends, they are also for you.

 Red Star of Bethlehem stole.

Red Star of Bethlehem stole.

Gone Silent

Looms can be noisy beasts.  Depending on which loom I’m using it either clicks and clacks or thumps and bangs.  For the past couple of weeks, I just can’t bear the idea of the noise.

The world is noisy enough these days.  It’s almost impossible to avoid the anger and angst of this election season.  Everyone seems worn down to their last nerve.  

I have retreated to the gentle whir of my spinning wheel.  The wool I am spinning is white and fluffy and soft as down.  I sit at the wheel and treadle - not too fast, not too slow, just right. Treadle one, I draft out a little fiber, open my fingers and the twist turns the fluff into fine thread.  Treadle two, the new thread flows onto the bobbin.  Repeat.  Over and over again.

Eventually, slowly, the bobbin fills with thread.  Eventually the talking heads, the irate Facebook memes are silent.  There is just the soft whir of the wheel.

Too neat, or not too neat...

There's an article that's been circulating on my Facebook feed all day.  It references "new" research that indicates that messy people may be more creative than neat freaks.  (Actually the research was published in 2013, but that's neither here nor there.)

I could be a little bit depressed by this, as I pretty much spent all day cleaning the house.  I have to report that there are NO SPOTS on my kitchen faucet.  We had take out for dinner just so I could enjoy the clean kitchen a little bit longer.  

I realized that this is a ritual cleansing.  One that I follow whenever I complete a project.  Last night I cut the purple Star of Bethlehem stole off the loom - today I cleaned.  

Entropy happens as I weave.  It's almost as if the energy spent organizing the threads in a carefully controlled over/under state must inevitably be accompanied by an increase in disorganization in my surroundings.  There are threads on the floor and more than a few pins.  Empty bobbins rattle around my work table. There are dirty dishes in the sink and dust everywhere.

 My loom room in an exceptionally neat state.

My loom room in an exceptionally neat state.

But when I'm done, I clean. Weaving tools are put away. Threads and the dust bunnies under the loom are vacuumed up. I cannot start or even think about my next project until this happens. 

If I rush it, if I charge into a new project with the mess of the old one still present in my space and in my mind, I become frustrated.  The tool that I need is not where it should be when I reach for it.   I step on a pin in my bare feet.  My dirty house depresses me, and I cannot create.

Everyone is different.  My husband seems to thrive in his messy study.  It's unfair, really, that I dragged him along in my cleaning frenzy.  But, in my defense, I don't make him clean his room.  

I'm sure it's a perfectly fine psychological study.  But a mess is not for me.  You can be creative in your mess if you want to.  But as for me, now that it's cooled off a bit, I'm going to go mop the kitchen floor.

 

I never saw a purple star...

Sometimes I pray when I weave.  Sometimes I sing.  Sometimes I hold weird, random conversations with myself.  Like this:

Is it weird to be weaving a star pattern in purple?  What about green?  I mean there are red stars, and yellow stars, a even blue stars.  But are there purple stars?  

“I never saw a purple star, I never hope to see one,  but I can tell you anyhow…” No, stop that’s just silly.

So I call to my husband, who is doing dishes in the kitchen.  “Bruce, are there such a thing as purple stars?”  Bruce is an optical physicist by training, I figure it’s the next best thing to having an astrophysicist in the house.  You’d be surprised how useful it is.

Well, he explained, all stars have some purple light in them, and there are some stars called blue hypergiants.  Some of those stars have a lot of light in the violet end of the spectrum, but our eyes see blue better than purple, so that’s what we see.  

Those blue hypergiant stars are very rare and very, very big. For example if you put a blue hypergiant star in the center of our solar system, the surface of the star would be somewhere in the neighborhood of Jupiter.  Hypergiants are the savants of the stellar world - they burn hot and bright, but burn out after just a few million years. 

This is a picture of Eta Carina, the largest known star in the universe.  It used to be the brightest object in the southern sky, but not any more.  Eta Carina gives off so much gas it has it’s own nebula fan club.  

They can call it “blue” if they want to.  I say it’s purple.

Eta Carina Nebula" by Clem Brazil is licensed under CC BY 2.0

When I consider your heavens,
    the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
    which you have set in place,
what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
    human beings that you care for them?      Psalm 8:3-4

Weaving in prayer and penitence

Today I started weaving the purple Star of Bethlehem stole.  It seems appropriate on this day to weave in the color of prayer and penitence.   

As I weave, I am listening to Taizé chants, and I pray.  

  • I pray for my enemies - as we are commanded to do.  May they experience God’s mercy and compassion, who have shown neither.  I pray for the grace to forgive them, for as we forgive, so shall we be forgiven.
  • I pray for forgiveness - for myself and our nation.  In the madness of grief and anger we repaid death for death, and a hundred times over.  We rained down vengeance on the guilty and the innocent.  May the words “Never again” reflect not only our resolve to protect lives and our shores, but our resolve to behave justly and with mercy to all people and all nations.  
  • I pray for everyone everywhere who has suffered loss, and pain and injury as a result of that terrible day.  May God grant them new life, and that abundantly.

These are the prayers that are woven into this stole on this day.

As I weave the Taizé choir sings:

Wait for the Lord, Whose day is near.
Wait for the Lord. Keep watch, take heart.

Process Stories: Step away from the loom

This is a process story.  If you don't like process stories, you can take a look at the picture, then scroll to the next post.  But if you want to know what a weaver sometimes goes through, then...

Sometimes you just have to take a step back, to walk away.

I’ve had a situation like that recently.  I’m a pretty careful weaver.  I have an Excel spreadsheet that I use to calculate how much warp and weft I need for each project.  I weigh my yarns, start and finish. I make samples. 

Recently, I started a new line of liturgical stoles.  I made the first stole - the gold and white Star of Bethlehem stole - from materials I had on hand.  I weighed my weft yarn before I started and when I finished, so I knew exactly how much I used.  Based on this, I ordered more yarn.  When it came, I measured off what I used before, plus a 10% cushion, three times, and died the yarns for the red, green and purple stoles.  

I tied on the green warp and started weaving the green stole.  It wasn't long before it became evident that I would run out of weft yarn before the stole was finished.  What went wrong?  I had measured, I had weighed, I double checked all of my calculations.  Everything thing was correct.  But that didn’t change the fact that I would run out of yarn about 8 inches before the optimal length for a stole.   

So I looked carefully at the weaving.  Two things were happening. One, the weft was packing in more densely - not much, but enough to be noticeable.  Close examination showed that the 20/2 silk from my stash that I used for the warp of the white and gold stole was just a little heavier than the recently purchased yarn for the green warp.  I don’t know why.  Probably for the same reason that cans of tomatoes are smaller and there’s now just four pounds of sugar in a five pound sack.  Finer warp means more closely packed weft for the same amount of coverage.  

The second thing was that the dyed yarn was more pliable than the white yarn for the first stole.  More pliability meant that the went over and under the warp threads on a more curved path.  Imagine a windy road versus a straight one.  The windy one is longer going between two points than the straight road.  Between these two things, I was using up yarn faster than I should have been.  

What to do?

I admit, I was tempted to cut the whole thing off, fold it up, put it away and never look at it again.  What I did instead was walk away from the loom.  I got out my spinning wheel and some lovely fine merino top from my stash.  I spun for a week.  I tried not to think about the loom in the other room.   But in the back of my mind, I formed a plan.

But that trick never works!

I decided to dye up some more yarn.  I didn’t need much.  It was likely - even probable - that the second batch would not match the first, but I didn’t have much to loose.

I’m very systematic about my dye process. I weigh my fibers to the gram with a digital scale.  I measure my dye stock solutions to the milliliter with a syringe.  I keep careful notes.  Even so, rarely do yarns dyed separately come out the same.  That’s why commercial yarns have dye lot numbers.  And with a solid colored project, any variation is immediately noticeable.  But, again, not much to loose.

Then a miracle happened:

It worked!  

I just finished weaving the last eight inches of the green stole and cut it off the loom.  I feel an incredible sense of relief.  I’m also really glad I took the time to walk away.  Even though it put me behind schedule, it gave me perspective and a chance to consider my options, formulate a plan and the inner calm to successfully carry it out.