I was working hard this evening, racing to finish the current shawl I have on the loom before it got too dark to see what I was doing. I've discovered that it is so much easier to weave in real light, whether it is flooding in from the skylights in the castle in Colorado, out on the deck in Louisiana or glinting off the roof rack of the truck, where-ever we happen to be.
I love the way the morning light comes in the skylights of the booth in Colorado. It is so relaxing to weave there. I also love weaving on the deck in Louisiana. Because we are there in November and December, I am always racing the dark - trying to finish a weaving. The days are so short then. But now, at the time of year when they are the longest - I still push the curtain as far as I can.
There are many cultures where weaving is done only in daylight, or it is forbidden to weave under artificial lights. It is easy to think this is superstition - until you try it. It is so much easier to see your threads and the by-play of the colors and the patterns in daylight.
So, I have begun to limit my weaving to between dawn and dark. Right now, with shawls selling well at the Colorado Renaissance Festival, I am frequently at my loom to watch the sun rise between the cracks in the castle wall. I can only weave for an hour or so at a time, before my neck, or knees, or feet or hips begin to ache. So I weave a while and then go work on crocheting, or paying bills or updating the ebay store or packing orders for a bit - then I go back to the loom for another stint.
I've learned to accept the limits that my physical body imposes on my weaving, too. It would be so easy to stand at the loom for hours on end, if my joints didn't let me know in no uncertain terms that it is not ok! I used to fret at it, but now I call it balance. Really, there is always plenty of work to do, moving, standing or sitting - take your pick.
But tonight, I really wanted to have that shawl done. I pushed until I was weaving mostly by feel. I strained my neck and my shoulders - reaching for that goal. It wasn't to be. There are 12 more passes to go on that shawl - they'll get finished in the early hours of tomorrow's daylight. It may be worth racing the dark, but there's no sense in getting frustrated about it. Tomorrow morning is as inevitable as tonight and if it isn't - well then frustration won't help there either.
So to finish that shawl - then on to the next one - I have greens, browns, purples and golds laid out, ready to blend on the palette of my triloom.
The pic is Quigley, looking like he is the proud creator of the new Ice Blue shawl that was just off the 7-foot loom this week.