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If you can say it…

Moving forward on my third custom order, the same woman who wanted the rice bamboo scarf also wanted one in snow white. I wanted to give her some diversity – not the same weaving pattern in both scarves.

So I played with my weaving software, Fiberworks, to come up with a design that I liked. Here’s what I decided on.
bamboo weaving draft
While it may just look like an interesting design to many, this type of graphic tells a weaver how to thread and treadle her loom to achieve the pattern.

So I prepared the warp, dressed the loom, and was off and running.

Uh oh. It was IMPOSSIBLE for me to see the pattern in white on white as I was weaving.
white bamboo scarf on loom
I tried squinting, tilting my head, moving the light — all tricks I’ve used successfully with other weaving patterns. No luck.

The only way for me to see this pattern was to get up and walk about 3 feet from the loom, then catch the fabric at quite an angle.
white bamboo on loom oblique
Now it’s perfectly clear! And lovely, if I do say so myself.

But with 30 rows to a pattern repeat and no way to see it as I wove, the odds of making a treadling mistake were great.

So I reverted to a lesson from my original weaving teacher: “if you can say it, you can do it.” I sat there at my loom saying, “1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 4. 1, 2, 1, 2, 3, 4, 3, 4. 1, 2, 1. 4, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1, 2, 1. 4, 3, 4, 3, 2.” As I was saying those numbers, my feet were moving to those treadles.

Interestingly, if what my voice was saying (yep, I was saying it out loud) didn’t match what my feet were doing, some part of my head knew it, and made me stop. My voice was always right, my feet were always wrong. By saying it, I never had to go back more than 1 row.

I wonder how far that morsel of advice – if you can say it you can do it – applies. Will it work if I’m at the table and tempted to reach for a second helping I don’t need? Will it help me to express kindness more often? I’m going to give it a try!

Your turn: have you used advice given in one area of your life to improve another?
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3 comments to If you can say it…

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