“When the student is ready…

…the teacher will appear.”

It’s a pretty famous Buddhist saying. And it just became real for me.

When I posted my 2010 wannas, one of the things I mentioned was that I wanted to learn new weaving techniques. And that I’d joined a Su Butler’s napkin exchange as one concrete strategy to help me do so. I’d already told Su that block weaves was one of the options for things that I’d like to try.
block theory book
I hadn’t done any block weaving before. The last few times I’d looked at that chapter in Deborah Chandler’s Learning To Weave book, she may as well have been speaking Zubulian — I didn’t understand anything she was trying to tell me.

At the February Southern Tier Fiber Arts Guild meeting, I asked a woman if she had a good handle on block theory, figuring I could get the concept if someone was telling me vs. reading a book. Unfortunately, she didn’t.

handwoven magazineA few days later I got the new issue of Handwoven, and there were designs in there that were similar to what I had in mind for the napkins. So I got out my graph paper and started drawing, thinking that was the place to start.

Hah! I couldn’t even replicate the design in the magazine, much less create one of my own! And I sure wasn’t any closer to understanding what the heck I was doing.

So I pulled out Chandler’s book again. I started reading. Still looked like Zubulian to me.

block draftThen all of a sudden something clicked and those foreign characters start to turn into English! I went back to the graph paper again, and could actually draw something that made sense! And I understood that each of those graph paper squares represents 4 threaded heddles and 4 throws of the shuttle, and how to plan all that detail.

Amazingly, within about 24 hours, I got an email hawking a new book – delivered electronically in PDF format – all about weaving block theory.

I haven’t yet figured out how many threads I’ll need in the napkins, so haven’t begun to do the final planning yet, but I KNOW I can design what I want. Even more surprising to me, I know that there’s at least an 85% chance that the design in my head can be woven on my beloved four-harness counterbalance loom.

Sometimes life is sweet. I try to really appreciate it when it is.

4 comments to “When the student is ready…

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