Labor Intensive

Sine WaveSine Wave, 34 in x 62 in

Recently I was asked by a friend to help with a presentation about weaving to an art group . The presentation was divided into two parts: the actual weaving part and the dyeing part. I was in charge of dyeing, and my friend did the weaving part. During and after the presentation, many people commented on how labor intensive the process is. Several stated that they wouldn’t have the patience. I don’t consider myself the most patient of people, but I guess I look upon the dyeing as kind of a scientific experiment. Why I use science as a descriptor, I don’t know, since science or math were never strong subjects for me. But on the topic of labor intensive, we weavers are always asked the perennial question is, “How long did (so and so) take?” I’ve started asking, “Which part? The dyeing, the planning, the weaving, or the finishing?” All of this came to mind after a comment by Meg on the Conan O’Brien video. How do YOU answer the how-long-does-it-take question?

6 thoughts on “Labor Intensive

  1. Meg in Nelson

    A couple of years ago at our local Weavers, Spinners and Woolcrafters (guild) meeting, a couple of older friends approached me and asked/commented, “Are you still weaving?” and I said, “Yes, of course, I couldn’t think of doing anything else.” To which these lovely two ladies replied, “oh, we love woven things, but we gave it up; we’re not felters. We don’t have the patience.”

    I have such a short fuse sometimes my friends get alarmed by me, and sometimes I start to laugh at how quickly my attitude can change, but I take it my weaving is the same logic as impatient men and fishing.

    At least we both get to sit!

  2. Sherri Woodard Coffey

    I love to fish, too, but the kind of fishing we do here in Texas (bass fishing) means that’s it’s very active. None of that sitting, waiting for a bobber to move. Still, there’s something meditative and peaceful about both activities. I will admit, that sometimes I don’t have the concentration for weaving, but usually, when I get started, it all comes back.

  3. Donna Kallner...

    I’m married to a fly fisherman so I love this analogy. As for me, when I’m asked “how long did it take” I try to remember to say something like this:

    You know, I enjoyed every minute I worked on it and the years I’ve spent exploring this technique. But it’s like having kids: If you kept track of nothing but what it takes to get them raised, nobody would do it. And I wouldn’t wish for anyone to miss out on the pleasure of this kid of work because they only saw that other part of it.

    That’s what I mean to say. Usually, though, I just stammer and blather something else.

  4. dannie woodard

    Enjoying the variety of information!
    Glad you did “get it together” in time to mete the show’s deadline, but oh, my, Texas weather! Ship your stuff and the weather will be balmy; hand deliver and we can count on an ice storm! Good luck!

  5. Sherri Woodard Coffey

    Laura, I have a friend who says she has “selective” patience. I think that sums it up for me, also.

    Mother, I’ve seriously considered shipping, but it’s soooo expensive. Guess I’ll take my chances–but then I remember last year’s experience! But they say we’re supposed to have a warmer winter this year. One of the niño/a-s.


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