Notes on Horseback, Firing Arrows Into the Trees

Experiencing internet outage at home. Expect posting to be spotty, especially since Ghost doesn't allow scheduling or queueing yet. The cotton spinning continues to improve, although this week I haven't been able to put the time into it that I mean to. When I have to get out the door to do something, spinning is the part of my morning rituals that gets skimped on. Still, I finished a skein. I finished the wool for the Ghost Masks, and got about 70 yards before I called it done, because a mask doesn't take much, and I hate it when a spindle gets that heavy and the cop starts getting unmanageable and unwinding itself at the bottom. I don't understand how anyone fills a drop spindle so full the cop is sticking out beyond the whorl. Also, must remember that candy caning the yarn is more important with fat yarn, not less. I'm exploring the way Hellenic reconstructionism is practiced, so I can see what of it works for me. I keep being baffled by how they pick and choose which bits to keep and which to discard. Why leave behind watering the wine, when it's key to at least one myth and at least one major festival, and seems to have been an assumed part of every time anyone partook of wine, both a symbol and a practicality? Why stress the importance of miasma (ritual impurity or pollution) and katharmos (ritual cleansing), but then discard specific acts of katharmos that are part of specific festivals, because they are inconvenient? Why thus-and-such interpretation of one festival, without any support for it in the primary sources you cite for it? Because some scholar fifty or a hundred years ago interpreted it that way? What did he base it on? Other than UPG (unverifiable personal gnosis; there's an April Fool's joke in there somewhere about a Personal Gnosis verification service), how does one pick and choose, if one is trying seriously to reconstruct ancient practice? I don't get it. And it's one more reason I'm not a reconstructionist. I'm working on several posts about some of the specifics, and I suspect it's a theme I'll be returning to. I feel a little bad about them, because I really respect some of the people I'm planning on discussing the inconsistencies of, if only because those are the people I read most, and therefor see those inconsistencies from the most. And because the ones I have less respect for, I tend to laugh at more than think about. (Because holy crap, are some of the sites and claims out there absurd. Anyone that utterly dismisses a book as being "pure neopagan propaganda" is someone I simply cannot take seriously.) My mom has requested that the length of cloth I wove for her be turned into a bag, or sewn onto one. She loves bags, and can always use more, and that way she gets to show it off more. So now I need to find a tote the right size, or see if I have fabric stashed that will do for making one....

The Difference Between Failing, Giving Up, and Stopping Here

I've had multiple projects that I just had to call a stop to right where they were, recently. One was not a stop to the whole project, just to that bit. I've been carrying a spinning project with my tiny Jenkins Kuchulu in an Altoids tin. I had meant to keep spinning until I had a good-sized turtle (turtle is what you call the cop on a Turkish spindle) and the spindle started to slow, but the cop got too big for the Altoids tin to close properly, so I took it off and started a new one. The turtle eventually got wound into a skein and washed, and is lovely, but is not so long a skein as I might have liked. Next, it was the set of straps I mentioned in my last entry. I'd been having trouble with these from the beginning. I had a huge amount of trouble tensioning the warp evenly, which is absurd with a continuous warp, I had a hard time with the string heddles, everything. The weave-along I started them for was long over. They were making me crazy. I finally said Fuck It and cut them off the loom. I got about 16" of each one, and they vary in width from 3/4" to 1.5". One will be a choker for my wife, and the other is tied to my laptop bag, because somebody else at the place I'm trying to get a job at had the same bag. I rather like them, even if they never did turn into what I wanted them to be. And then I finally went back to the seascape cocoon shrug. Only it turned out that I had forgotten to release the tension, and several of the more delicate warp thread had snapped, some of them in the web. I spent half an hour or so trying to find ways to fix it, but the new threads of the same yarn kept snapping, too. Finally, when I was nearly crying, Kate suggested I just call this one done, too. This one was the hardest. I had plans for this. I wanted to make this into something wearable for my mom. I wanted this to be my first Saori clothing project. And I simply couldn't. The yarn was easy. I just stopped that skein right there. Fine. Doesn't matter. There's plenty more fiber, and I often work in short sections of one yarn. The straps were harder. I had to give up on the project, but at least it wasn't an important project. I still want to do straps for sandals at some point, but what the hell, I'll do them when I get that inkle loom I want. But this. This feels like a real failure. I did it anyway. I cut it off and knotted the fringe and washed it and all. But it still feels like failure. And I simply don't know what to do about that. Oh well. It's pretty. It's all a lesson in humility. Too sick right now to start anything new, but next I owe a devotional weaving to Hermes. I think I'll do that on the frame loom. I've been doing some reading on ancient Hellenic weaving, and some vase paintings show really very similar frame looms being used by young women for what is clearly fancy work. I've decided that I'm going to start collecting my loom waste and using it to make offering-weavings to Athene when I have enough, as thanks for the gift of my skill. Also considering dedicated my shuttles to her. Hellenes used to dedicate loom weights to her, but of course I don't have a warp-weighted loom. I've got some other posts waiting to be published, but I still want to get off Wordpress before posting too much more....

Seascape Cocoon Shrug

Oh, hey, project picture post time! This is for a cocoon shrug for my mom, and is the one I talked about in my last post, about the ocean. So, from the most recent back to the first, here are the pictures to date: I'm having fun with it. It's slow, though. It took something like 14 hours worth of work to get a yard of fabric. It's those curves. They take forever. I'm thinking of starting a smaller project on the copper loom, something arty. I've been rereading The Orphan's Tales books by Cat Valente, and may do something inspired by that. I'm thinking about the hunger of the mice. Could be fun. Dye some silk mawata, draft them out but don't spin them, and use them all fluffy for the colors the mice eat....