Normally, and I'll be the first to admit this, I will get all fired up about one particular craft or pasttime and research it to exhaustion and then discard it (or not do it as much, at least) for a very long time. I can name about a dozen crafts I've done over the years--from making my own lip balm and lotions to polymer clay--that have been very interesting and instructive and fun, but in the end, were either not practical enough, too expensive, or too quickly exhausted learning-wise to last.
And I've dabbled in many more, like quilting or knitting or stamping. But none of those have stuck.
In truth, there haven't been many to stick around. Dollmaking is one of them, although I haven't made any dolls lately, I do intend to get back into the swing of things after I figure out how to spin yarn for doll hair and clean up my studio/fabric room again.
Crochet is another, although I'm a freeform crocheter more than anything, which isn't a bad thing at all. I think I will continue to make bears, because I like to make bears, and I'll continue to figure out how to reuse shrunken sweaters because I like to do that too. I may dabble in quilting again one of these days, but that's not where my focus lies at the moment.
I'm not sure about spooncarving; it's too new to decide, although I still haven't finished the spoon I was carving when I tried to cut off the tip of my finger. Although the finger in question is fine and has been fine for a while. :)
But I've been searching for a fiber craft for a while now, and I think I finally found it in weaving.
Yes, I know that I've only been weaving since May, or really June. I know that I've lost interest in things after a few years before (that happened with polymer clay, after all.) But I also have this feeling I can't quite describe when I'm warping my loom or sitting in my rocking chair listening to the quiet of the house and watching something take shape under my fingers. Or sitting on my stool at Ester's table and trying not to finish the sample right now, because it's supposed to be for the craft show. (And incidentally, that stool and table are very comfortable, by the way. Surprisingly so.)
I realize I still have to warp the big loom (whose name, of course, is Elizabeth) and weave a rug or two or three or four, but now that I know how to warp it, I'm feeling pretty confident in my abilities. I am thinking that if I do want to weave a rug for someone for Christmas, then after the last craft show should be my time to warp.
There is just something about weaving that denies impatience. In fact, there's something about weaving that laughs in impatience's face; one of those softly scornful sounds one would bestow upon a particularly ill-mannered child who wants so badly to eat the cake before it's baked, or so to speak.
You cannot rush weaving.
You cannot rush the warping of the loom; each individual strand of yarn or fiber has to be touched and coaxed through sometimes very small openings. You cannot rush the rolling of the warp lest your tension go funky and you end up having to unwind the whole lot. You cannot physically rush this sort of thing at all.
And there's something inherently satisfying about that; that in this high-speed world of ours, where you can buy a device that even bakes bread from 'scratch' in under 30 minutes, you cannot rush weaving.
Well, at least you can't rush weaving at my house. I'm sure by now they've invented self-warping looms and I know you can buy looms that are computer controlled, but in all honesty, where's the fun in that? If all the work is done for you; if all the anticipation is gone by the wayside, then weaving becomes something 'they' did in times past, instead of in times present and future.
(I actually feel the same way about the computer-driven quilting or embroidery machines, but that's really not the point of this post.)
The point of this post is that for me, weaving is the first craft I've done in which I haven't yet bestowed my rule that it has to pay for itself, at least in supplies. I have no doubt it will, at least in supplies, but this is the first craft I've attempted in a while that I haven't really bothered to pay attention about how much time it involves. That's because it's almost a meditation for me, to sit and weave or stand and warp. I can listen to silence, or the radio, or even to a CD by whomever I'm listening to at the time, and have fun doing it. It's not rushed. There is no rush.
This is also the first craft I've done that I can see myself doing all year long. Even dollmaking gets old after a while and I need to take breaks to refresh, and crocheting is a means to an end, not a meditation. But weaving? Ha. Maybe it's because there's so much more to learn; so many patterns to try; so many variations in looms.
Or, maybe I'm right and I've found my craft, at long last.
That would be nice.