Post #3203: Pandemic winter is coming

The province announced new health orders yesterday, limits on gatherings indoors specifically, and I realized that we really are back in this thing. It’s not as though I would have many people into my home these days in any case, but the formalizing of that into a mandatory order changes the weight of things. At the same time, the weather has suddenly gotten very cold and although it is just October it feels very wintery which I wasn’t ready for. While things are always quiet on these islands by this time of year, it’s feeling exceptionally so with no weekly open mic, no restaurants to pop into for some socializing, no impromptu gatherings of friends. At least we live in a place with a lot of outdoors and a few of our friends have covered firepits, so chats around a fire, long walks in the woods, and the occasional bright day kayak are all possible realms of social interaction as we head into these darker months.

My intention/word for 2020 was “rooted” by which I meant grounding down in the place where I live and really making my focus here instead of elsewhere. When I chose that word back in December, I had no idea how bound by place, very specifically my home and neighbourhood, I would be in 2020.

On the plus side, all this quietude is good for re-finding time to sew and weave. Last night I did some winding of warp chain which is always a meditative way to spend an hour in the studio. I’m winding on my longest warp ever (13 metres) for these Jane Stafford tea towels. I never buy weaving kits, but I was taken by these and I’m curious about weaving off thirteen different patterns from a single warp so I’m going to put these towels in the small loom and they will be my winter project.

As for the bigger loom I bought not so long ago, I’m waiting for a piece of equipment that will make it easier to warp on a sectional beam (the AVL warping wheel). If that doesn’t show up soon though I think I’ll just put a warp for a bathmat on it so I can play around some more. I have been threading white and black beads on the treadle cords, and the next step is to find 10 long knitting needles at the thrift store. These are used for something known as the Vavstuga tie-up system and I’ve found this system does make tying up a countermarch loom much easier. (Tying up is the process by which you attach the food pedals (treadles) to the shafts (the part that holds the threads in place and moves up and down) to produce the shed (the opening that passes the shuttle through in weaving cloth).

Given the need to settle in for awhile longer, I’m glad to have projects to focus on in addition to some household organizing I want to get done over the next couple of months. I can’t say I feel “inspired” exactly. Resolved might more accurately describe my mood. Not feeling negative, just a bit flat as I look out onto the grey horizon that I know will be my primary view for sometime to come.

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