Thursday, November 8, 2012

How do you define slow?

As I was laying out ribbons for another Free Lace scarf, I began musing about how differently people perceive various (art) projects as quick (and easy) or slow (and tedious).  I began thinking about this because these scarves feel very quick to me--I have finished two already this week and am starting a third.  And yet I spend literally hours very carefully laying out the ribbons to make a pleasing pattern.  If they ever watched me as I do this, many people would say the process is very slow and think it tedious and boring.  Yet because I usually work on jackets and feel very productive if I finish two in a month, these scarves feel very fast to me.  One more example in life, of "it's all relative."
Here's a picture of the scarf that I just finished.  This is another one that was inspired by one of my jackets--specifically the thread couching pattern I used on it.

As I said it took me hours to lay out the ribbons to make all those box patterns, but to me it was far from tedious or boring.  I loved watching the pattern grow and seeing the interplay of the colors.  Working on something like this really helps me to live in the present moment, paying attention to and deriving joy from the details.  So this part of laying out the pattern and then doing the stitching to hold everything together is the calming, meditative part of the project.
The "rush" comes when I wash away the stabilizer to see the completed scarf, and again when I put it together with the jacket that inspired it.  Here's the combination for this scarf.
I was happy enough that I decided to make another one something like it - but I'm trying triangles this time - and very different colors.

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