• Julia Blake

Good Warping Morning

I'm in the early stages of a new commission piece, and I don't know if it's this spring weather or the lovely new mother I'm weaving for, but I've found myself in a very good headspace.

Winding a warp for the loom tends NOT to be most weavers' favorite activity (can a get an amen and woe betide a threading error or another broken warp thread). I actually tend to find it meditative and enjoyable, but I've been avoiding the task lately.

Weaving is a very physical activity. It has been 15 months since I threw my back out bending down to pick up a basket of laundry. Mind you, I didn't actually get to the basket before I found myself on the ground in a mild panic, unable to move, and calling for the lovely Mr. Blake to please bring painkillers and an ice pack after he had finished dragging me into pain-neutral position on our living room floor.

I'm STILL nursing the last vestiges of the injury, and I always know to expect minor flare-ups when it's time to put a new project on the loom. So I've been putting off winding this warp. My warping board is unusual (ie. actually a giant pegboard that is awkward to use, but was free and functional, so....).  I'm also not currently able to wall mount the board, so I'm using it in this bizarre vertical position which involves a lot of (very careful and core-assisted) bending over. This is my first long-ish project (9 yards) since my injury, and I've been ever so slightly terrified to start.

I wound 536 ends yesterday, stopping shortly after my back muscles started to really protest, carried on with my day, and went to bed knowing I would probably pay the price this morning.

The fruits of yesterday's labor

I'm plodding around like a 116 year old.

You know that feeling you get when you've been avoiding the gym for ages, and you finally decide, "Okay, I'm here, let's do this!" and you go all-out on a workout and wake up the next morning wincing because every muscle you have (and some you didn't know existed) are all "Haha, you out-of-shape fool, suck on this sweet revenge!" and you're literally dying inside because you have to poop and sitting down on the toilet is going to be excruciating? 

That's me right now. And it dawned on me that OMG, THAT'S ME RIGHT NOW! I'm on day 1 of my weaving workout plan. I'd never considered treating weaving as exercise, but it totally is. 

Not only that, all of the attentive bending yesterday had been eerily reminiscent of the Good Morning Lift I used to practice during my pre back injury gym-going days (which sounds very impressive, but in truth I was still a pretty squishy, weak human by most athletic standards).

So instead of curling up into a sad, sore ball of tight muscles on the couch, I got up and kept winding. And wouldn't you know it... it already hurts less than it did when I woke up. Good Morning indeed. With only 160-ish 9 yard long ends left to wind, I'm feeling great, and for the first time in a long time, a little bit strong. 

Introducing Potato: Quality Control Manager and Investigator Extraordinaire

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