Strength in the Struggle
Hello again! So much to talk about today. So much to catch up on since I last blogged! Let’s begin, and above all, let’s hope it makes sense. 🙂
I’ve been busy acquainting myself with my new loom; and as you know from my last blog, I am a newbie when it comes to the life of Mirrix-ing. When my loom first arrived overwhelmed would be an understatement. Looking back I am not quite sure what made me so afraid of beginning? There aren’t realllllyyy that many parts, there aren’t a million tools involved—yet it took me several ‘attempts’ to actually get started. And by ‘attempts’ I mean I opened the box, and looked at it…and decided I needed to take a break, and breathe. Removed it from the box, and decided that maybe if I lay everything out neatly, then things will flow from there. Oh! Perhaps if I name her, we’ll become more familiar, some sort of synergy will be achieved, and I’ll be on my way. FOLKS. I LITERALLY NAMED MY MIRRIX LOOM ‘PEARL’. It’s ok to laugh. Why was I having such a hard time just *starting* to put my loom together?
Because the ‘starting’ of something new, is always the hardest step. What you imagine in your head is always scarier than whatever it is you are about to embark on, 100% of the time.
After 2 episodes of Little House on the Prairies, 3 Frontlines, 1 British period drama and an episode of The Great British Baking Show—my loom was assembled. Now friends, and those who may have friends considering a Mirrix, or those who are new to their Mirrix, I have made all the mistakes so that you don’t have to. I have shouldered all the pre-assembly jitters, so that you may bypass those feelings completely. I can honest-to-goodness say—it’s not as hard as your brain may fool you into thinking it is.
There are an abundance of resources available on the Mirrix website to help guide you through your first time assembling, and warping the loom. I wanted to go through a few of them; I was curious as to which would work best for me. There were plain written instructions that came with the Mirrix—spoiler, I basically knotted myself to my Mirrix. Next I tried the .pdf guide available online that was a mixture of pictures and written instructions. I was excited—looked simple enough, and I got very ‘confident’ and completed warping it in record time (3 Frontlines). BUT. As I looked and admire my hard work, and moved my shedding device back and forth—I realized it did not indeed move back and forth as it should. I couldn’t figure out what I did wrong—until I consulted the video. LITERALLY one of the first things our dear Claudia says is “this is the most common mistake”, and that is indeed what I had done…all the way to the end.
So I unraveled it (half a British period drama) and began to re-warp using the video, and learned that I am a visual learner. Just watching the video twice gave me what I needed to quickly warp (.5 Brittish Period drama+food break; 2 Great British Baking Shows) and I was ready to get started. I’m excited that I ‘struggled’ through, because I learned a lot about the way the loom works, and how its design is literally ingenious. It was nice to actually understand the schematics of how it works. I am in awe of how Claudia carefully crafted it, making sure to cover every possible need for each component of the device and user. While exploring it and seeing how it functions, it was nice and grounding to think of this beautiful piece of art and how she carefully engineered it with such love, so that she could continue to craft something else that she loves doing. It is what makes it possible to have a portible loom that produces such profesh looking results.
I know a little of my intense apprehension when starting new things has a bit to do with my Multiple Sclerosis, and the fact that I have had to literally ‘relearn how to learn things’ due to the way the disease damages your brain. But, I’ve also learned that taking the time to ‘struggle’ through things, whatever these ‘things’ are, is empowering.
After you finally push through and finish you’re a little bit stronger, knowing that you stuck with it, however big or little ‘it’ was. I think that is a lesson that anyone can take along with them, and remember through any project they embark on.
Multiple Sclerosis has changed the way I do everything. Everything. A lot of people don’t know (and I didn’t know until I had it!) that it can affect you cognitively, not just physically. And that is tough. I am only just learning that I can still do a lot of what “I use to do”, I just have to find new ways to adapt—and I just have to stick with it. And I urge you to “stick with it” too. I urge you to venture out, “struggle through it” and gain strength through that struggle to move forward and use it towards your next challenge. Luckily, there are tons of resources on the Mirrix website to help get you (and I) inspired, and even help you to build on skills you already have.
After warping my loom I was excited to start weaving, anddddd created something incredibly horrifying—because I have that problem where you jump in head first into creative projects with little planning and just a ‘vision’ in your head’! I had to restart, and brilliantly thought that you were suppose to cut the heddles—which surprise you are not. Little did I know (or take the time to read because of my excitement) that these are made to last you forever! So I had to order new ones. They have honestly thought of everything. If you can put together a children’s furniture, or toy (because we all know those were created purely to torture and confuse parents) then you can put together a Mirrix.
So below, I present to you my first, full weaving. I wanted this to be rather simple, and to focus more on exploring different textures, and what sort of ‘freestyling’ would look like in certain areas. My hopes are to later sketch designs when Pearl and I become more aquainted, and incorporate these textures and teqniques into the designs. I know I am no where near the level of expertise of my amazing fellow social market for a Mirrix participants. It’s intimidating, but also exciting, because there’s nothing better than having goals to strive towards and achieve. I made some mistakes (ugh, the hourglass phenomenon), and more—but again, it’s a learning curve (who came up with that term? I’d like a new one).
If you have any suggestions for me, on how to avoid the hourglass pitfalls, or anything else feel free to comment below! The bubble technique is a little bit different on the mirrix, but I’m sure with time, I shall achieve those coveted parallel lines! Critique and a great dialogue between creatives is a great way to learn—and it’s one of the perks of being in the ‘weaving family’!
Until Next time!