In meditation this morning I was thinking about the importance of not-doing--those times when it is wiser to do nothing, to pause, to reflect. We are an action-oriented culture, and that bias for action is great under many circumstances, and disastrous under others.
It is a good thing I was thinking about this, as when I got to the studio today to work on the rug, it was the importance of UN-doing that came to mind.
The two concepts--not-doing and un-doing--are related. If, for example, I had taken the time to pause and reflect (not-doing) on the rug's defective borders (see my last entry, the Rug Rant), rather than plunging ahead, I would not have had to spend the day un-doing.
Here is the rug today as it was before I did anything to it:
No, no, no. Wonky up-and-down black border, drawn wrong by whoever created the pattern...and the black line doesn't leave enough room between itself and the motifs in the outer border.
I was trying to ignore this and keep going, rather than stopping and taking time to really reflect. I came in this morning after several days away and took one look and knew it was never going to work. I would never feel good about it if I tried to finish it this way. So...
Time to UN-do:
Out came the entire black line, all the way around the rug, PLUS a lot of the previously hooked rows that were near it. In other words, I took out a huge amount of hooking that I've done over the past couple of weeks. Disappointing, but necessary. The two piles show what I have removed. A lot!
If you allow your eye to travel down the photo towards the bottom, you'll see once more just how badly drawn the borders are--check out how many times this border has been redrawn by whoever put this pattern on the linen. SHAME ON THEM.
I knew there was really no other option than to redraw every border on the rug myself, and then re-hook the black line and re-hook the interior spaces that I had already hooked. This will leave me more room for the border motifs. Otherwise, the design will be crushed due to uneven lines. I do not have nice words for the original drafter of this pattern--really there is just no excuse for selling something like this.
After pulling out rows and rows of hooking, I set the rug down on the table and began redrawing the borders, first with pencil and later with a red pen. What was so frustrating was how easy it was to re-draw the borders straight and evenly by just putting my pencil in a linen "ditch" and just dragging it across. Because of linen's even weave, this step is a cinch. How could the pattern drafter have been so unable to do this?
One side, though, has such unevenness that I had to fudge things, jumping from one row in the ditch to another, in order to make the border even remotely straight. So sad that I was forced to do that when it could easily have been done correctly by the original drafter. This meant I also had to redraw some of the border motifs to get them to sit right within their newly allotted space. Then, once all that was done, I had to re-draw the outer border.
Here are a few of the corrections I made, in red. (More to come, alas) You can see where I've removed some of the identifying owner's marks just off the right hand side. Just glance around the outer borders and you'll see the start of all the corrections.
As I said in my last post, I simply cannot believe that the woman who owned this pattern business (she sold the business years ago) would produce something this shoddy. She is known for her quality work and teaching, and I respect her. I honestly don't understand what happened here, unless she hired someone very careless to produce this pattern.
To cheer myself up, I've been playing with a new app on my phone. More about that in the next post!
I'm a textile artist (traditional rug hooking, punch needle rug hooking, and other textile arts), long-time meditator and coach, focused on learning about the interplay of art, creativity, and mindfulness every day.
NEXT INTRO TO ZENTANGLE CLASS:
No immediate group classes scheduled (I'm always open to hearing about a good venue in the Cambridge-Somerville area). I am always happy to teach 1-1 and/or in a small group in your home.
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SITES TO WATCH:
Insight Meditation Society
Oxford Rug Hooking School
Zentangle: The Official Site
Green Mountain Rug Hooking
Massachusetts Tarot Society
Skillful Meditation Project