It’s been awhile! I’ve been in a slump, weaving-wise, mostly because I’ve been teaching, which leaves time for basically nothing else. Also, I have to admit that I’ve been sulking on the Fire warp, because after tying 2,640 threads and then discovering I’ll have to completely redo it, well, wouldn’t anyone?
In the meantime, I’ve decided that I want to play a little bit with shaft weaving. I’ve realized that TC-2 jacquard looms have their limitations, and one of them is that they really don’t deal well with complex color patterning in the threading. That’s because they adjust the sett by dropping out threads. If the warp is solid colored or very simple color patterning (alternating colors, for example) that’s fine. If the color patterning is more complex than that, however, it will destroy your carefully arranged colors. So if you have to do any sett adjustments, you’re in trouble.
Because of that, I concluded that I do want a shaft loom for playing with complex color patterned shaft-woven designs, e.g. warp gradients with multiple color gradients (two color gradients I can do on the jacquard), echo weave, etc. I’ve done some work on Ruth, my 8-shaft Baby Wolf, but in the process, I’ve realized once again that I really don’t enjoy weaving on tied-up treadle looms.
So (history repeats itself!), I found and bought a new-to-me 24-inch, 24-shaft AVL Workshop Dobby Loom, which I flew out and purchased last Saturday and which is en route via UPS as I type. She should arrive on Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to weaving on her! Breaking with my mathematical tradition, I’m naming her Iris, after the goddess of the rainbow. I figure that’s a good patron for a color teacher.
What to put on her first? Not sure, but I may start exploring echo weave. I’ve never done anything with echo weave yet, but I’ve been curious about it for ages.
In January I’m starting a new class, not weaving related but which promises to be extremely interesting. It’s the altMBA, put on by Akimbo, a company started by Seth Godin, who is an Internet marketing guru I’ve been following for quite some time. Seth is of the (very strong) opinion that modern education has it all wrong: it’s about creating conforming, compliant workers rather than leaders. (See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXpbONjV1Jc for his excellent 15-minute TED talk on the subject.) The altMBA is his 1-month workshop answer to the MBA: the kinds of things the MBA should teach. It’s not about teaching particular topics: it’s about how to think about various business-related topics. You get thirteen “prompts” over 31 days, and you work on them in small groups with your cohort. I had wanted to do it for years, but until now I never had enough unstructured time to do it. But here I am, and I’m doing it starting January 17th.
What made me decide to do it was seeing one of the prompts, on decisionmaking. The description itself is 9 pages long, all packed with brilliant insights. It starts with the point that making a decision is a choice in itself, and not making a decision (or deferring a decision) is a legitimate choice, but one that should be taken consciously, not just “kicking the can down the road” because we’re sticking our heads in the sand. So look for unmade decisions.
Then, there’s the point that good decisions are not the same as good outcomes. Good decisions are ones where you used the right decisionmaking process and had good data. Good outcomes are where you got lucky and things turned out well.
Then they talk about sunk costs – the cost of prior decisions that may bias our next decision even though they’re irrelevant now. And then the importance of how you frame the problem, with examples.
And then they have you reflect and discuss several past decisions – both yours and others’ – before tackling a decision that you yourself are facing, with specific guidelines and insights about the decisionmaking process.
You write up your thought process and decision, post it in the discussion forum, and get at least 5 comments back from people in your discussion group. Then, two days later, once you’ve had a chance to think about what they’ve said, you post your reflections in the forum.
And then you write up and ship another prompt. Every 2-3 days you do a prompt, for 31 days.
What I love about the idea of this workshop is that it isn’t teaching you how to do things. I can figure out how to do things. How to do things is easy once you figure out the right Google search term and find the right class or YouTube video. How to think about things is hard, and that’s what I think the altMBA is teaching.