The bug that should not be able to fly...
Most people who know my 'story' know that this cloth was pivotal in my becoming a weaver in the first place.
Over the years, I have evolved. Changed. Sometimes back tracked, sometimes taken detours. But always coming back to weaving. And teaching.
My mother was a pretty good 'natural' teacher - before she went back to school to get her early childhood education certificate. But before that, she did a decent job of helping me learn to read when I was four, taught me how to cook, knit, sew.
She ran into a roadblock when it came to my brother, though. He didn't 'get' fractions and no matter how many times she tried to explain how they worked to him, he just didn't 'get' it.
I was ironing (one of my chores) while the two of them were at loggerheads over understanding how a fraction worked, and I listened to her explain them, over and over, but always in the same way. As I listened to them get more and more frustrated (to tears, for my brother), I could not understand how they couldn't see the obvious. The link between fractions and money.
Because my brother had a very good grasp of how money worked. That 25 cents was a 'quarter' of a dollar, obviously.
Finally, with my brother reduced to tears - and likely my mother - the two of them gave up and my mother asked me to try.
I hung up the shirt I'd just finished ironing, turned to my brother and said "I don't understand why you are having such difficulty with this because you already know how money works."
The two of them gave me blank looks.
"A dollar has how many cents?"
"Yes. And a quarter has how many cents?"
"How many quarters does it take to make a dollar?"
"So one quarter is one fourth of a dollar."
I watched his face grow thoughtful.
"How many quarters make half a dollar?"
"So two quarters equal half a dollar, how many quarters to make 3/4's of a dollar?"
"Therefore 25 cents is 1/4 of a dollar, 50 cents is 1/2 of a dollar and 75 cents is...?"
"Exactly. So you already know how fractions work."
It took me a long time to remember this interaction, but when I did I realized that I already knew how to explain things in more than one way. So when a weaving student didn't understand something, I always found a way to change the perspective. I did it without thinking too much about it until a weaving student told me one day that they appreciated how I didn't just keep saying the exact same thing - but louder - and instead had different ways of explaining things to help people understand.
It was only years later when I remembered the fraction story that I realized that I've always done this, only now I do it consciously, not instinctively.
Human beings are not meant to be stagnant in their learning. The whole point, as far as I can see, is to keep our brains active, to keep learning, to keep developing, to keep growing.
Now that I'm retired (for certain values of) my learning may have slowed. But the matrix series has certainly keep me thinking. I've been working with this weave structure (whatever it's called - still not sure what *to* call it - shifted twill blocks seems to describe it best) and still finding ways to manipulate it.
As I transition from using the mercerized cotton back to all unmercerized cotton and the change in epi, I find myself musing about other ways to push, pull and tug the twill 'line'. Seems I'm not quite done with this yet.
And that, my friends, is a Very Good Thing. IMHO.