It is the year of our Lord 1350. Only the few who possess literacy know that fact. To most, it is irrelevant. Recurrence of the Black Death is the most important news item passed from inn to hovel, to convent and monastery.
She sleeps in her habit, as do all the nuns. Blankets are thin, worn and not oft-replaced. This irony passes through her thoughts as she awakens quickly in the grey pre-dawn. Her primary task is healer. She collects herbs and roots, bark, raw ingredients that go to the nostrums that will make the sisters' illnesses and pains easier to bear. Her second task during the long dark evenings is to help the weavers keep up with cloth-making.
She resents every moment away from her parchments. A passing merchant sold a battered but legible copy of Galen's treatise on plague to the nuns. She hopes to find wisdom that will help her decrease the fearsome death toll from the disease. The making of cloth is important to the convent; winter is coming. But the text needs to be translated, and ingredients gathered, before winter withers and covers the meadows and forest floors. That, plus she does not like the tedium of the warp and weft.
There will never be enough time in the day, she muses. God's work is never done. She resolves to sleep less so that more can be done.
Her span is short. It matters not whether she was taken by plague, by wolves in the forest while gathering plants, or by an abscessed tooth. Her energy was returned to the origins, and remade. Some belief systems call it reincarnation. How we identify the process matters not. She returned to a vastly altered civilization in the 20th century.
There is no memory in the energy stream. There are only shadowy forces and urges that drive us forward. She became a healer. She made cloth by knitting. And she could not understand why any sensible, sane person would delve into warp and weft.
That is why it took me into my middle age to take a weaving class. The Midwest Fiber Festival demonstrated possibility. Lynn enabled.
Warping was less dreadful than I had feared.
Virgin Scarf, 8/7/2011
Yarn: Madelinetosh merino, DK, 225 yds x 2 with leftover
Loom: Schacht 15" rigid heddle Flip
Measurements: 7" x 66" direct warp, approx 6.5" x 60" scarf
I have to knot one end, overstitch two errors, and call it done.
I am told I am not allowed to whine about selvedges.
Forward from here: Lynn has lent me her Schacht rigid heddle loom. I purchased enough Mission Falls cotton (Mission Falls! Wah!) to make four dishcloths. Mr. Etherknitter is all hot to trot. He wants me to buy a floor loom so he can play with textures.
The brakes are currently firm to the floor.