Wednesday, October 29, 2008

sew slow!

Tonight I'm finishing up my second set leaving 5 more to get together. That is a lot just to get ready to sew those sets together, which even more stitching!

Ive noticed the way im stitching isnt as efficent as it could be. I rewatched some of the wonderful videos Rev. Taigu had done for Treeleafs' Jukai ceremony and realised I had been doing things differently... and more awkwardly. Another lesson learned ;)

I'm keeping my attention on the tasks at hand rather then running ahead while working. Been sewing a bit less frequently lately as family stuffs come first, well family and work around the house which is a very good teacher of impermanence in all scales :)

As for family I am very pleased to share with whom ever reads this.. lol *Cricket* that we (my wife, daughter and I) are expecting to add bouncing baby boy to our family this March which is roaring towards us :) Because of this I do expect to pickup the pace in order to have hands free the coming months. Not rushing just being a bit more diciplined.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A little further

Slow and steady - well slow anyways! I finished the center set of the 7 strip kesa and have the some stitches done on the next set's 2 patches of material. I basically took a night off that turned into 5! Well not a lot to show at the moment but I will see how much progress there is tonight and possibly post some pictures.

I have decidedly taken a much slower, careful approach with this. I found my self rushing again lastnight even and I ended up making some pretty mean mistakes that required me to pull the stitches and start again. Best part is I made a NEW mistake after pulling them out... not a serious one but I noted it just the same.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

So far...

Okay so the blog is made now I will post where I am at to date.

I Set out to do this entirely of the same (store bought) material as my Rakusu just to make it as straight forward as possible. I understand that Kesa can be made of many rags, born anew, but the reality of that for a newb like me is varying thickness and "strechiness" of the different materials . Makes it tough to maintain any kind of accuracy and for a first timer like me, it might prove too much.

Best laid plans, as it turned out our house need a door and some windows much more than the Kesa needed new material so I went frugal and used up my Rakusu material then switched to a huge old bed sheet that i had been using as an ironing pad :) Its a tight enough weave but its a tad thicker and a tad fuzzier than the Rakusu material... C'est la Vie!

So I cut out all the bits over a couple of nights and I have sewn the center set of 3 patches, well 2/3rds of that set :)

I noticed right from the start when I decided to dive in here (sewing the Kesa) I had much the same mind set when I started sewing the Rakusu... RUSH! I was cutting the material while thinking a head to the sewing and basically not being present with each cut. I sat the first night and then went back to cutting focusing on the task at hand measure, measure - double check mark then cut. Repeat. Besides whats my hurry? I have been asking my self that every time I get that "Burning" need to get more done. I think I do that a lot. Hurry to the point of making mistakes, getting discouraged then ditching the endeavor.

For tonight I will finish the remaining 1/3 of the first set and call it an evening (after some Zazen)

Gassho, Dirk

Oh just for giggles here is the Rakusu I spoke of, its still not complete as I am still studying for Jukai and so the Silk bit on the back is yet to come.

also here is the center set with the bit I am going to sew threaded on in preparation for sewing. Beside it is the other material I will be using as well

and this is one of four of my "helpers"

Gassho, Dirk
So I decided to post my thoughts, grumblings and euphoria as I work along sewing my first Kesa -with instructions provided completely on-line thanks to the endeavors of Rev. Taigu Turlur and his blog on kesa. Some how in the process of making the worst mess of cloth, thread and blood I have a new found passion for ... sewing?!

I have all but finished sewing my first Rakusu in preparation for the (as far as its known- worlds first-ever on-line) Jukai ceremony with Treeleaf sangha. With deep gratitude and unending thanks to Jundo Cohen, for following through with all of it, shooting the video based instructions with Rev. Taigu - who, I also cannot thank enough for his time and effort and ongoing support through out the process of sewing! Oh and of course to all the "Leafers" for both listening and sharing their journey too, every bit we do together.

I also have many others to thank and so I'll do so by pouring myself into completing this Kesa.

Oh and I'll post my progress as I go along, text and pictures.