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Why I've Been Away and the Official Story of the Great Knee Injury of 2022

Updated: Apr 9, 2023

The quick story of why I've been away from the loom: It's simple. While on a beautiful hike in Sedona, Arizona at the very end of the outing, literally about to step off the trail to the car, I slipped on some sand and fell with all of my weight landing on my right knee on a very flat rock. I instantly shifted my weight to my hands, twisted my body around to sit on the ground, assessed the damage, and that was that. That's the story! For a week my knee was swollen, I wasn't able to fully extend my knee for weeks, and it took a month or so to be able to walk on it. After a month, I thought I was doing great! Then after two months, I realized that walking was a struggle, stairs were impossible, and the pain from my knee was waking me up at night. It was time to go to the doc and put together a game plan to put me back together.

As of this post (4/2/23), it has been over 8 months of navigating this knee injury and being away from the Hattersley loom. It's been a journey. Medical tests, check-ups, PT appointments, exercises, x-rays, and strength tests... we are starting to reach a turning point where I am regularly being approved to return to some of the activities I love.

One of the things I am still not approved to do: Weave on the Hattersley.

So without weaving in my life, what have I been up to...???

I've been reading, (highly recommend any of Kathy Reich's books), catching up on some tv shows (I have officially seen Ru Paul's Drag Race and can kinda keep up with some pop culture references), I almost re-took up knitting but remembered my epic fail at the beginning of the pandemic (as of this post I am no longer knitting), I have mastered a few fancy drinks, and I have finally mastered the art of doing the most basic fingernail polish manicure (secretly, very proud of this one).

Along with some fun new skills, I've also been navigating the heartbreak of being a maker away from her medium and craft of choice. At times I have felt hidden, covered, and removed from doing something I love because of something that I don't have control over.

I haven't really considered myself someone that has an identity tied to being a Hattersley weaver. I've always felt like a fiber artist, textiles creator, and clothing designer that just happens to use a Hattersley loom to create ... Until the past 8 months.

For any maker, creator, and artist that has needed to step away from something you love... the distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder. I miss my craft. I miss getting to weave fabric right in front of my eyes, and hearing the stories behind the creations commissioned, I miss the electric bang and crash of the loom with its over-imposing soundtrack. I miss being able to dream in woven textiles, feeling the wool thread, hands on the metal and oil as I fix, hone, and readjust the mechanics. I miss getting to weave with my loom. I miss being a Hattersley weaver. I guess, maybe after all this time, this separation has made me realize how this singular piece of equipment has truly been a co-creator in not only my woven pieces but also a part of what makes me, me.

And finally, as hope and creativity have slowly re-entered my bones from the past 8 months of healing, aching, and homesickness from the loom... I'm itching with energy because I already know what my first batch will be on the loom once I'm back!! I will be making you all very funky and celebratory scarves. I have pages in my sketchbook of ideas of how to celebrate my first batch with joy-filled colors and all sorts of excess creative energy! So please stay tuned. I cannot wait to weave again and get to share all of the pieces with you! I cannot wait to celebrate being back at the loom. I cannot wait to be back.

A quick Miigwech and Thank You!

Additionally, as many know, I am a bit of a hermit who proudly claims being a private introvert. It has felt confusing discerning how to share this journey when I don't know when this healing will end and I can reliably be behind the loom again. Thus, I have been very quiet lately as I process and slowly work toward healing and mobility. I want to thank those that have reached out, offered support, and continued to be a cheerleader from near and far, and those that have been patiently waiting for my return allowing space for this healing process. A part of physical healing has also included some learning of how to receive support from others, from the deepest part of my heart I feel so cared for and seen, and I am beyond grateful for those that have surrounded me during this injury and stint away from the loom.

Alright, I have to get moving. It's time for my daily PT by the fireplace, today I'm working on my glutes and gracilis! Just you wait, hopefully a day soon I will get to share that I'm back at the loom and it's time to celebrate! Just you wait! It's only a matter of time, hopefully, a very short time. : )

Giga-waabaminan Menawaa friends, See you again friends,

- Keila


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