Thanks to everyone who participated in our discussion in the previous post. I appreciate Donna's insight into why she uses a gauge. It is exactly this type of reasoned adaptation of technique that everyone should strive for...the development of work routines from reasoning, not simply the product of habit.
It is also interesting that Vincent mentioned the "plane of pine needles." This, also, is the look i strive for...some people prefer a highly defined, rounded individual coil, and we will need to discuss the way to achieve that at another time (maybe someone will remind me, or i will digress, and we will never get this topic finished?)
Continuing contemplation of routine practice, or HABIT…
Do you put your needle in from the back? Again, I don’t know WHY all the books I have ever seen instruct to put the needle in on the back. No one has ever been able to explain WHY.
Coiling from the back is hard on your body. It is hard on your hands, wrists, fingers, and your neck. In order to place the needle properly, the work must be completely turned over with every stitch, or you must grope for the placement on the back of the work. The hand holding the needle is at an uncomfortable flexed position which contributes to repetitive motion injury. The progress is slow.
It makes much more sense to put the needle in from the front. I heard that a famous coiler from California paid a specialist to analyze his coiling, and the one tip that I heard passed on was: coil from the front. It is more ergonomically sound than coiling from the back.
Trying it “from the front” may take some thought, but it is worth trying. Because you are placing your stitches on the side facing you, it is also faster. If you tip the basket downwards it is possible to see where the needle is exiting without turning the basket over all the way.
I would love to hear about your direction of preferred coiling, please leave a positive comment here for everyone to read!
In the next post: adding binder!
(shown at the top of this blogpost: Carol Miller, long time PNG member and self-taught coiler from Montana!)