What a long strange trip this was.

I learn new things from each tallit, from each commission. I guess what I learned from this one is a Zen acceptance of my making errors.
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I sewed two of the pinot/corner pieces on the wrong side of the tallit. Yes, I sewed with a teeny tight zig-zag. So I had to carefully undo my sewing. It was at this point late at night. Tess was picking up the tallit the next day. I really hate finishing up my work at the last minute, because it always seems to ask for disaster. I also know that working when tired is a more certain path to disaster, so I put away the tallit and began again the next morning. I got the pinot sewed on correctly. I also made the eyelets without any further adventures. But by this point I was waiting for one to happen.

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I had my dressmaking dummy set up so Tess and her mother could see the tallit as soon as they walked in. Tess kept thanking me. Clearly, she was pleased.

We began to tie the tzizit. Tess, like most girls her age, had long experience making friendship bracelets, so the knots she needed to do were familiar to her. When we were about half way through tying the tzitzit, Tess's older sister showed up. I had made her tallit seven years ago. She is now home from college. I hadn’t seen her since we had worked together so many years ago.  Tess reminded her sister about how to properly tie the tzitzit. They were both incredibly good natured about working together.
tess tie 4

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Here is Tess in her tallit.
tess complete


I always wonder how wise it is to be open with my clients about the difficulties I  might have working on their piece. Some things come together easily, others, like this tallit, seem to involve many close brushes with disaster. I chose to share my travails with Tess and her family. In this case, it was a wise choice. The tallit is a lovely one. It’s imperfect, we all know that, but it’s still pretty wonderful.


When I make a tallit for a client, I spend several weeks with that client inside my head.  Spending this time with Tess was delightful indeed.

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