Tuesday, February 7, 2012


My knitting didn't go well, my sewing didn't go well, and here's the secret about weaving no one ever mentions:  it's like sewing in that the preparation part you don't think about is as much or more of the project as is the active intrinsic part.  When you think of sewing, you think of sitting and making seams and it feels like it should be quick.  You block out the planning, the pattern cutting, the adjusting, the fabric cutting, all the seam finishing, pinning, gathering, basting, pressing, and so on.  Those are all critical to sewing a successful final project, but somehow in your mind it's just going to be sitting with the silk and whipping off seams plus a final hem (maybe even by hand).

So with weaving, much as I block it out every single time.  I have to say using a my wonderful new warping mill makes the warp measuring SO much easier (compared to just a warping board, or what was worse, the back of a rigid heddle loom which could barely measure a three-yard warp).  But then comes the threading and sleying and winding (argh) and tying up!

So here's where I am today.  I have about 100 of 360 ends of 10/2 linen threaded and sleyed, around 260 left to go.  Then the tie up (I tie up before winding when warping front to back, so that I don't have to be shoving a big roll of cardboard out of my way; I could just tie up before anything else but I never think to do it and anyway it just doesn't seem right for some reason).  Then the dreaded winding of the linen threads, which will all kink and knot and generally behave like my children.  Then tying up at the front, another somewhat dreaded task.  Then, finally, I'll get to weave.

The thing is that when you think about it, it makes sense.  In warping, you're setting up 50% of the finished fiber (plus the loom waste, but that's another story and complaint) plus you're essentially setting up 100% of the tensioning and patterning.  So logically the actual sitting-and-passing-a-shuttle-back-and-forth part should only take a small portion of the time.  Somehow, though, we just blank out any parts we don't enjoy and focus in our minds on that percentage we do love, and warp the next project.

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