Posted by: bschutzgruber | June 28, 2021

The Things We Do For Love

I love to weave
but I don’t necessarily love all the steps involved.

Some steps, like winding out the warp, bring me to ‘my happy place’. When I say this, some weavers look at me in shock and disbelief because for them winding out the warp is a dreaded and tedious chore. If they could avoid it, they would, but they love to weave so they soldier on through this part of the process. I, on the other hand, find the rhythm and repetitive gross motor movement soothing. I reach across the warping board, swaying back and forth as I wrap the yarn around the pegs again and again.  If the warp does not have a lot of color/yarn changes the process becomes a meditative physical mantra.

warping-board

Others parts, like designing the warp, are a slow and deliberate process for me that often causes much wailing and gnashing of teeth. This is where being slightly OCD and having stubborn streak at times comes in handy! Figuring out the color sequence, how many ends per inch and do I have enough of any given color is where I have to buckle down and just do the work.

The National Storytelling Network will hold an online auction July 21-25, 2021 and I offered to donate a woven shawl. For my warp stripe sequence, I started by counting the ends in the stripes used in a tartan fabric I have and then did a test winding to see how the colors I wanted use would play out together.

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Using an Excel spreadsheet I laid out the sequence for the full width and began working out the individual ends for each stripe and how many yards of yarn for each color. I shifted the width of some of the stripes to match numbers in the Fibonacci sequence and added ends to make a point where I would be changing the direction of the 2/2 twill threading. I counted and recounted multiple times slogging my way though this part of the process.

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At last I was ready to leave the drudge work behind, go to my happy place and begin winding the 607 ends of 10/2 cotton yarn! Things were going swimmingly as I shifted between colors, keeping count each inch as I followed my chart. When I took the warp off the board and hung it by the lease sticks check it over I realized there was an ‘Uh-oh…oops!’ in it. Something was amiss – my stripe colors did not match up! MULTIPLE hours were spent counting out the pattern to see what I missed and then adding 13 ends.  AARRGGGHHH!!!!!!

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FINALLY the warp was ready to go on the loom and I could begin weaving!

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After a MUCH longer time than usual
I am happy to say that ‘Elements of the Earth’ cotton shawl completed
and will be up for auction in July.
Ah yes, the things we do for love!

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