The pain of the learning curve

121127 Warping Towels

Warping board with cotton warp.

A few months ago I bought a 36″ 4 harness Harrisville loom from a friend who was moving.  She posted it on Facebook asking if anyone was interested.  The second I saw it I said sure and the rest is history.

Let’s start by saying the only weaving I have ever done is a potholder.  I’m a good potholder maker, everything is neat and I work on design with color but it’s a potholder.  I come from a long line of weavers so my take on this was it’s probably genetic, I’ll find a teacher and run with it.  I found Firewatch Weavers on the internet and sent in my deposit.  I was thrilled to find someone that teaches on a Harrisville.  I took Pam’s first 6 week course and warped and wove a sampler.

Next project – cotton towels with a twill weave.  Cool I’m thinking.  She always has us do a worksheet to figure out the warp before we begin.  I understood what I was doing and I began winding my warp.  I had limited time at the studio that night so I left at 9:00 pm and decided to return in a couple of days to finish winding.  Pam told me I’d probably have to wind it in two sections because I wouldn’t have enough room on the warping board for the whole thing.  When I returned I took off the first half of the warp and began winding the second half.  I was almost finished when she asked me how wide my towels were.  14 inches I replied and saw this look on her face, then a smile.  I’d warped enough to do the project twice!  Ugh, is what I initially thought but then she said well now you can warp your loom in Rowe and weave it at the same time!

Lesson learned.  Warping can be pretty tedious although it is probably the most important part of weaving, at least from a design stand point.  There are 12 other weavers in the studio at any given time, all of which are at different skill levels.  One of my favorite things is going from loom to loom discussing each project and then the ways that many of them have screwed up their warp and ultimately were in a bind when they started weaving.  Lessons learned, just not necessarily on my loom.

In the coming weeks I’ll be talking about setting up the loom in the library in Rowe and the adventures that I am sure are going to follow.  Some include working in the wood shop to create tools to help me with the weaving.  This should be interesting.

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