Running the numbers

Running the numbers

Just yesterday, I sent the hand towel project through the washer and dryer, and clipped all the little tails of yarn. Next step is to take it to my seamstress to sew it up for me. But my part is finished!

I always like to take a good look at the time involved in the project once it’s been completed. I’m much more vigilant keeping track of my weaving projects than I am with any other part of my day.

I break my recording down into the different stages – planning, winding the yarn on the warping board, sleying the reed, threading the heddles, winding the project on to the loom, weaving, and finishing. What I’ve learned over the years is that it’s good to keep track. One project can vary quite a bit from the next. So, an average is important!

Just to give you a sample, here are my numbers from my recently completed hand towel project. The fabric is long enough for (10) 16″ x 30″ towels.

Planning – 15 minutes

Warping – 1 hour 15 minutes

Sleying – 1 hour 30 minutes

Heddles – 1 hour 20 minutes

Winding – 1 hour 20 minutes

Weaving – 23 hours 30 minutes

Finishing – 3 hours 5 minutes

Total project time – 32 hours 15 minutes

When I say you have to be a little bit crazy to be a weaver, this is why! You have to love it so much that a 32 hour project sounds like fun and not a prison sentence! It is not for everyone!

But for me, I believe creating fabric is completely magical, and the time is totally worth it! So, I’m going to start the clock at zero and begin again!

What lengthy process/task do you enjoy?

Song of the Day – “Meet Virginia”, by Train

By |2018-01-17T09:17:58+00:00January 15th, 2018|Art, From the studio, Weaving, Weaving Fabric|6 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Acton is the President, Chief Weaver, and Jack-of-all-Trades for Acton Creative, based in NW Indiana. When she isn't weaving away, you can find her absorbed in a book while slurping gallons of hot tea.


  1. itwasjudith January 16, 2018 at 2:45 am - Reply

    Beautiful picture, I look forward to see the finished towel.
    It takes time to create a unique piece ūüôā

    • Chris Acton January 16, 2018 at 8:12 am - Reply

      Thank you so much! Yes – definitely lots of time!!

  2. Sherron Pampalone January 16, 2018 at 6:35 am - Reply

    Impressive that you keep a log!!!

    • Chris Acton January 16, 2018 at 8:13 am - Reply

      I started quite a few years ago & it’s just habit now. But, it definitely helps when I’m determining exactly how much time/money an item takes!

  3. KerryCan January 17, 2018 at 6:17 am - Reply

    I keep good notes of materials/drafts/ etc., but have never been this systematic about keeping track of time spent. Maybe I’m afraid of being depressed at how long it takes to make a towel I’ll sell for $30 and to learn I’m making 2 cents/hour? But I’m intrigued–I think I’ll do this next time!

    • Chris Acton January 17, 2018 at 6:51 am - Reply

      It’s an interesting exercise, for sure! I have to say that while I definitely do some planning before each project, my notes have become looser over the years. In most cases, I wouldn’t be able to replicate it a second time around. It’s funny what we choose to keep track of, isn’t it? Then again, I also write down the books I’ve read – go figure!!

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