Find out what happens when a weaver DOESN'T plan every inch of a warp!
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Last week, I started a project in lots of different greens. Why greens, you ask? Well, a few reasons. First, green is my favorite. Secondly, I had lots of it sitting on my shelf. Thus, a green project began. (There’s no deep inspiration involved in this one. But, I could make something up, if you like? “The green of spring was calling to me in this time of winter…” Yep, nothing like that. I had a lot of it on my shelf, plain and simple.)
All the greens!
Now, if you don’t already know, weavers are typically planners. We go through an elaborate exercise to figure out the width and length of a project. For instance, I recently completed a project where the starting length was 18′ 7″. When the project came off the loom, it was 16′ 6-1/2″. Once it was washed, it was 14′ 7″. And that length will produce (6) Fingertip Towels (about 10-1/2″w x 22″l). While there are many, MANY factors that can/will tweak those numbers, a weaver still has to have a pretty good understanding of where to start in order to end up with the desired result. Planning is key.
So for the green project, the goal was to create fabric for a set of Hand Towels (finished size is about 16″w x 30″l each). Fortunately, I have done this exact project in the past and had a good sense of the numbers. I was feeling pretty confident about that part. But, I just wasn’t feeling particularly energized when it came to planning every one of the (240) yarns in the warp. So I thought, “I’ll wing it!”
How exactly does one “wing” a weaving project? Good question! Here’s what I knew heading in to this –
I knew I had lots of this pretty apple green color, and less of all the other greens.
I knew I was going to warp (2) yarns at a time – one of the apple with something else.
I knew I was going to change the “something else” every inch of the 20″ width.
Those are the parameters I began with. And it started brilliantly! It had this vibrant, grassy look to it and all the greens were playing well together on the warping board. Until, I realized that I was going to run out of apple green before I got to the end. Uh oh…
See the apple green as every other yarn?
Here is where the weaving gets exciting (keep in mind, it’s all relative). I’m about 3/4 of the way through the warp and I have to decide how to play this out. I’m too impatient to put the project on hold and order more of the necessary color. So, I need to use what I have on hand.
I’m temporarily transported back to when I was younger and doing piano recitals. I tended to wear my emotions all over my face (still do, most days!). So when I would mess something up, you could tell. My folks would remind me (over and over) that if I didn’t give any indication of the flub, no one else in the audience would ever know. My teacher, of course, would. But, nobody else would ever realize that it wasn’t part of the performance. And ultimately, nobody cared about missing a note or rushing a passage or forgetting a few bars. They were simply excited that you were brave enough to stand up there on stage and do anything!
And now, we insert something completely different! Just roll with it!
Keeping that in mind, I decided that if I had to deviate from the plan (or non-plan, as it were), I was going to go big and pretend nothing went awry! Instead of substituting another green into the pattern hoping no one would notice, I decided to go with white – bright and obvious. The white then took the place of most of the apple, with the other greens carrying on. It’s tricky to describe, so I’ll let the images speak for me.
So in a warp that would have been a field of greens, I now have a little white accent making an appearance. Honestly, I really like it! I think it is going to add a bit of interest once I start actually weaving the fabric. We’ll see. Who says weavers can’t be spontaneous? (Well, most weavers would probably say that, actually.)
The die is cast. We’ll see how the project ends!
Have you had a situation or a project where you had to wing it, lately? How did it go? I hope it helped you stay loose and trust yourself! You have great intuition, I’m sure of it! Keep up the good work, everyone! And happy weaving!!
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Dressing the Loom, Planning a Project, Weaving, Weaving Fabric, Yarn