Seeking bliss

They say there’s an amnesia to the pain of childbirth which allows us to keep having babies and us perpetuate the species. I think there must also be an amnesia about warping that allows us to seek the bliss of actually weaving and perpetuate hand-woven textiles, while forgetting the angst of warping. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2013 was to learn 5 new ways of warping. While I haven’t actually learned 5 totally different ways I have certainly learned a lot about different ways people warp and how to warp under different circumstances.

Admittedly the first thing I learned was that I don’t ever want to warp with 20/2 cotton again. And should I ever suffer amnesia and buy more 20/2 cotton, I definitely will not try to double it up to save warping time and absolutely will not try to tie 300 doubled ends onto a Bronson Atwater warp that I just adored.

Bronson Dogwood Pattern Tea Towels

Bronson Dogwood Pattern Tea Tow

Green Towel

Green Towel

While I am very happy with the 8 towels and the recipients have all ooh’d and aah’d, I just don’t think I have it in me to make such fine towels again.

So I jumped from 20/2 into making baby blankets from Valley Noho cotton flake which is much closer to a 3/2. At 14 ends per inch I was much happier and quickly wove up 3 blankets.

Cotton flake baby blankets.  White warp.

Cotton flake baby blankets. White warp.

After sending one off to an adorable new baby, I decided to use the same straight twill and same yarn but to tie on to the prior white blanket warp so that I would have enough variegated yarn for two more blankets. A friend taught me a neat way to tape the warp to the front beam and so the first time ever I was able to tie on without ever losing the warp or crossing a thread. The photo below shows the VERY long cross ties tied to both sides of the loom and then taped to the beam. Nearly 550 ends and it was not ergonomically easy to make all those ties, but I felt very satisfied that nothing went wrong.

tying on a new warp

tying on a new warp

Variegated blue blankets were quick.

Variegated blue blankets were quick.

So, after all that, what made me think that I would enjoy warping another set of towels of 2/10 cotton set at 20 ends per inch? I almost never follow patterns, but have been reading through about twenty inches of old weaving magazines that a retired weaver donated to my guild. I got so much praise for my first towels and the Dec 1994 Handwoven article with simple broken twill towels was so entrancing. If eight towels found homes so quickly, certainly this time I should weave 10! So I ordered a few cones of 2/10, thought the warp would take a few hours and after 2 days I am still fighting with tangled ends of fine cotton. Perennially seeking that bliss of weaving time and even the bliss of producing something beautiful with my hands, I once again developed amnesia about warping.

Rows of green 10/2 warp for holiday towels

Rows of green 10/2 warp for holiday towels

About fiberassociations

Weaver, spinner, knitter, dyer, lover of fiber. Now teaching and coaching beginning weavers.
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2 Responses to Seeking bliss

  1. Warping amnesia. I think you might be right about that one.

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