January 2016

It’s only logical
Jan 16 scarf #2
Finally, after weeks of the holiday rush and the many family birthdays of December and January, I settled into the loom room to do some serious weaving. The lovely multicolored scarf and table runner I had been working on sporadically since November was almost finished so I decided to make it my first priority.  Deb, my weaving assistant/ home health aide, had been carefully throwing the shuttle for me whenever she came to help as well.  The yarn is a silk and merino blend and the colors are browns, beiges, and blacks.  The pattern is a simple hopsack but in order to keep the selvedge straight, I added a floating selvedge thread using my husband Mike’s fishing line. “Over as you enter and under as you leave”, was the little rhyme Deb and I said to ourselves as we threw the shuttle.
Then, when I took the pieces off the loom and upstairs to finish while I watched TV with Mike, I suddenly realized I had a big problem.  When I pulled the fishing line out of the selvedge, a twelve-inch section of the scarf on one side began to unravel!  It was the section I had just finished weaving myself so I certainly  couldn’t blame Deb’s inexperience.  I looked at it carefully and the reason was perfectly logical.  When I manipulated the shuttle over or under that one side, per my little rhyme, I had missed the yarn and only wrapped the weft around the fishing line!
I hope I managed to salvage the scarf by hand-weaving that 12-inch section. It took me about an hour of carefully darning several new warp threads through each weft turn, all the while trying to figure out how I could have made such a dumb mistake in the first place.  What was I thinking?  Why couldn’t I see the logical consequences of my actions when I was in the middle of it?
Unfortunately, the new warp threads didn’t match the color pattern of the surrounding selvedge exactly and the hand-woven section is pretty obvious. This scarf is just not up to my normal standards, so I’ll either have to put a big discount on the price, or maybe I’ll give it to someone as an apologetic gift.  What a waste of expensive yarn and valuable time!
But was it really a waste?  It’s obvious I will never make that mistake again, after all. And now I have an intimate knowledge of how a selvedge is put together.  Is this what it means to be an “experienced” weaver?
I began remembering other mistakes I had made over the past four years of my weaving journey and what I had learned from each of them. I think I’ll use this blog to document that progression.  And that means I’ll need to do some time traveling..