Tuesday, November 06, 2012
The Warp That Gave Dogs a Bad Name
Please bear with me. I've spent the last five days wrestling a warp that was so nasty I'm calling it a wolverine, no dog could be that bad. I finally got a clear shed after umpteen rethreadings, so I'm celebrating with a wee glass of Irish whisky and hopefully clearing my karmic deficit with an honest confession.
I suck at weaving. I love cloth, I love thread, I dream of being Ariadne in another life. But God knows, in this life, I am blind, unable to count, impatient and have no short term memory to speak of. These traits do not a weaver make. Please remind me of this next time I talk about starting a project.
My dear landladies, Susan and Julia, asked me to make them some aprons to wear when they do demos and cheese tastings. (They are the proprietors of Moonstruck Cheese, a fabulous artisanal cheese company, with lovely gift baskets perfect for Christmas giving, by the way.) They wanted black and white striped aprons aprons just like I made the chef last year.
"Oh", I sighed. "Do you really want handwoven aprons? You could get commercial ones for twenty dollars." They assured me handwoven aprons would be just the ticket. "Well, okay. Are you sure you want black and white? You could have any colour combination imaginable." No, black and white is just fine. With a pocket." I guess there's no arguing with the classics.
So, 500+ ends of 2/8 cotton later, I remember why I don't weave anymore. My back is screaming, I feel like an imbecile, and I am swearing like a sailor. Having always been a warp from the front sort of person, I thought I would try Jane Stafford's superior warp from the back method. Only I forgot to wind the stripes in the warp as I went. So I had to warp from the front anyway. For some reason only the weaving goddesses know, the four white ends I have crammed in one dent have decided to intertwine themselves in a dense cord. I got the whole mess through the reed and heddles and tied on before I realized that I somehow missed a 12 thread section right in the middle. So I made hand-tied emergency heddles and re-threaded. Then there were half a dozen broken threads as I wound on, and a truly evil number of crossed threads.
Obviously, I am not up to the task. But I have got this far, and I am going to make two of the most beautiful aprons you have ever seen, and Susan and Julia will sell a lot of cheese wearing them. If it kills me.
P.S. For the non-weaver's amongst you, a nasty warp is called a dog in the weaving world. No disrespect to the joyful, loving creature that is a dog in the rest of the world.