7 Things I Hate About Weaving
I say I love weaving, but there are a few things about it I’m not crazy about. Luckily, the things I am crazy about, such as looms, yarn, color, texture, and weave structures, override the things I hate most of the time. Here are a few things about weaving I wish I could change:
1) Breaking warp threads.
Yes, I know there are many ways to fix them and avoid them, but they stop you in your tracks when you are happily treadling along. Plus, I’m not a big fan of lots of weighted ends hanging off the back of my loom.
2) Getting shaft 4 and shaft 5 mixed up when I’m threading.
I don’t know if others have this problem, but for me it seems to happen on any loom. I imagine the main cause has something to do with my eyesight and the distance between my eyes and those two shafts. Again, there are fixes: new glasses, being more careful, using only 4-shaft looms.
3) Loom benches that never seem to quite fit me.
At 5’5”, I’m not short, but I always feel a little bit too far from the treadles, even after putting the bench to its lowest level. There seems to be a trade-off between being able to reach the treadles and being at the correct height for throwing the shuttle and beating.
4) The hardness of loom benches.
I just did a quick survey of my home, and every other “chair” in it is at least slightly padded with the exception of 2 uncomfortable yet oh-so-trendy kitchen stools. Of course I know the solution is a handwoven bench cushion, but that will just magnify the problem of bench height (see number 3).
5) Knots in my warp.
I try to cut knots out of my warp when I’m winding, but some still slip through. They are rarely in my loom waste but tend to fall smack in the middle of the warp. Because I don’t like having too many things hanging off the back of my loom (see number 1), I carefully coax them through the heddles and reed while treadling and repair them when the piece is off the loom. That coaxing interrupts any otherwise smooth treadling.
6) Messed up bobbins.
I don’t believe I overwind my bobbins, but from time to time a loop of thread will fall off the end of the bobbin and get wound up on the shuttle’s center pin. Once this starts, it is hard to correct the problem in any way other than cutting the weft and unwinding the bobbin to straighten it out.
7) When a shuttle drops through the warp onto the ground.
Sometimes it’s easier just to cut the weft rather than try to retrace its steps back into the shed.
On good days, none of these problems bother me. Other days, all of them seem to gang up on me. It’s the nature of weaving; its challenges are part of its allure and perhaps actually part of the reason I love it.
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