How to Know When to Unweave: Getting the Dog Off Your Loom

This weekend I’m going to cut out 22 inches of weft in a double-width wool blanket. If all goes well, I will then reweave the same 22 inches with a different weft color. I wove those 20 inches using a light gray weft thinking it would tone down my bold warp, but in fact, it killed it. With great finesse, I talked myself into believing it was ok that the light gray weft was obscuring the cool random stripes I had designed in the reed, and I kept on weaving.


The light gray warp was killing my warp. Photo credit: Susan E. Horton>

When I switched to a dark gray weft that is included in the warp, I realized my mistake. And then I agonized, procrastinated, and argued unsuccessfully with myself that it was fine. I knew I had a dog on the loom, I just wasn’t ready to cut. In my distress, I even employed the little-known strategy of asking a non-weaver friend what she thought, knowing that she would be appalled at the idea of undoing and reweaving 22 inches. Of course she told me it was fine; she’s polite and pragmatic.


Adding dark gray weft showed me the problem with the light weft. Photo credit: Susan E. Horton

How do you know when it’s time to cut out or unweave? Here are some of the signs I’ve come to recognize:

  • Waking up restless at 3 a.m. and worrying about a project
  • Hoping that a different light source will change the appearance the fabric on the loom
  • Not wanting to walk into the room with the loom
  • Sighing audibly when I pass the door of the loom room
  • Wondering if washing[] it will make it less ugly
  • Asking family and friends in a hopeful voice what they think of my project
  • Writing a blog about the problem

For some reason, I am not reluctant to cut out or unweave due to a threading or treadling error, but I struggle with an error in judgment or design. Thinking back to when I asked my friend her opinion, I realize that the moment I heard her say that 22 inches was too much to redo, I made the decision to cut it out and reweave. I know better than to weave something that doesn’t meet my standards, no matter how long it takes.

Weave well,

P.S. Here’s a picture of the same warp with orange weft. Somewhere along the way, I decided that toning down my warp wasn’t such a great idea. I’m back to weaving!


Using orange weft makes the warp pop! Photo credit: Susan E. Horton

Featured Image: My bold and randomly striped warp. Photo credit: Susan E. Horton

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