Turn Left When Your Warp Measures 800 Feet

I am by all accounts spatially challenged, especially when it comes to calculating distances. When something is more than 10 feet away, I can’t judge the distance at all. When my GPS says to turn in 800 feet, I have no idea what that means. My husband has tried to use football field analogies to help but to no avail. Don’t ask me what 5 yards looks like unless I’m winding a warp.

One day as I was driving, my GPS said “turn left at 800 feet,” and it struck me that I had recently wound a warp that used much more than 800 feet in yardage. In fact, I often wind warps that use more than 8,000 feet of yarn. When you start thinking about it, the yardages that we work with every day as weavers are sort of incredible. Laura Fry used about 10,000 yards of cotton to weave her 10 Summer Berry Towels that are in the September/October2017 issue of Handwoven. Admittedly, that’s a lot of towels, but some quick math tells you that each towel used approximately 1,000 yards of thread.


Laura Fry’s Summer Berry towels from Handwoven September/October 2017.

Think about how many yards of fiber you might have in your stash. I wouldn’t be surprised if many of us have more than a million yards of yarn in our studios (and hidden in various parts of our homes). For instance, a 1-pound cone of 8/2 cotton has 3,360 yards. How many of those do you have? Not to mention your cones of 10/2 cotton, tencel, silk, and linen, and those cones of unknown fiber you got at the guild sale. I think it’s interesting to think about, but that math I’m not ready to tackle.

None of this solves my spatial problem, but it does give me something to think about when I hear the words “turn in 800 feet.” I’ve seen the jokes about weaving while driving, but there is nothing wrong with thinking about it!


Winding road confusion. Getty Images.

I would love to hear estimates of how much fiber you have in your home! Let me know in the comments.

Weave well,

Featured Image: Yarn on a warping board. Artist: Allen Stoner. GettyImages.

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