Thursday, September 6, 2012


ends.  Straight draw.  70 or so minutes to thread.

I rarely tell people how long it takes me to do the various parts of the process but since I'm teaching The Efficient Weaver in a couple of weeks I've been thinking about process and issues of efficiency.

Number One.  Being efficient is not hurrying.  Hurrying is when you start trying to take short cuts and make mistakes.  Definitely not efficient.

Number Two.  It is sometimes more efficient to take extra time at one stage in order to save time (and head/heart aches) at the next stage.

So it is with all my little slip knots grouping each threading repeat.

Yes it takes a moment to tie the knot.  But ultimately when I get to the sleying, it saves me time and frustration because each bundle of threads is easily found in order to be sleyed.

In fact I really dislike having to re-sley because all my tidy little bundles are no more!

Number Three.  Working efficiently is not a contest between you and someone else.  The only contest is between you and yourself.  Can you reduce the amount of time you take to complete the job?  Makes no difference if you can do it faster than someone else.  The only reason I tell people how long it takes me to, for example, thread, is because it lets people know that threading doesn't have to take a couple of days to do.  It can be done more efficiently.  But first you have to know that, and then you need to find out how to maybe do it more quickly, and then you need to practice the new technique.

I was already pretty fast at threading when I first saw Norman Kennedy thread a loom.  His technique was a revelation!  I bought a Harrisville brass hook, went home and started using his method.  I didn't immediately thread as quickly as he could.  Of course not.  But I give myself 7 warps to learn a new method.  By the time I'd threaded my 7th warp using his way of doing it, I had doubled my threading speed.  Am I as fast as Norman Kennedy?  I have no idea.  That isn't relevant.  The only thing that matters is that I am faster than I was before.  Which means that instead of taking over two hours to thread the above warp, I did it in just over one.

My back thanks me.

See how I do it here


Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Laura, I never knew you had videos on youtube! I just watched each and every one of the videos and learned a wealth of information. Thank you dear lady for your generous sharing! What an awesome learning experience, I feel like I just sat next to you in your studio and learned from the master. Loved hearing your Canadian accent, makes me homesick for northern Michigan! What a wonderful and generous person you are. Thank you!

Laura Fry said...

Yer welcome. Feel free to share the link to you tube. It's all about helping people to enjoy the process. All of it.

charlotte said...

Thanks a lot for showing your threading method! As it is, I'm too slow, so I'll buy a hook and practise :-)