Thursday, July 13, 2017

Of Knots

"Never use a knot where a bow will do."  Laura-ism #1

I very quickly learned about tying knots and bows.  Knots are good.  Knots are secure.  Knots can be damned hard to un-do.  So I learned to not tie a knot unless I really needed to secure something for the duration of whatever it was I was doing.

That meant learning when something had to be temporarily secure, and when it needed to be secure, period.  It meant I had to think through the process and analyse it to decide which was most appropriate - a knot?  or a bow?

The process of analyzing the the steps involved in weaving also taught me how much security I really needed to do the job.

Like most new weavers I tended to go for lots and lots of 'security'.  I would carefully tie off the four 'arms' of the cross plus the waist, then in addition to the choke tie near the cross and the counting tie at the other end, I would tie off the warp every yard along the length.

But tying all those ties?  Takes time.  Un-tying all those ties?  Takes time.  It gradually dawned on me that tying the waist of the cross meant I was compressing the yarns making it more difficult to sort out the ends to do the next step, plus tying every yard along the length was just adding more labour to what is already a labour intensive process.  

Eventually I learned what worked best in terms of how many ends/inches of warp to wind on my warping mill and/or board.  Multiple tiny warp chains just mean more ties to tie.  More than 15" worth of warp in a chain becomes cumbersome.

What a weaver actually does will depend on so many things - the yarns they are using, the equipment they have at their disposal, and so on.  Ultimately everyone has to figure out what works 'best' for them.  Remembering a few key principles will help guide the weaver in choosing what works best.  Knowing several different ways of achieving the same thing - a warp wound and beamed under sufficient consistent tension - means choosing the correct tool/process for the job.  Bottom line?  If you are happy with your results, you don't need to change a thing.  If you aren't happy, then you might like to try something else.


Peg Cherre said...

So many Laura-isms have become part of my weaving life. And I say them to other weavers, too. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Laura Fry said...

I feel like a broken record at times. Hmm. Showing my age. A compromised mpg file? ;)