Sunday, July 31, 2022



Yesterday I had a 'reset' day.

The past few years have been...I don't even know how to describe what my life has been like.  Busy?  (Indeed.)  Frantic ? (at times)  Stressful?  (Oh my yes)   Challenging?  (Boy howdy.)

During my life as a production weaver/teacher/author/event organizer there has been little time to rest as I shoved the roller coaster laboriously to the top of whatever peak it was challenging, then gravity taking over and swooshing down to the valley, only to begin again. Or Sisyphus as a weaver.

My life has never been 'routine' or 'smooth' or anything but a slog.

But!  It was MY slog.  My choice to take on what I did.  My choice to keep scrambling.  My choice to stay self-employed and dig hard and deep for the energy to keep pushing myself to meet my goals and pay my bills.

But.  But.  The past few years?  Yeah.  Big transition time.

A bunch of things have been ignored as being 'not important enough at this time to spend my energy on' and therefore I have a basket full of stuff that is beginning to weigh heavily on me.

A friend offered to help with one of those long languishing things but she, too, had a busy life until this summer she had a block of time where she needed to push reset on her life at about the same time I did.

Yesterday she came over and spent four hours(!) helping me with 21st century technology issues.

Because I needed to be available to answer her questions I never went to the loom and by the time she left I was wrung out - mentally.

I pressed pause and had a wee think.

I'm looking at a stack of 'mental' work (writing), class prep (thinking/writing), I'm guild chair again (more thinking/planning) and a stash that seemingly has no end.

Add to that I am needing to take heavy duty painkillers due to chronic pain and the brain fog from the pain/painkillers and I realized that I need to re-order my day.  Instead of getting my weaving done as a priority, I need to start doing my mental 'work' in the morning instead of messing about reading on the internet.

Begin as you mean to go on, so this morning I opened a Word document and generated the descriptions for the Zoom lectures and emailed that with the promise of photos for each to come.  She is already inundated with other things, so hopefully she can just add that info to her already bulging file 'folder' and then add the photos once I've sorted through them.  But I need to scroll through my photo files, then write a short description and tag them with the appropriate lecture title.  And that's more than I can manage now after doing the write ups.

On one hand, I'm disappointed I didn't get to the loom yesterday, but on the other, I needed to start dealing with these other things.  My weaving 'deadlines' are my own, to meet or adjust according to need.  And it also showed me that whether or not I weave does not affect the level of pain I experience.  On Friday I wove and had low pain.  Yesterday I didn't but I had higher pain levels.  Chronic nerve pain is a bugger - it's invisible and it's inconsistent.  Some days are better than others.  And you never know what is going to trigger a bad day.  You just need to ride it and manage it the best you can.

So today I can cross one job off my to-do list.  I'm learning to break my 'jobs' down into smaller, more manageable bites.  Part of me rebels against the slowness of my progress, but another part reminds me that the longest journey begins with a single step.  Yesterday I got help with some issues I couldn't manage on my own and today I took a single step towards getting that long languishing task on the way to completion.

And now I think I can reward myself with some loom time.  

Saturday, July 30, 2022



A friend and I have been having Zoom 'tea' and recently they mentioned they had a 'wealth of years'.

We talked about that for a bit and once again I was reminded that 'wealth' doesn't just always mean 'money' (whatever that is), but we can be 'wealthy' in more than financial means.

(And yes, I know this is an old photo - it's very hot here and I'm reminding myself that in six short months this will be the view out my window.)

So - wealth.  Plenty.  

Right now I have many things which I would consider to have a 'wealth' of...

My years.  I'm in my 70s, which means I have lived a pretty decent length of time.  I have seen things, lived through things that are 'history' to people younger than I am.  These things are not events known about because I've read about them, I have lived them.

I have a wealth of knowledge about a narrow spectrum of available knowledge.  But I also have research skills and I'm not afraid to go digging to find out more.

I have a wealth of optimism that we can survive, given our history.  Surely we can get through this...too interesting times?

I have a wealth of experiences - I've travelled, far more than I ever anticipated given I live halfway to the place on the map that says 'beyond here be dragons'.  It's ok now that I find I am not able to hop on a plane at dark o'clock and cross the continent to teach.  Because I also have a good internet connection and can now teach via the wealth of the internet.  Or visit with distant friends.

I have a wealth of friends.  

I have a wealth of stash.  Recently I told friends that given how much fine and very fine yarn I have I'll still be weaving at 105.  They thought that was a fine idea.  My body?  Not so much.

Too often we tend to equate 'wealth' with how many toys we have.  How much money we have in the bank.  

We treat 'maturity' as though that was a negative quality instead of a positive one.  Or, at least, the European model of values does.

We dismiss our elders as being irrelevant when they hold the key to survival - because they have survived this long in a world that - right now - seems to grow increasingly hostile.  And mostly they have seen this...stuff...happen before and may have some thoughts on how to avoid the looming darkness.

There is a meme going round that snarkily says that 'young' people should be given a rotary phone or standard drive vehicle or other last century technology with the instructions for how to use it written out in cursive.  As if that is some sort of 'gotcha'.  I don't like that meme.  It punches down, and that's never a good thing imho.  Because right now?  This very minute?  I'm waiting for a younger friend to come help me learn how to use my new 'smart' phone.

We will survive these times by helping each other, not by ridiculing and demeaning each other.

Let us celebrate our various kinds of 'wealth', including our diversity and lean on each other, not kick the legs out from under others.

Thursday, July 28, 2022



Do not be dismayed by the brokenness of the world.

All things break. And all things can be mended.

Not with time, as they say, but with intention.

So go. Love intentionally, extravagantly, unconditionally.

The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you.

~ L.R. Knost

As per my 'usual' I got up, got my juice and morning pills and opened Twitter to scroll through what was happening in the Twitterverse.

I mean, it could have been Facebook, or the 'news' or any of a number of other online sites, but Twitter posts are generally short and succinct and about the right amount of info for my waking up brain.

In the pre-internet days it might have been the daily newspaper or the radio bringing me all the 'news of the day', so not much has changed other than the medium being used.

We are in the middle of a heat wave, a global pandemic, another about to become one, climate disasters around the world, and politics gone...I'd say 'mad' but that doesn't quite capture the totality of how I feel about what is currently happening within the species we call 'humanity'.  

In spite of our long summer days, it all begins to feel a bit...dark.  More than a little 'broken'.

It feels pretty pointless for me to head to the loom in a few minutes to weave another tea towel.  How self-absorbed I am, to know what is happening in the greater world and choose to go weave a...tea towel?

Then I came across a cartoon with a handful of stick figures protesting, very LOUDLY, about something, with signs saying 'everyone supports us'.  Across from this tiny group there was a much larger, and quieter, crowd and their signs read 'No we don't!'

And that pretty much sums up what appears to be happening right now.  

So I will finish my coffee, I will go weave a tea towel, and then a 2nd one (because I try to do two every day I can), and then I will work on teaching materials.  Because a more educated population is, IMHO, preferable to an uneducated one.  An inclusive population is preferable to an exclusive one.  And if, in the end, civilization (as we know it) goes to pot, we may very well need a group of people who can spin and weave again.

I will continue to work on my teaching content for SOS (and another entity which I will not name just yet) and do my best to share what I know with people who care to 

learn it.

I will continue to support others who are doing the same.

I will try to not be dismayed by the current brokenness of this world.

I will choose to weave, to live, with intention.  The intention to be helpful and supportive, and light as many candles as I can.  Because lighting another candle does NOT extinguish mine, but doubles the light.

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

On Fire!


Cut the first 8 towels off the loom today, separated and serged them, and piled them neatly to one side to wait for the rest of the warp to get woven.

But as I was serging them, I saw that the cloth is iridescent.  Whether it will last through the wet finishing will be determined when I get to that point.  Sometimes it does.  Sometimes it doesn't.

Life is full of such uncertainties.  Iridescence is one of those ephemeral effects that can be extremely elusive.  Sometimes you can make all the 'right' decisions and still not get it.  Other times it isn't even really on your radar, and oops!  There it is.

Working with a very shiny yarn will increase the chances of it happening, so I wasn't entirely surprised when I spotted it.  I'm just not counting on it staying.

Anyway, if you want more information on iridescence Bobbie Irwin has a book about it.  I was privileged to see all the samples she wove for the book when I dropped by her workshop and found she was on a break and had time to chat for a few minutes.  

The warp is tied on again, ready to go tomorrow.  For now I'm done.  Time to go put my feet up and think about some of the other things I really need to deal with.  Soon.

(The book is available through a variety of booksellers, but you can also order directly from her.  Maybe she will even sign it?)  

Monday, July 25, 2022

It's a Process


close up view

more distant view

Orange is certainly not everyone's cup of tea.  Nor it is mine, much.  So while I know these towels won't be attractive to some people, others may find them so.

When I started weaving, the colours seemed very chaotic, and off putting.  The design wasn't large enough to resolve and it just looked - too much.  Too much busy.  Too much orange.

But instead of abandoning my plans, I thought about the design decisions I'd made and decided to have faith.

Faith that the threads would pull together and become 'whole'.  

Besides, I also know not to judge the results while sitting at the loom because sometimes you just need to see it at a further distance or a different angle and suddenly it all begins to make visual sense.

So I finished the first tea towel, then did a quick shufty around the loom to see the results from different distances and angles and hey, presto, it was working.

I carried on and have just finished towel #5.  There is still a huge cone of the copper left so there should be no problem weaving this entire warp with the copper as weft and the overall look is of flames.  So it fits my design 'inspiration'.

If - by any chance - I run out of the copper, there is a pound tube of natural linen which will work well enough, and make a nice quality of cloth for tea towels, so it's all good.

Stash reduction proceeds!

Stay tuned in about two weeks for the after wet finishing results.  

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Working in Series


Second draft after messing around with progressions - flames

Third draft, after deciding the mercerized cotton needed more interlacements

Fourth draft

Sometimes people ask where I get my ideas from.

Well, that depends (you're surprised, aren't you?)

Right now I'm focused on using up what stash I have, so I'm looking at the yarns I have and working with them to make something they will be suitable for.  Lately it's been never ending tea towels.

As I was finishing up working with the 2/16 cotton, I dug out the mercerized cotton stash - three boxes of it.  As I sorted the colours, I grouped them into potential warp combinations.  There was not enough of any one colour to make a warp (sectional beaming) but I rarely do a one colour warp these days.  (The all natural 2/16 was an exception because I needed something to use up the dribs and drabs of the dyed yarns and natural was cheap and easy.)

What I had when I finished sorting was four bins - one with medium to burgundy red, one with burgundy red to dark purple, one with an 'odd' blue - dark with greenish undertones - one with 'neutral' things like beige, grey, sage green.

Then I found a large cone of copper - about a kilo - and decided that it could be used as weft on the med-dark burgundy and began thinking about flames.  And how appropriate that vision was, considering how the world seems to be on fire right now - Spain, Portugal, large parts of the continent of Africa, the US and Canada.  I think Australia isn't burning right now just because it's winter there.

Then I thought about climate change in general - flooding, drought, other climate disasters.

As I looked at the bins of yarn, I thought I could use climate change as a theme with flames as the first.
The neutrals will be drought.  The darker reds/purples will be heat.  The 'odd' blue will be flood.

Given how fine 2/20 mercerized cotton is, and how slippery, and the colours I will be working with, each warp will be some iteration of a fairly simple progression.  For 'flood' I'm thinking of something more undulating, so that will likely be the last one I do.  But, and there's the thing, after beaming the first warp with the med-dark reds?  There is still a tonne of yarn left.  So this series may extend further.  As each warp gets woven, I look at it on the loom, I look at it from beside the loom, I check underneath, because the cloth looks slightly different on each side, I think about the colours (both warp and weft) I want to use, and I think about the theme.

And I make changes.  

Sometimes tiny ones, like between draft 2 and 3, sometimes slightly bigger ones, like draft 3 to 4.

Most times I don't have any such theme I'm working with, other than 'will this cloth do the task it is intended for?  Does it look pretty (to me)?'

But the world is too much with me these days, and here I am...

Saturday, July 23, 2022

Open to Opportunity


Over the years I always tried to think up things to do for myself but also?  I made a practice of leaving the door open to opportunity.

It's a bit (a lot?) scary to be self-employed, relying on primarily your own efforts to bring in an income.  Especially in an extremely niche market.

Deciding to 'retire' (for certain values of) was also scary.  I get a very tiny state pension, largely because for many years I was too poor to pay income tax, never mind contribute to the state pension fund.  But it was time.  My body was telling me so, in no uncertain terms.

And then Covid hit.  Suddenly a lot of people were looking for increased ways to learn on line.  I started an on line study/mentoring group and learned how to use Zoom.  Practiced using the new technology, just like I'd done CDs when they first became available.  Just like I'd self-published educational materials.  Just like I'd done both text and CD content - something new that very few were doing in the weaving world.  Figured out how to make a You Tube account and load videos to it, when I decided I wasn't going to do the CD route anymore.  (A combination of a larger organization digging in and making workshops on tape, then  CDs - only *they* had pre, during and post production teams.  I just had me.  And I'd rather be weaving than editing film, thankyouverymuch!)

When Olds College asked if I would teach the master level classes for them, I was delighted.  But the early years of covid there were no classes.  This year they did run Fibre Week, but I found it incredibly stressful to drive there (11 hours one way), avoiding eating indoors, avoiding others in the toilets - because hardly anyone was wearing a mask.  And then worried about transmission happening at the college.  Thankfully I haven't heard of anyone who got sick, and for that I'm incredibly grateful, but especially so to my students who all masked up to protect me.  

Now I'm home and begun working on two more on line classes for School of Sweet Georgia.

The first two classes launched early this year, two of the lectures have launched, and the next two classes will be filmed in October.  The lectures will continue every second month for the next while.  The next one is The Goldilocks Zone if I remember correctly - wherein I will talk about tension - too little, too much and juuuuuuust right.

And then today another opportunity dropped into my inbox.

I won't say more yet because I haven't actually agreed to do it, although I'm finding way more reasons to do it than not.  But I have to fit their deadline into my schedule and I need to think carefully - and find out more info - like deadline.  It sounds like it's not imminent, but I want to make sure.  

So my  initial reaction was to hit 'reply' and say 'sure', but my inner voice went 'hold on, when is this needed by?  How much of a commitment are you going to need to make?'  So instead of saying yes, I said, maybe until I got more information.

Summer has arrived and there are threats of much higher temperatures coming.  I don't have any appointments next week so I anticipate spending a lot of time in the studio, where it's cooler than the main floor.  

On the stash busting front, I will continue to work on the fine yarns but I've also managed to give some of my yarn away.  I've spent 3 years working hard to use up as much of my stash as I can, but have finally come to the realization that I really do not need to personally weave it up if I can find someone who will appreciate and use it.  So the first bag of yarn was delivered this week, and another box of yarns will find a new home next.  Other yarn has been offered for the cost of the postage.  

Little by little.  

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Multiple Fronts


My life has been spent working on multiple long term projects, some of them longer than others, all of them needing to move forward to meet a deadline, regardless if that deadline was/is self-imposed or not.

What I have spent the last 2.5 years learning is how to trim back how many projects I'm working on at any given time.  At times that works better than others.  Right now, I'm working at my current 'maximum'.

My overarching goal is to continue to weave down my stash.  To that end, I've worked through several of my categories of yarn - just in the past 3 years.

The 2/20 silk I dyed is either used up, or given to another person to use.  Cotton flake is 99% gone, just a few dribs and drabs.

A dent was made in some of the fine rayon yarns I have, although there is So Much play value in fine yarns, there is still a lot more that needs to be used.

A significant dent was made in my 2/8 cotton.

Yesterday I cut the 'last' 2/16 cotton warp off the loom and began dressing the loom with the 2/20 mercerized.  Again there is some 2/16 cotton left, but so little compared to what there was I count that a successful reduction.

However!  I am also supposed to be working on the filming schedule for the next classes.  I've gotten feedback from SOS and need to roll their suggestions into what I had included so far.  I need to design the warps that will be used as part of the class (sectional beaming) and estimate how long each segment will take to record, and what order to do them in.  

What I am finding, now that I'm back on the dilaudid again, is that the brain fog has returned and trying to hold both the sectional beaming AND the lace class in my head at the same time, AND weave, AND get the finishing done just isn't in my ability right now.

This morning I hoped to get the 22 towels I wet finished pressed, but I didn't quite get them all done before it was time to stop for lunch and then get my hair cut.

So I'll finish pressing those, then get back to threading the mercerized warp.  And continue to move the pieces of the sectional beaming class around in my head, not unlike how I move the variables of designing a cloth around as I contemplate how they will/might fit together.  

My Office Practices teacher gave me a low mark with the comment that I would get a lot more done if I would only keep my desk organized.

I'm quite sure she would never believe what I have accomplished in my life, WITH the disorganized desk that she so abhorred.  Seems a good mark in that class was less important to me than doing what I wanted to do, messy desk or no!    

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Sectional Beaming


circumference of the empty beam:  14.25"  The arrow shows where 'zero' is on the tape measure, and therefore the circumference of the beam

circumference of beam with 60 layers of warp:  16.5

Since I am in the process of developing a new class for School of Sweet Georgia I have been paying a great deal more attention to the process as I have been doing it today with my next warp.

It occurred to me that a lot of people forget that the circumference of the beam will change as the layers build up, so if they just count the number of turns (which is how I've always done it), the actual length of the warp will be more than they think if they don't factor in this build up.

(Some people use other methods but my needs are different from most so I'll just talk about what I do in case it makes sense to anyone else.)

So how long IS my warp, anyway?  About 22 tea towels, give or take.  Because the actual length of any tea towel design will depend on how many picks I need to weave the motif and any hem/border that I want to include.  This may vary from around 1000 picks to 1200 picks (or more), give or take.  And depending on the yarn being used.

For example, the warp that is now in the washing machine had a towel repeat of 1256 picks.   But that was 2/16 cotton with a target of 32 ppi.  This warp?  Is 2/20 cotton with a target ppi of around 40.  This may change as the weft changes, so in the end I decided to use a short repeat, use a measuring tape to weave about 42" or so, then weave in a cut line (a contrasting colour) and when I've woven 8 towels, that section will get cut off and the tea towels separated for wet finishing.  I will tie on and keep going until the next 8 towels are done, rinse, repeat until the warp is finished.

But I can get a rough estimate of the length by using the 'mean' circumference length.  It's not entirely accurate, but can come pretty close.  Subtract the actual circumference from the circumference of the warp which is a difference of 2.25".  Half of 2.25 is 1.12" or for ease, say 1 1/8".  

The half-way length would then be about 15.37" - or for ease 15 3/8",  However, it is actually easier to do the next step using the 15.37" number so I'll use that.  Half of the warp will be more than that mean, half will be less.

15.37 x 60 (turns) = 922.2 inches or about 25.6 yards.

These numbers really need to be worked out each time because the circumference will change depending on how many threads are in a section, how thick those threads are, how much tension they have been wound with and how many layers there are.

Since I have been a production weaver all my life, I have almost never tried to do a specific warp length (like 10.3 yards).  My goal was to weave much longer warps in order to reduce the amount of time I spent dressing the loom, that is, threading and sleying.  The longer the warp, the more items I can weave, and the less loom waste.  A warp of 100 yards will have exactly the same amount of loom waste calculated as a 10 yard one.  Therefore if there is 27" loom waste for a 10 yard warp, and also 27" loom waste for a much longer warp, say 40 yards, there is only 27" loom waste instead of 27 x 4 = 108"  for that 40 yard warp.

Not everyone wants to do a 40 yard long warp however, so it becomes more important to them to work out how to measure their warp going onto the beam.  Even when I do a 10 yard long warp however, I still want 'extra' in order to weave a header, spot any errors and fix them, check for ppi, check that I have no tie up errors, check for weft - both actual fibre/yarn and colour.  So for me, winding on 20 turns for a 10 yard long warp (if the loom has a half yard circumference beam), works perfectly fine.  The build up on a 10 yard long warp on a half yard beam isn't all that great, but it is a little and I use that 'extra' to test for the afore mentioned variable.

When I got rid of the AVL with its 1 yard circumference beam and got the Megado, I had to re-think my approach for the smaller circumference.  So I spent quite a few warps doing warps of various numbers of turns, working out how many units of whatever it was I was weaving, then increasing or decreasing as my needs changed.  It's not 'perfect' but that isn't all that important to me right now.  That may change in the future.  Or not.

I've written about sectional beaming elsewhere on this blog - put sectional beaming into the search bar and they should all come up.  A blog isn't a format for a really deep dive into any topic, so I've addressed various bits and pieces of it over the years.

But sectional beaming does have some advantages - and some disadvantages.  Once you know both, you can decide if the technique is appropriate for you.

Tuesday, July 19, 2022



Well, that's a bummer.  I had typed out a whole long post about absorbency, and blogger failed to save it.

Let's just say this is the next warp in the queue and I decided to change the tie up to add more stability to the cloth because 2/20 merc. cotton warp and weft needs more interlacements.

I finish the 2/16 cotton warp today, and will start beaming this warp tomorrow.  Photos as things begin to happen.

Monday, July 18, 2022



A large mangle - a simple principle (compression) being applied with a complex tool

Simple.  Just a plain word, with so many different meanings in the  English language.

Simple:  not compound, consisting of one element, all of one kind, involving only one operation or element or power; not divided into parts 

But there are other meanings, some of them not very complementary.

In weaving we talk about complexity a lot.  Complex cloth.  Complex looms.  Complex concepts.  But ultimately weaving is built on the simple act of interlacing a set of threads with another set.  Warp and weft.

How that interlacement happens can be done entirely by hand (basket weaving for an example), or with 'simple' tools.  Four pegs pounded into the ground, a couple of sticks to attach the warp to, then a weaver who enters the weft into the warp by hand.  Sometimes utilizing a shed stick which can double as a beater.  

Looms are just a device on which a warp can be tensioned, one way or another.  Over the history of human beings, looms developed more mechanical assistance, generally as a way to make the weaving of the cloth more efficient.  Sometimes even more ergonomic, ie less damaging to the weaver.

But efficiency must be taken into the context of the weaver's life.  The more mechanical assistance, the less freedom the weaver may have - or choose to use - because doing the patterning by hand takes longer.  And if you are trying to put food onto the table, doing the job more quickly begins to look a lot more attractive.  OTOH, a drop spindle could be a lot more efficient than a spinning wheel, depending on whether or not you have the ability to sit in one place, or you have a flock of sheep or goats to tend.

In the 21st century, many hand weavers now have access to much more highly mechanized looms.  My AVL had a fly shuttle, dobby, auto cloth advance.  Many people felt that the loom no longer qualified as a 'hand' loom.  And told me so.  Repeatedly.  

Needing to put food on the table, I ignored them because the Dept. of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (as was, at the time) held that a loom that required the weaver to initiate every single action of the loom qualified as a 'hand' loom.

And I carried on, designing and weaving my designs and affixing a label that said 'hand woven'.

As the development of more mechanically complex looms became available to hand weavers, there was an attitude that a loom like a back strap, or warp weighted, or pit loom, were 'primitive'.  Unfortunately that word also has some very negative connotations.  Some modern weavers tended to forget that humans only had those so-called 'primitive' looms to weave on when they wove some of the most incredible textiles, made of yarn so fine we aren't even sure exactly how they were woven.  Somehow the 'primitive' nature of the tools meant that the cloth had to be 'primitive' as well, when they clearly were not.  Mummy wrappings from ancient Egypt are just one of those that springs to mind.

There are still weavers today who prefer to weave on looms that some would call 'primitive'.  I have taken to calling these looms 'simple' because their mechanics may be simple in comparison to other looms, but the cloth being produced is anything but.  

We live within our own 'reality' bubbles.  We assume that what is 'normal' for us is - or should be - normal for others.  We forget that not everyone has access to what we do - sufficient money to purchase yarns, equipment, looms.  Put food on our tables, without worrying too much about this year's harvest or next.  We forget that people live in many different environments and what may be appropriate for us would not work for others.  Over the years I have been working to reduce the effect of my reality on how I perceive others.  One way I have been doing that is to check the words I use when I talk about looms that have less mechanical assistance than mine.  Primitive began to feel inappropriate, given the skill of the people using them, and the quality of the cloth being woven.  

So, while the word 'simple' still has some negative connotations, I now refer to these types of looms as 'simple' rather than 'primitive'.  Checking my language reminds me to appreciate the skill of the people using 'simple' equipment.  The technology they are using may be 'simple' but their skills are highly developed in order to get the most from the tools they can afford, build, repair and maintain.  

My skill set may be different.  It is not 'better'.

Sunday, July 17, 2022



This afternoon, sometime, my blog page views rolled over 2.25M views.

When it rolled over 1 million I was astonished.  Two million?  More astonished.  Now 2.25 million.

The spider is said by some cultures to be a weaver.  A god, Arachne.  Human beings have spent far more time playing with string than doing a whole lot of other things.  Even now, post industrial revolution, there are hundreds, thousands, of human beings who take fibre, fiddle with it to create string, and then, using a variety of tools - spindles, hooks, needles, shuttles, looms of every kind - create textiles

The internet has adopted many textile terms to explain how it works - to follow a thread means something quite different to a computer or internet person than it does to a textile worker.

As I contemplate where I am, where I might be in a couple of years, and what I might do in those intervening years, I am taken by curiosity all over again.  What happens when I do this?  What happens when I do that?  If I change this one thing, how will that change the results?

Writing is a similar process.  Which word should I use in this context?  What phrase will bring the greatest understanding?  

Today, in talking with some textile folk, I explained why I chose a certain word instead of a more commonly used one.  Even as I was saying why I used the word I now use, I wondered if people thought I was judging them for their word choice.  So I explained that in my effort to break down my own perceptions, my own reality bubble, I realized I have to change the language I use when I talk about that thing.

Later, I hoped that people were not offended or upset.  And then I hoped that they would think about what I'd said and see if - after some consideration - my suggestion of changing one's language to help bring greater understanding might be appropriate for them, as well.

But ultimately I cannot make someone change their mind.  I learned that early on when people told me that I could no longer call my textiles handwoven because I had a loom with a fly shuttle and dobby.  No explanation of how I was still required in order to operate the loom, that I could not throw a switch and walk away while the loom continued weaving, meant that I was, still, a *hand* weaver, was accepted.  Their mind was made up.

So I decided that since the only person I could change was me, then I needed to use more specific language to open my mind and become more accepting.  More hair splitting, to some.  But weaving, textiles generally, is so filled with variables that what we do is a constant dance with the words that we use.  As we slice and dice the information into finer and finer strands, sometimes you just have to be extremely precise in your language.

And so I work on the words I choose to explain things.  And I work on myself to try and see beyond my expectations and my reality bubble.  In the end, I hope to better understand what is going on with the threads and the craft.  And if my musings, my ramblings, help others to begin to question what they *think* they know, in order to broaden their horizons, then I'm happy to explain my word choices.  That doesn't mean I think everyone should change to what I am doing.  Just examine themselves to see if they want to broaden their horizons, their understanding.  And if they don't?  They don't.

The older I get, the more I learn, the more I realize how little I actually know.  And that's ok.  Because learning still interests me, excites me, keeps me getting up and out of bed in the morning.  Some days I learn what I don't want to do.  Other days I learn that others have learned the same things and the feeling of being involved in a universally human activity strengthens the bonds I feel with other textile folk.  

Because weavers, spinners, knitters, etc., are part of a community.  And as such we  need to support and encourage each other to keep learning.  Keep growing.  Keep using our creativity.

Milestones are reached by navigating a series of stepping stones.  

To paraphrase Chaucer, the life so short, the craft so long to learn.  And it's all good.

I'm rambling after a long and busy day after a very short night.  I suppose I should just delete this post but instead I will hit publish.  If it doesn't resonate, scroll on by.  Maybe tomorrow's post will be more relevant.  Or not.  

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Speaking Out


One of the things about speaking out, especially on line, is that you are essentially talking into a microphone in a crowded space and you never know who will be in the audience.  You never know who will find your opinions offensive.  And sometimes, they will let you know!

With the internet, there is an opportunity to express your opinions and have individuals you would never meet in real life give you their heartfelt (and sometimes very LOUD) feedback.

I have never been one who wanted to offend and for most of my life I held back on my opinions about various things.  I relied on having people who didn't know me, personally, to hire me to teach.  My knowledge about weaving is separate from my political or religious views.  So I kept those latter opinions largely to myself.

Now that I'm 'retired' (for certain values of) and we are living through a pandemic and growth of the right wing, I have been a lot more vocal about my opinion on how one ought to behave in the midst of a preventable pandemic and my left leaning political positions.

I have watched the right grow ever louder and ruder, and yes, more violent over the past few years.  

While I kept my thoughts (mostly) to myself, I learned from others how to engage with the people who loudly disagreed with me.  And so when I post something to Twitter or Facebook, I do not engage with those people who loudly tell me to 'fuck off' (yes, it's happened, more than once), call me 'deluded' or 'ignorant' or whatever other insult they can call up.  

I learned how to recognize a 'sea lion' and how to handle them.  (Carefully, out the airlock.)

Thankfully Twitter makes it easy to block such people.  With Facebook, I will unfriend people who insult me for my opinions.  

I find it interesting that so many on the 'right' demand that they be respected for their opinions, and to have their 'rights' be respected, while simultaneously insulting and demeaning anyone who disagrees with them or has a different view of what society should be.  But it's me who is uncivil.

For me, a healthy society is an inclusive one.  One that supports people, especially if disaster arrives.  For me bad luck is not a character failing.  Because someone who is, in what our society would call, 'successful, doesn't make them 'better' than anyone else.

First of all, define 'success'.  I never intended (or expected) to be 'successful' the way NA society defines it.  What I wanted was 'enough'.  Enough food.  A roof over my head.  A way to give back when I could.  To be as happy as I could be given life isn't fair or even easy.

Over the years I have worked at dismantling my reality bubble, made an effort to understand my privilege as a white woman.  Even though my life wasn't 'easy', it was never made worse because of the colour of my skin.  

There are many things about people that flat out confuses me.  But I don't react well to being bullied.  Anyone who disagrees with me is welcome to leave.  No need to flounce on your way out the door.  But I'm also willing to use the block button.  Obviously I'm disturbing their peace of mind, so I'll do them the favour of never having to see my posts and ruin their morning, again.

Wednesday, July 13, 2022

World on Fire


In so many ways it feels like the world is on 'fire'.  So as I dug through the piles of 2/20 mercerized cotton, separating them into colour groupings, I kept the 3 reds as one warp possibility.  A few days later, looking for something else entirely, I spotted a large (kilo?) cone of a copper-y colour.  It's even called copper on the label.  :)  And it was also 2/20 merc. cotton.

I had no idea what I was going to do with it, until I thought some more about those reds and decided to play with the idea of flames.

Another benefit is that it's fairly simple to thread - a bonus for my addled brain.  (If you live with chronic pain you are either stupid with pain, or stupid with pain killers.  Or both.)  It's also a nice break from the rather, um, florid designs I've been working with lately.  A palette cleanser, as they say.

I'm not sure if this combination will make a very good tea towel, and I may play with the tie up and treadling once I get it into the loom and start weaving.  I may weave 8, cut off, wet finish and then make changes.  

Because they will be tea towels.  Or just towels.  Or whatever the buyer (or giftee) decides.

These will start out at 40 epi, 24" in the reed, with a goal of 40 ppi.  Which means more work than the 2/16 towels at 32/32.  (Or as close as I can get them.)  

The next decision is to figure out if I just weave yardage, or do hems.  The warp will be too long to weave off in one piece.  My other option is to measure about 40" of weaving, then insert a cut line so that I can cut off after each 8 towels and not be wasting any warp.

There is still time to think things through and make some decisions.  And I can change things when ever I want, I'm not locked into just this.  Thank you computer assisted dobby!

Ultimately if I really hate the results once I begin weaving with the copper, I have other options.  Always good to remain flexible just in case things don't look like you want them to.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

If It Were Easy (part ?)


It seems that there is a certain misunderstanding by a small percentage of people about the role of a teacher, teaching a hands on skill.

There is a certain percentage of adults who assume that *because* they are 'adult' they can instantly acquire the physical skills required to do a task that requires...patience?  development of skill?  That *because* they are 'adult' they don't get to be...imperfect...when they set out to acquire a skill.  Or something.

This is not new.  I've been teaching weaving for over 40 years and inevitably someone in the class would insist that if I only told them what to do they would be able to do it perfectly.  In spite of my telling people that I give myself seven warps to learn a new process, or incorporate a new tool into my practice.


Some people express amazement that after all those years I still learn new things.  Honestly?  It was what drew me to weaving in the first place - that I could weave for the rest of my life and still learn new stuff.

When I explain that how many epi might be required will depend on a variety of factors, I still get people asking me 'what epi should I use?'  'Tell me what to do so I can be perfect.'

People are not used to thinking for themselves, in large part.  They want definitive answers to questions that don't have any.

Like life, really.

Adult students can be a joy, but they can also be a challenge.  Some people have never had to struggle to acquire a skill, and it shows.  

Some use very abusive language as they self-talk.  In one instance someone, who had introduced themselves as an art teacher, constantly talked to themselves in very negative terms.  "That sucks!  How can you be so stupid!"  And so on.  I wasn't the instructor in that class, merely sitting behind them, and finally I couldn't stand the negativity anymore.  "Are you an art teacher?"  (startled look) "Yes".  "Do you talk to your students that way?"  "What?!"  "I said, do you talk to your students the way you are talking to yourself?"  (shocked expression) "NO!"  "Then why are you talking to yourself that way?"

The demeaning self talk may have been silenced, which meant the rest of the class proceeded much more peacefully for those around that student, but it seemed that, as an adult, they weren't cutting themselves any slack.  Neither were they doing themselves - or those around them! - any favours, not allowing for the natural flow of learning to bring knowledge from their experiences,.

So it is with other students who expect me to give them the golden key to unlock the secrets of how to be perfect.

Honey, I ain't perfect!  All I am is someone who is willing to explore and yes, make mistakes, AND LEARN FROM THEM.  Even if that lesson is 'well, I won't do that again!'

My observations about this are not unique.  Just this morning another experienced teacher commented on the very same thing.  How adult students want to be perfect first time they try something.

I do my best (as do most good teachers) to explain what the student needs to do and then watch them struggle.  Because they need the time and space to acquire the skills into their own experience.  If they struggle with one aspect, I will do a demo just for them, pointing out hand position, explain in a slowed down demo how to do the motion (especially the threading), point out what they are doing 'right', suggest they try a different position, or encourage them to keep trying, using the 'proper' position.  

But most of all - I give them the space to acquire the knowledge.

For those few who insist that in my classes all I do is tell them to read the manual, or fail to tell them what to do?  

I'm sorry you feel I failed you.  But I cannot open my brain box and dump what I know into yours.  I did the best I could to organize my thoughts and put them into readable form in The Intentional Weaver.  But that is only the beginning.  The student must do the work to acquire the skills.  I cannot hand my experience to them.  They must do the work of learning.

Monday, July 11, 2022

If It Were Easy...


...everyone would do it.

Someone teased me about writing another book so I asked on FB about what I should write about - if I even should think about writing another book.

One of the responses was to write about what was in my heart.

Good advice.

Now, if I only knew what was in my heart that needed to come out in written form.

Writing can take many forms.  Fiction, of course.  Non-fiction, naturally.  Memoir?  Pretty niche market and who would be interested in my life but me, anyway?  And, as one person put it, do I really want to share those formative experiences publicly?  They were pretty much negative, out of which I managed to find lessons that have stood me in good stead.  But honestly?  I dunno.

I could talk about teaching, but I'm not educated in teaching.  Everything I know I learned as a student, mostly from the 'bad' ones, knowing that what they were doing was not helpful to me.  It was definitely off putting in more than one instance.  But I took the lesson to heart so that when I began teaching I knew I never wanted to be *that* kind of teacher.

I could talk about learning, but again, I'm not educated about how we learn, just have my own experience to draw on.  But how we learn is quite personal and what one person thrives on, another...does not.  I've seen that over and over again in the teacher evaluations I've received.  I am not the 'best' teacher for everyone.  And I'm ok with that.  There are other teachers who have a different approach and might be better for that student.

My intuition has been valuable as has my ability to 'read' body language and intuit what a student is really asking when they don't know what they want to know and therefore don't have the words to put their question to me directly.  I can't count how many times I've been asked a question and wound up figuring out what their actual problem was and answering that rather than the question as it was posed.

I've woven long enough, made enough mistakes, that I can usually diagnose a problem with only the sketchiest of descriptions, to the point that some people are shocked that from a few words describing their problem I was able to pinpoint the issue and then tell them what to do.

(Sometimes my answer is 'cut it off, start over'.  Just saying.)

A student recently emailed to say that her therapists were delighted that I have taken the time, effort and money to consult with experts about how to weave ergonomically.  That I care enough about the health of my students and their physical well being to try and keep them from injury.

Perhaps it's because I have lived with chronic pain all my life and needed to find these things out for myself?  But I really want people to be able to weave without pain and injury resulting.

So do I have another book in me?  

I really don't know.  The first two were clearly needed (*I* thought) and so I was willing to put the time, energy and money into producing them.  

Some told me to 'tell my stories'.  But I do that here on the blog.  So maybe I need to just cull the blog to make a book of essays?  But y'all can read them here, for free.  

Blogspot tells me the metrics for what I write and frankly, I'm astonished so many people have read what I have written.  As of 10 am this morning, Blogspot says I have published 3431 posts and have a viewership of nearly 2.25M page views.

That's not nothing.  But neither does it make a 'book'.

As of this morning, I've pretty much talked myself out of tackling another book.  But I won't say 'never' because I refused to contemplate book #2 until I saw the need.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll see the need for the 'hat trick'...

Friday, July 8, 2022

Making Choices


hand position for the Harrisville brass threading hook

Weaving is full of choices to be made.  As a new weaver, they want to know what to do.  Experienced weavers already know what to do and frequently new weavers will simply do what their friend/mentor/teacher tells them without knowing that there may be another way, perhaps a 'better' way (for them) to do the job at hand.

So it was with me.  I learned how to use an 'ordinary' threading hook to thread the loom and because I didn't know of any other way to do it, I kept doing it that way, using the tool that had been shown to me.  And I continued to thread the loom that way for about 20 years.


Until I saw a different way, using a different tool.

As soon as I saw Norman Kennedy demonstrate how to thread with the Harrisville brass hook it was like the heavens had opened and the heavenly choir sang an hallelujah.  I asked where I could buy such a hook and someone said the weaving shop below us carried them.  I immediately scooted down to the cash desk, asked to buy a hook.   They happened to have two.  I would have taken both but my fellow guild mate, seeing me dash out of the weaving room had followed me.  She wanted one as well.  She said that if *I* wanted one, she knew *she* needed one as well.  I reluctantly handed one of them to her and bought one.  I later bought more, bringing them with me to sell when I did workshops and demonstrated to the class how to use it.

When you don't know *what* you don't know, you don't know *that* you don't know it.

I was already fast at threading, but using this new tool and technique, I nearly doubled my threading speed.  It was well worth going through 'beginner mind' and the fumbling as I learned to do it.

My greatest hope is to not just tell people what to do, but make them aware that there are usually several ways to accomplish the task of weaving.  There are multiple designs of looms, hooks, processes available.  If the student doesn't know they exist, they cannot decide if something else might work better for them.

And so I keep telling people - find out!  Look for other sources.  Other 'experts'.  No one knows everything there is to know about how to take threads and make cloth with them.  

Change one thing, and *everything* can change.  If something has changed, figure out how to change with it.  Adapt.  Experiment.  Explore.  Above all...LEARN.  

Seek out other teachers.  Other experts.  We have all had different life and weaving experiences.  Maybe what they figured out is appropriate to you.  Or not.  But it might be to someone else.  Knowing there are other approaches means you can help new weavers decide what will work for them.  Or not.  But until they know of the other ways, processes, tools, they cannot make an informed choice.

I show this technique and others in my class with the School of Sweet Georgia (The Intentional Weaver, named after my book of the same name.

Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Clearing Clutter


One of my early forays into technology was producing teaching CDs.  They were a combination of text files, heavy with colour photos, and video clips.

They never sold very well, although people sometimes contact me to let me know they found them useful.  When I stopped selling them, I loaded (most of) the videos to You Tube, where you can still find them.

In addition to trying to weave down my stash, I'm trying to learn how to Marie Kondo my life/studio/home.  Yesterday I came across a stack of CDs with files saved to them.  Some of them I'm pretty sure I want to keep.  Others?  Perhaps not.

Right now I have exactly one aging laptop with a CD drive in it, so at some point this week I hope to go through the stack and any files on them that I want to keep, I'll transfer to a thumb drive.

And then?  Recycle?  Give to the guild to make spindles with?  Sigh.

I really hate to just toss them, along with the large stack of unused discs I have.  If I could figure out a way to load music onto them, I would, but that's also antique technology so seems pointless.  Just play the CDs I have.

In fact I still play cassette tapes.  A friend, when they found that out, offered me her tapes and CDs, thinking I would laugh and say no thanks!  Instead I said yes, please!  "Even the Def Leopard?"  Yes, of course!  What can I say?  I have eclectic taste in music...

Once I've sorted through the CDs, I will begin sorting through the binders of workshop notes/drafts.  

And keep weaving.  And work on the two classes for October for SOS.

I'm hoping I have enough energy/brain power to fulfill the contract with SOS for the coming couple of years.  

This morning I was lamenting that I don't have the energy of my 30 year old self.  Coming to grips with the fact that aging means I can no longer push myself to exhaustion and expect myself to bounce back into the fray is...difficult.  

But I still have things I would like to accomplish, so onwards!

And I very much doubt there is a third book in me.  But never say never?

Monday, July 4, 2022

Broken Record


If it was 'easy' everyone would be doing it...

Weaving isn't difficult.  But it's complicated.

One of the reasons why I repeat the same things over and over again is because it takes time for people to really *hear* what I'm saying.

If I'm going to help people master the craft, they need to use their own reasoning skills, develop their analytical mind, learn how to apply judicious thinking to the process.  

If I just tell them what to do, they have learned to follow instructions, not how to think the process through.

Some students catch on quicker than others.  Some take a lot longer to figure out my style of teaching and realize what it is they actually need to learn, other than to just follow instructions.

There is also the fact that if you change one thing, everything can, and almost always will, change.  If you have only woven with cotton and you are suddenly faced with needing or wanting to make something with wool, that isn't just one change - it will be a whole long chain of things that is going to present differently.

Wool generally tends to have more elasticity than cotton.  It will potentially be more textured than cotton.  It might be weaker than a cotton of the same thickness.  And of course, it may need to be fulled.

The yarn once in the loom will not weave in the same way so the weaver will have to adapt/adjust their shuttle handling and their beat control.

And while I can tell them ALL OF THAT, it isn't until they experience it for themselves that they will begin to understand why they need to change what they are doing.

I spend a lot of time at the beginning of the master level one class going over things like shuttle handling, posture/position at the loom (and elsewhere), controlling tension on the warp and advancing the fell.  I give them pointers on how to determine when the tension on the warp is 'enough' and what to do if it isn't.

When it comes to the fulling, I tell them what to expect, how to do the process, demonstrate fulling, and then let them experience it for themselves.  If they have never worked with wool before, they MUST experience the transformation in their hands.  I CANNOT TELL THEM SPECIFICALLY WHAT TO DO.  Much as they might like me to do so.

When it comes to fulling, the actual yarn they are using, the density, and the type of fulling being applied needs to be taken as a whole - right up to and including 'ruined'.  I tell them it is like kneading bread - do it until it is 'done'.  When is that?  They have to decide.  They learn to decide by practicing.  Experiencing it.  Understanding how the cloth changes as the process continues.  I cannot put that experience into their hands - they have to do it.

The five days of class is as exhausting for me as it is for them.  Five days really isn't enough time for me to tell them all the things I would like to tell them.  So I focus on them beginning to learn independently.  Because I won't be at their shoulder when they leave the class.  I can't tell them what to do for the rest of their lives.  They have to learn for themselves.

As much as I will miss teaching in person, I hope that I have created enough independent weavers that the knowledge will continue to live.  The craft will continue to thrive.

And if you want more structured teaching/learning from me, I'm putting pretty much all my energy into the classes via the School of Sweet Georgia.  

Just saying...(next lecture there on July 6)

Sunday, July 3, 2022

A Little Textile Science


plastic bin with The Intentional Spinner and three different yarns

After the burn test

In my continued effort to weave down my stash I have reached the 'mystery yarn' stage of trying to use up things.

I'm nearly done with the 2/16 cotton - two more towels to weave on the current warp, then one more warp which will effectively use up the natural, and then as much of the 16/2 teal as I can weave into that warp.  Rather than buy yet more 2/16 cotton, I dug into my 'small' stash of 2/20 mercerized cotton.  

Over the past couple of weeks I emptied three (small) boxes, collected tubes into compatible (I hope) groupings sufficient to make warps (added in other yarns to make up the numbers in order to sectionally beam them) and started pulling potential wefts.

As I dug through it became obvious that I have accumulated some 'mystery' yarns and I really didn't have any idea of what they are.

One was supposed to be linen, but it looked and felt different from my other linens.  Which, admittedly, aren't the very top quality.  So I examined the mystery yarn and a known linen under my digital microscope and the mystery yarn looked very similar but has much finer fibres than the known linen.

I also found a large cone (kilo) of a very fine yarn that looked like maybe it might be some sort of cellulose, but I couldn't tell for sure.

So yesterday I collected my book (one of them) with a burn chart in it, the known linen and the two mystery yarns, plus a barbeque lighter and carried them all outside.

Some fibres stink when they burn and I didn't want that in the house, plus open flame.  Much better to do burn tests out of doors.

#1 was the potential linen.  It burned with an orange flame and sparked.  A lot!  Continued burning when pulled from the flame and then the slight breeze blew the flame out.  The residue was black with fine strands of a greyish white.  What burned was pretty much consumed entirely.

#2 retreated from the flame, and never really caught on fire.  Black beads formed.  And it stank.

#3 (the known linen) burned readily like #1, sparked, what burned burned thoroughly.

All three samples were about the same length and it is easy to see in the photo that #2 really didn't burn.

One of the reasons for the difference between 1 and 3 may be because the individual fibres are much finer in #1 and they have been twisted (single and ply) much more tightly than #3.  But I think I can say that #1 is linen.  

Reading through the burn chart, I think I can say that #2 is nylon.  As such I will not be using it as weft for tea towels.  What will I use it for?  Perhaps nothing.  It may go directly into the recycle bin.  Since it is nylon, I won't toss it into the trash because it won't degrade any time soon.  Someone who wants nylon, maybe for strengthening heels/toes in socks might find it useful.

Burn charts are readily available.  They might not tell definitively what a mystery yarn is, but they can give enough information to use them - or not - for the intended purpose.

Never stop asking questions.  Never stop trying to find out answers! 

Saturday, July 2, 2022



paper quill

I'm all for doing things by hand.  I wouldn't have been a professional *hand* weaver for 4 decades if I didn't.



Time.  We run out of it at some point.  "Time becomes more precious, the less of it you have" sings Bonnie Raitt.  The first time I heard the lyrics, it resonated.  Deeply.

As a new weaver wanting to earn an income by weaving, I had to face issues of 'hand made' vs being able to actually produce enough to have an income.  

I started with myself, learning the most efficient ways to do the various tasks involved in weaving.  My husband cobbled together a hand bobbin winder, which worked.  Until I realized it was taking me longer to hand wind a bobbin than it was to weave it off.  Oops.

So I saved up my pennies and bought an electric bobbin winder.  

My first step to begin looking at other equipment and how efficient it was.  Was it also ergonomic?  That is, could I use it without injuring myself?  Such as a warping mill or board.  I paid attention to my body and figured out when it hurt and how quickly.  And if adjusting the placement of the tool or my own body affected how I could comfortably do what needed to be done.

As I extended my thinking beyond the immediate - warp winding, bobbin winding, dressing the loom, I carefully paid attention to the tools and processes.  What worked well; what didn't.

And so I became very efficient.  Like really efficient.  And some people began to question my tools, my approach, inevitably someone would say that they didn't want to hurry.

Hurrying is not working efficiently.  I don't hurry.  I have just pared away extraneous movements.  Changed my process from large motions to smaller ones.  Minimum input; maximum output.

Neither do I dawdle.  Then people started commenting that they wanted to enjoy the process.  Happens that I do enjoy my process.  I enjoy the fact I can go to the studio, sit down and 50 minutes later have a towel (approx 1200 picks).  I enjoy the fact that I can - mostly, because I do still make mistakes - dress a loom with little to no fuss.

I have a loom with some features that some in the weaving community would still, to this day, call 'cheating'.  Oh my, the consternation that was expressed to me when I bought an AVL with fly shuttle, dobby and auto-cloth advance.

One of the leading voices in the weaving world adamantly told me I was no longer allowed to call my textiles hand woven.

Um, yeah, about that...

The AVL was completely consistent with the legal definition by the Department of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (as was) definition of hand woven:  each and every action of the loom was initiated by the weaver.  No throwing of a switch and walking away.

That doesn't mean I couldn't weave without these tools - electric bobbin winder, dobby, weaving software.  It just means that I can do it with less effort.  Less time (as in winding a bobbin by hand or via electricity).  I can wind a warp chain on a warping board and have it done and ready to go into the loom in minutes, not hours.  Of course a longer/wider warp takes longer, but still.

I can dress a loom in minutes or hours, not days or weeks.

Am I bragging?  Trying to make newer weavers feel inadequate?  Absolutely not!  As one student put it, after seeing me demonstrate how I weave/shuttle handling tips, she now had hope that weaving would not forever be agonizingly slow, that with practice and intention she could get 'better', more efficient.  She left the workshop determined to work at her skills.

Efficiency is not a four letter word.  It is taking the time to analyze what one is doing, and if changes could be made to make the task(s) easier, less onerous, more comfortable.

Ergonomics means protecting ones body from repetitive injury.  

And I will keep banging on about these things so that anyone who is interested will see that they, too, can be more efficient *if they want to be*.  Because ultimately if someone is happy winding a bobbin by hand (no winder, just winding the yarn onto the bobbin using their hands), they should do that.  Just please, pay attention if your wrists begin to hurt.

Marie Kondo got a lot of bad press for saying that if something doesn't bring you joy, throw it out or stop doing it.  

Same for weaving.  None of us is entirely dependent upon making textiles from the raw fibre to stay safe from the environment.  Do what brings you joy.  

Want more info?  check out my You Tube channel.  My books.  My classes for School of Sweet Georgia.  Or other posts on this platform - labels to the right hand side on various topics I've addressed over the years.