Why Bother Handweaving?

I started threading last Thursday afternoon, so it's been a week since I last sat here. I can't go faster than two hours per inch, particularly when tradesmen keep coming and going, but that's a good thing; the tile man and the plumber were here today. Not so great that I worked at least a good half day and got only two and a half inches threaded, though. This warp at 96EPI is 16 inches wide, so 25 hours to go.

I'm trying this new thing sitting between the back beam and the back of the heddles, on a tiny fold-up fishing chairs. I find that even with the breast and the knee beams removed, standing or sitting on different height chairs, if I'm in front of the heddles, my arms are never long enough to work comfortably, and my eyes must work harder to focus. This new method seems to be working so far, though I'm mindful of the number of ends and the hassle of correcting mistakes, and I'm proceeding slowly.

And since this is such a slow process, I can't help contemplating once again what Randy Darwall asks; and I'll paraphrase in my typically simplistic way: "why bother handweaving?"

I might like the colors in this warp, though would you believe I'm not a gradation girl? And maybe this is not going to be a scarf, so it' doesn't matter these cottons have a steely feel, but it limits the use a bit. I'm happy for myself I'm finally weaving in the scale, (I think that's what I mean) I've always wanted to, but what's the merit of me sitting in that cramped space threading sewing threads for days on end? This could definitely be done quickly in a mill, and won't they produce a more evenly woven cloth? Why did I decide to weave this kind of a warp and what am I aiming to achieve? Better yet, what am I going to make? And I have no answer.


  1. beautiful colors.
    the texture.
    the calming repetitive nature.

    looking forward to the cloth from this warp Meg. Lovely!

  2. Oh, thanks, Lynne. I'm not sure what I'm going to make from it, though... Ideas, yes, but...

  3. Thanks for that video.....I hadn't seen it before!

    Very interesting warp....25 hours to go would scare me for sure....I don't do well with long, repetitious tasks. (Well, I knit....so maybe I do).

    Weave on!

  4. The warp is gorgeous, Meg. I'm a bit envious -- just this morning I was lying in bed thinking that I won't be able to weave woven shibori for a while, and missing the loom. Oh well, lots of other fish to fry for a while.

  5. Sue, I grew used to tedious over the years, and in fact, there are days I prefer making a warp or dressing the loom more than weaving. I find mindless work therapeutic now, but it took a few years to get here...

    "Run of the mill", Sue. Since the video the phrase started to sound like a reproach to the limitations of my ability. Kind of like a measuring stick or a threshold.

    Connie, soon enough!!! Record all the plans in your sketchbook because I love to see your sketchbook pics, too. (Well, not that you need to do it just for me if you don't want to, but... but...)

  6. The warp is too beautiful for words....and I can't get my head around 96epi.

  7. Thank you, Sampling. The words you are looking for are "tedious", "silly", or "indulgent", I believe. ;-> I couldn't believe 96EPI either, but I've been doing around 33-36 a lot lately, and, well, these warps were 1/3 the size, so they were three times as dense. I won't even know if it's the right sett until I sample, but I dread the thought of resleying...

  8. I can well understand your dreading the thought of resleying!

    It is gorgeous though...

  9. Without wishing to be self-indulgent, Geodyne, (I think that's what I mean....) I'm starting to think the photo is much better than the real thing... It's kind of ... ummm.... hummm.... dull?

  10. Wow, it sure doesn't look dull in the photo!
    I can't quite wrap my head around 96 epi - but someday I'll try out some things like that. I've always had a liking for the finer weaving.

    Your time frames for threading cast my 25 epi in a whole new light - didn't take any time at all, comparatively!

  11. What I'm finding out is that 96 is the same as 8, 18, or 32, just a bit longer... Which is kind of obvious if you think about it... No?

  12. Hi Meg,I do not know you,but I just love your skills when it comes to weaving,colors and patients.
    Weaving a 96 EPI cloth !!!!

    I have fallen in love with weaving about 8 years ago(after a 2year Cert.Course here in Melbourne).
    I really enjoy reading your blog with all your beautiful work.

    Thank you,from Melbourne Monika.

  13. Hi, Monika. Truth be told once long ago I heard of 80DPI and just about fell off the chair, but you know, 96, 140... they're just numbers. One gets use to it. LOL.


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