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"A Later Pain Rather Than an Earlier Pain"


This week's issue of Weaving Today arrived in my inbox this morning.  I don't read everything in each issue of the newsletter but I always look for Madelyn van der Hoogt's Ask Madelyn column.  She answers all manner of questions about weaving sent in by weavers who are new to all of this or highly experienced. Often I know the answer but frequently I'm surprised by new information and a better explanation or the discovery that I was completely wrong.

Madelyn has a fascinating history of weaving and writing.  She owns and operates The Weaver's School in Coupeville, WA which is on Whidbey Island north of Seattle.  She was the editor of Handwoven magazine for over 11 years.  She has a multitude of videos and books about a wide variety of weaving topics such as lace weaving, block weaves, overshot, deflected doubleweave, summer & winter along with more general books about how to warp your loom, and tips and tricks for weaving well called Weaving Well.  I can't even begin to count the number of articles she has written in Handwoven.  Yes, she has all the credentials of a master weaver.  

This time she was answering a question about what to do with extra heddles particularly when there are so many that they impinge on your weaving.  I was interested in this topic since I've had this or the opposite problem crop up several times in the last year.  And I liked her answer. She says that leaving the extra heddles evenly at the outside edge is the best approach unless you are willing to remove heddles from your harnesses.  My issue is generally that I run out of heddles as I get near the outer edges of my warp.  Adding those extra heddles is painful when most of your warp is already threaded.  It would be so much easier to count the heddles before you start the process and add them at that point if needed.

This was Madelyn's point exactly.  Putting off the earlier pain, of counting the heddles, for example sets you up for the later and much bigger pain of fixing the situation by having to add more heddles when most of your threading work is done.  I do this with heddles but I do it with other things too.  

I was warping my big Octado loom using my warping wheel and was having issues. Rather than sitting back and figuring out what was going wrong, and of course then fixing the problem, I just blundered right ahead.  No, no.  This will all be fine.  I'm sure it looks good enough. Good enough works for some things but not for warp tension.  I'm on the 4th yard of a 12 yard warp and having nothing but constant tension issues.  I should have accepted the earlier pain and fixed the issue, then all the weaving would be going smoothly.

Live and learn.