It's Always Longer Than You Think

The "normal" warp for one of my floor looms is 12 yards long.  Occasionally I put on a 15 yard warp but I can't remember that last time I put on one shorter than 12 yards.  Most of the reason for the longer warps is that the parts of the weaving process that I enjoy the least are threading the heddles, slaying the reed and tying on to the front beam.  To do those jobs less often I opt for longer warps.  That leaves me more weaving to do before I have to go back to the beginning and warp the loom again.


My kitchen towels are usually 36" long on the loom.  They shorten up some when you take the tension off and they shorten up much more when you wash the fabric.  And then you hem both ends.  So 36" long on the loom makes a towel that's about 30" in finished length.  That means I usually get between 10 and 11 towels from my 12 yard warp.

I get bored weaving the same thing over and over so often times I change up the weft color or the stripe pattern to keep things interesting.  One time I started at the front end of the warp and wove the same pattern until I got to the end.  Boring, very boring, although the towels were wonderful and sold quickly.


All of this explanation is background for my current situation.  Each of the towels on this current run of towels is different.  I have measured the length of each towel as I was weaving but I didn't count the towels.  How close am I to the end of the warp?  Well, I'm not sure.  


As of last Friday morning, I thought I had one and a half towels to weave before I hit the end of the warp.  By that afternoon I had woven the one and half towels and I still had more warp left to be woven.  How much?  One more towel or two?  I'm not sure.


I'm going to keep going with my current color/pattern and when I run out of warp I will stop weaving.  For people who aren't comfortable having the end of the warp be a mystery, there is another option.  If you put a large safety pin at the end of each towel, you can count the safety pins sticking out at the selvedge edge and know how many towels you have woven.  I always thought that was a great idea but I never think of it till I've woven some unknown number of towels and it's too late to start counting them. 

I was bound and determined to get these towels finished Friday.  That didn't happen but now I'm bound and determined to get them done soon.  I have lots more towel designs in my head that I want to get to....

A couple of things happened as I was getting to the end of my warp.  First, there were 3 and a half towels left to weave when I thought there it was 1 and a half.

And second, with about half a towel yet to weave, I broke yet another warp thread.  Draw-in is a bitch.  I just couldn't do it.  I just couldn't replace that same damned warp thread for what felt like the 400th time.  So I stopped weaving and cut the towels off the loom.  I have 10 and 1/2 towels which means I have 10 towels and one bread cloth.

I love the towels and I'm so glad they are off the loom.  They still have to be hemmed but you will see them on the website soon.  Whew!