I warped up my Gilmore loom with linen back in June. The plan was for face cloths to be woven and hemmed and ready to go with the goat's milk soap I have ordered. The soap should be ready later in September and the face cloths need to be too. They will go into the CHH (Contemporary Handweavers of Houston) fall sale in November but also be available on our website. I love weaving face cloths. Ah, yes. The best laid plans...
Back at the beginning of July I wrote about having issues with the linen I had chosen for the outside or selvage edges. I had picked the yarn for it's color rather than for its suitability in the selvage. I started off using a temple to help keep the outer yarns straight and even and to block the possibility of draw in to help preserve the fabric's integrity. Well, rats. That didn't work. I was still wearing away those threads faster than I could weave past the thin spots. And why would I set up a system where I knew the outer threads weren't as strong as they should be? So I cut off the outer 3/4" on both sides of the warp. That was another failed attempt to make the warp work as it should.
There is a saying that weavers are very familiar with - A dog on the loom is a dog on the loom. The bottom line is if it drives you crazy to look at it and you can't manage to convince yourself to weave it, you are better off cutting the damn thing off and moving on to your next project. A dog can sit on the loom for years and all it does is tie up your loom and drive you crazy. That was where I had gotten with this warp. I would walk by it. I would think about it. I would occasionally sit at the loom. But I couldn't make myself weave it. No amount of wishing would make that warp right so it needed to go away.
Cutting the warp off your loom is troubling, exhilarating, liberating and traumatic. Yes, you are wasting all that yarn. Yes, you are losing all the time you spent getting it on the loom. Yes, you are stating out loud to the universe that you have failed. But you are also releasing all that time and attention and focus and energy back into the great unknown for other weavers to use. OK. That may be a little odd, a little crystal gazingly spiritually metaphysical but I sort of like it. Maybe that energy will help some other weaver in the middle of the night get that last kitchen towel or scarf finished so it's ready for a show.
For now I'm warping the Gilmore again. This time I'm using Claudia Hand Painted Linen yarn for the selvages and throughout the warp. This is 14/2 lace linen which works just as well in weaving as it does in knitting. And it is nearly the same size as 16/2 line linen that I have in two colors - natural and bleached. For weft I have a bit of my hand spun linen left as well as 16/1 line linen in various bright and bold colors, some loosely spun linen that won't work for warp but is lovely in the weft and plenty of the warp yarns to use in the weft also. I also have a variety of other yarns I could use - 10/2 cotton left over from the apron fabric I wove earlier this year and some new heavy hemp yarn. Oh, and lots and lots of wonderful cottolin in lots of colors. I think this next run of face cloths will be as lovely as any I've done. Once I have some finished I'll let you be the judge.