The Default Value
I don't know if this is true for everyone, but I know I have default values for most of the things I do repeatedly. My default speed for driving between here and Katy on I10 is 73 mph. The speed limit for that stretch of road is 75 mph. My default speed keeps me below the speed limit without thinking about it. That doesn't mean I don't occasionally drive faster or slower depending on the weather or what is happening on the road around me but when I stop thinking about how fast I'm driving my speed always ends up at about 73 mph.
I have a default treadling speed on my spinning wheels. It's the speed my feet move back and forth without me thinking about it. What that means for spinning is that if I want to spin a yarn that is different from my default yarn then I need to change the settings on the wheel. I can not depend on my ability to treadle more slowly or more quickly and keep that speed consistent. As soon as my mind drifts away to something else my feet will go back to moving at their default pace.
I bring all this up because I am in the middle of winding the warp on my Gilmore loom. This run of fabric will be kitchen towels in grey, black, red and white. My default warp on all the floor looms is 12 yards. That means every warp yarn, in this case all 480 of them, will be 12 yards long and that should give me 12 kitchen towels. Of all the parts of the weaving process, warping the loom is the least attractive to me. I don't hate it but I don't relish it either. If I make the warps longer, I don't have to redo the process so often. This means I will be weaving on that warp for a longer time so it works best if I don't hate the colors.
This current run of kitchen towels will have stripes of color along each edge and the center will be white. My process for getting the warp onto the loom is done in 2" sections. The important thing about this process is that each section needs to be done the same way and be the same length. Enter my default values.
I decided that since I have lots of weaving projects in my head and that I don't love these towels as much as I might some others, I would wind a 9 yarn warp instead of a 12 yard warp. That worked pretty well for the first day of warping. I got two sections finished yesterday afternoon and called it a day. Unfortunately, when I sat down today to continue winding the warp, my default value kicked in. Yes. All the sections I have wound today, 7 so far, are all 12 yards long.
So, I will run out of nice bright colorful stripes on the edge of my towels about 3 yards before I get the end of the white warp for the center section. Now what do I do? Adding three yards to the first 80 threads is not an option at this stage. Do I go back to winding 9 yards per section and simply have 840 yards of yarn wasted on that center section? Or do I keep going with the longer warp and weave narrower towels when the yarn in the first couple of sections runs out? That would leave me three towels with stripes of color only on one side. Hmmmm. I think that is the thing to do. I won't waste any yarn although the last three towels will be interestingly quirky.