I finished my first sampler, about 10 “structures” short of the 62 variations noted in the pattern. I ran out of warp.

My sampler feels great, looks pretty good–and I absolutely LOVED the process of weaving.

And so, I’ve decided to make another one, same pattern, same threads. No mistakes. Or, at least if I do make mistakes (which I will) I plan to stop, take out, and fix. Perfection.

My first challenge for a perfect sampler came with dressing the loom. I couldn’t use my poolside warping set up because the morning glories have completely taken over.






Instead, I set up three chairs in my room and stretched the thread between them. Which worked, except for that moment when one of the chairs fell over from the tension I was exerting. Eventually, I got it done with the “cross” looking mostly correct.

The next step is sleying the reed, which is picking up one (or two) threads from the cross and threading them through the reed from right to left. I was off to a good start, but it wasn’t long before my threads looked hopelessly tangled. I used lease sticks this time to help me maintain the cross, but I still ended up with a lot of tangles.

Next is threading all the ends (142) through the heddles, following a pattern which in this case was a simple 1-2-3-4. Not too difficult, though plenty of opportunity to miss a heddle or cross the threads in the process. I checked and rechecked them multiple times.

img_1987Once that seems right, the threads are tied on to the back beam and the process of untangling all the threads as they go through the reed and heddles begins. I broke five threads in the process and spent a good hour or more untangling. I ended up rolling the warp on to the back beam, back to the front beam (to add those five threads) and all the way to the back beam the second time! I’m sure there are better ways to do this, but my goal was a perfect warp and this is how I managed it.

I was in a hurry to get the loom dressed because I like having it set up for weaving during all the in-between-moments of life. It is calming to weave and rewarding to see the patterns emerge as I go.

I particularly need the calm and the reward, this sense of perfection, because so much of the rest of my life is anything but. John2 has had fourteen manic episodes this summer with accompanying depressive crashes. We’ve been working hard on our house and garden and we still feel like there is so much to do! We’re now thinking that we will celebrate one more Christmas here and put it on the market after the new year. That takes the pressure off, but extends the interminable wait process.

img_1989Weaving is the perfect antidote.







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