Planning in Circles

I’ve had some kind of bug this week that had me very tired and with a painful sinus infection. Sinus infections always exacerbate my back problems (I think because the pain makes my neck muscles tense).

It was rather inconvenient. I want to be working. And weaving. Instead I was napping, doing cryptic crosswords and ordering weaving magazines and books.

But I did managed some weaving planning. Since deciding to do lots of samplers I’d stalled at what to do first.

Looking at my weaving books, it occurred to me that some weave structures use the same or similar warp threadings, so perhaps I could explore a couple of weave structures on one long warp without doing much rethreading. I also had the crazy idea of using a white warp, then colouring threads with fabric markers when sampling multicoloured patterns rather than having to tie on a new warp each time.

Or I could weave everything in Next Steps in Weaving or The Handweavers’ Pattern Directory. Either would be a lot of work, and both books have patterns that use only 4 shafts. If I’m using the Katie for these samplers, it would be a shame to not use all 8 shafts at least some of the time.

Both books start with twills. I thought about dividing the warp in half: one side straight twill the other point twill. But what about rosepath? Ms and Ws? Broken twill? Could I fit those in too?

Maybe I should just do a big gamp blanket. I’ve always intended to weave a colour gamp on the floor loom. I even bought a big batch of 10/2 cotton for it a few years ago.

But that’s making a thing rather than just learning. And I’d have to do a gamp on the floor loom, because the Katie isn’t big enough.

Actually… why not make that the next floor loom project, and sample something else on the Katie?

But sample what?

My thoughts had done a circle and I was back where I’d begun. Except I had worked something out. The sampler ought to be for 8 shaft patterns. So I got out A Weavers Book of 8-Shaft Patterns. It, too, starts with twills. The first section talks about how a ‘boring’ straight twill isn’t as boring as it looks, and presents several patterns to try.

Okay then, I thought. Let’s see if that’s true.

So I’m going to weave a twill and colour gamp blanket on the floor loom, and a straight twill sampler on the Katie. It’ll be all twills all the time for a while, but I’ll be satisfying both the need to learn and the need to strike an item off my weaving to-do list.

But gosh, I really need to find a faster way to measure a warp.