Half Fast

FB to TP-center of warp

Here’s where I made the transition from FB’s creme cotton weft to TP’s black cottolin. As I knew it would be, the difference is remarkable. Which do I prefer? I can’t tell till they’re off the loom and I can see both sides of both wraps.

I’m about half way through TP’s wrap at this point. I’ll be able to finish weaving it today or tomorrow and start CP’s short, ring sling wrap.

Last month Laura Fry did a post about her efficiency. I’ve read Laura for years and know that she would tell you that it’s not a contest. Efficiency is more about doing things well, conserving motion to save time, yes, but probably more importantly, doing things in a way that preserves your body. Weaving can be hard on lower backs, shoulders, and hands if not done thoughtfully. Just one of the many things I’ve learned from Laura is how to throw & catch my shuttle correctly.

In any case, in Laura’s post she tells how she decided to time herself, and all things considered, decided she was weaving roughly her ‘typical’ speed of….wait for it….48 picks (throws of the shuttle) per minute! Holy cow!! So I figured I’d time myself, too, which I haven’t done in many months.

I made sure I had a bunch of bobbins wound, got myself settled and into the groove, and started timing. I timed for 1/2 hour on 2 different occasions on the same day, and came up with the same results. Even though I thought I was weaving at about my efficiency, it was roughly 18 picks per minute – just over 1/3 Laura’s speed.

Now, there are many factors that impact speed. Laura’s been weaving for at least 3 times longer than my 7-8 years. The width of the fabric is a factor. If the photo on her blog is the one she timed herself on, I’d guess it was about 10″ wide. I timed myself on a baby wrap with about a 30″ width.

Laura was using her AVL loom, which is computer controlled (minimizing footwork on the treadles) and has auto advance. I was using my 8 harness Macomber loom with a 10-treadle pattern repeat. Although I’ve tried repeatedly to use Kati Meek’s live weight system with my baby wraps, I’ve not yet succeeded. I’ve resolved problems as they’ve presented themselves, but haven’t yet gotten the tension I feel like I need for my baby wraps. So every time I need to advance the warp – roughly every 2-3″ – I have to stop, release the tension on the warp, release the brake, advance the warp, and re- tension.

I can’t tell for sure from the picture, but it doesn’t appear that Laura had floating selvedges (I know she avoids them when she can). After having some issues with wraps earlier this year, I usually use floating selvedges on both edges of my baby wraps.

If I took all those loom & warp factors into account, would my speed by doubled? I rather doubt it. But here’s the real kicker.

I’ve had Laura’s DVD The Efficient Weaver sitting on my table for probably 6 weeks now, and haven’t yet made the time to watch it. How inefficient is that?!

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>