My greatest lessons are my mistakes. Fixing a threading error.
This past month we’ve been working on the AVL loom for a shawl and scarf order. The first design was mostly white and it took an entire shawl before I realized there was a threading error in the loom. It was a quick fix for the remaining shawls as all that was needed was to uncross the two misaligned threads and work them back threw the reed. But the first shawl needed to have those two threads unwoven, then restitched the entire length of the shawl, by hand.
My first step was to mark the errant warp thread by following it’s path threw the shawl.
At first it didn’t seem necessary because the error was obvious to me. But the second thread hid inside the weave and I was concerned I might be pulling out the wrong thread.
I started in the middle of the shawl pulling out just a small amount at a time. This way I only had half the shawl to stitch at a time.
I checked the previous repeat and found my thread was to go over three weft threads and under one, so I started by counting. Over three under one and began remembering that as a child I would lie on my belly with my nose pressed into the carpet counting the strings, and become bothered after counting the blanket fringe because there were three strings in one bunch and four in all the others. I never thought my counting habit would amount to much. Every time I passed my needle under an inch of threads I would double check my count.
And mark my progress.
Inch by inch I worked my way threw this shawl.
I am so glad Angie Rockett was here. Her mastery of weaving really showed today when she pointed out one simple fact I could of easily overlooked which would of resulted in hours of reworking the threads. She said, “You have to look in two places at the same time.”
I looked again at the shawl only to see that I was no longer picking up the correct thread! How was that possible, I had been double checking my over three, under one every inch!
This is what happened, somewhere along the line a purn had run out of thread as it does, and an extra weft thread had been introduced. In the picture below you can see the mistake. The pin pointing up is the same weft thread that should of gone over the warp thread, passing over the pin on the far right.
Angie could of told me that I had to look in two places at the same time when I began, but if I hadn’t made that mistake, I never would of known what she was talking about. So I have found that instead of counting and trying to stick to a rigid plan, seeing the pattern is so much more important. It’s amazing how often weaving mirrors life.