And Then There's That - Weaving Follies

Some of my best laid plans in weaving haven't turned out the way I thought they would.

Susan E. Horton Sep 26, 2019 - 4 min read

And Then There's That - Weaving Follies Primary Image

Anu Bhatia's beautiful scarf from Little Looms 2019. Photo by George Boe

When I was much younger, I had friend named Nick who used the expression “And then there’s that” with precision. We’d be planning something extremely fun when someone would insert a dose of reality, and Nick would chime in “And then there’s that,” essentially taking the air out of the room and making everyone laugh. Many years later, I believe the expression was created with weaving in mind:

• You plan a perfect project and pick the ideal weft to go with a handpainted warp, only to find out when you try to order the yarn that the colorway you picked has been discontinued. And then there’s that. Back to the drawing board.

03 yarn stash

Not that I want to lose my yarn stash, but sometimes a smaller one seems adviseable. Just not sure how to make that happen. Photo by George Boe

• Your napkins will be so great. You only used yarns from your stash, so in your head they are somehow free while making room in your stash for new, fun yarn. You put on a long warp and you are weaving napkin number 7 when you run out of weft. And then there’s that. Another cone of the same cotton lands in your stash and the napkins no longer seem free.

• You put on a warp for two scarves, weave the first one and then change up the treadling on the second one. That second treadling has a very long repeat which means the scarf will either be 60" or 80" long, too short or too long. And then there’s that. You stop at 60" and make it into a Möbius. You weave off the other 20" just because, but don’t really have a use for it so it goes to the “sample bin” to be forgotten.

colorful blanket warp 1080

I'm not sure why I thought all 5 of these colors needed to be in my baby blanket warp. Photo by Susan E. Horton

• You think a bright warp might be just the thing to pull you out of the doldrums. You decide to weave a colorful baby blanket. The colors look great on the little color wrap you made because you’re a good planner. You beam the warp and start threading. About halfway through threading you start to realize that the colors are too bright and too far apart on the color wheel. And then there’s that. You didn’t realize how the tiny color stripes on your wrap would look expanded into 2" stripes on the loom. Now your challenge is finding a weft that calms down the warp colors and pulls them together.

I’ve made these very mistakes and more during my years of weaving, and I know I’m not alone. Today a contributor wrote me that one of the towels she was weaving for the magazine had turned out extremely ugly. (Her words were a bit more explicit.) She didn’t know why she had chosen such a bad color combination. I don’t know why either, but then there’s that.

Weave well, Susan