To keep myself occupied while weaving on the Endless Warp, I timed myself and did some calculations. I’m weaving up at a rate of 1 foot/hour, which comes out to about 5 minutes/inch. I know from past experience that I weave at a rate of 2-2.5 minutes/inch. It takes me about 20 seconds to reset the temples and advance the warp. The only other things I do while weaving is mend broken threads, so a simple calculation suggests that I’m spending as much time mending broken threads as I am weaving.
Furthermore, it takes me about 80-90 seconds to mend a broken thread (I’ve gotten pretty efficient at it). But wait! A broken thread actually needs to be mended FOUR times – the first when the thread breaks, the second when you swap broken end for the repair end, and the third and fourth time when you darn in the ends from the respective swaps. Put in that perspective, it probably takes 5-6 minutes to mend a single broken thread.
Which means that every time I break a thread, I’m losing three inches’ worth of weaving time.
This would naturally suggest that slowing down a bit might be more efficient, but alas, it’s not that simple: I tried slowing down slightly and still broke the same number of threads (which has been very high of late, about 1 thread every 2 inches, enough to drive me nuts). I’m still mulling over the best way to avoid broken warp threads. I’ve sanded my shuttle smooth, and am double-beating every pick – the only other thing I can think of to do is use a mirror to inspect every pick before throwing it, and I am NOT going to go that far! It’s not the speed, it’s the fact that looking in the mirror every time a shed opens is terribly unergonomic.
It does make me think that “go slow to go fast” is a possibly-useful idea, though.
At any rate, I am now up to 11 yards, so only four more yards to go. At this rate I should finish up by next weekend, just in time to celebrate my third year of weaving!! Yes, as of October 20, I’ll have been weaving for exactly three years. I’m already planning to celebrate, though I’m not sure how just yet.
I also sent off my scholarship application to CNCH for the CNCH 2010 conference. Jannie Taylor will be teaching a workshop there on designing using weaving software:
This class is designed for multi-shaft weavers and weavers with computer interfaced looms who want to enhance their understanding of weave structure and their use of weaving software to create distinctive textile designs. Learn how the powerful design software available today can help go from inspiration to original design quickly and easily. Weaves from four different structure families will be covered: unit weaves (Summer & Winter), loom controlled lace (Huck Lace), Double Weave (on a double 2-tie threading), and multi-shaft twills (Fancy, Advancing and Network).
This sounds right up my alley, and since I’ve been fairly confused by block substitution in profile drafts (particularly how to accomplish custom block substitution in Fiberworks PCW) it would be great to take a class on it. And if I can get a scholarship for it, so much the better! There’s one for each region and it is not need-based. I wrote a short essay for it and included lots of photos of my work. I’ll know by November 15 whether I got it – of course, if I don’t, I’ll likely still go anyway.
I’ve also done some revamping of my website – primarily, adding in an email subscription button at the top of the sidebar, and links to my guilds and to Weavolution in the sidebar. The person who is doing my website migration is starting work on Monday (actually she’s already done a little bit of it), so you should see the travel and crafts pages starting to roll in over the next few days. Then a few days of .htaccess hell to make sure no links get broken, and I’ll be done with the website migration!