(My apologies to those of you with email notification who may have gotten this post twice. Bad Things Happened to my website two or three days ago, so I had to restore from backup, and lost this post. So I’m regenerating it.)
The last several days have been mostly spent troubleshooting the fine-thread warp. I wasn’t happy with the number of broken threads in the 90 epi warp, so have been patiently trying new things, and not-quite-so-patiently stomping off in a huff when each new thing failed to work. So far, I’ve tried resleying to a wider sett, tying on rather than lacing on, squaring up my loom a bit more, adding and removing weight to my live-weight tensioning system (which adjusts the warp tension), and so on. Distinctly unglamorous, but I’m determined to make this work. How can I weave yardage in fine threads if I can’t get a sample to work?
So anyway, it seems to come down to this: intelligent and persistent failure. Which I think is one of the most important success factors in weaving (or anything else, for that matter).
I was talking with a friend about this recently. I don’t remember what brought the topic up, but one thing he said struck me: “There’s something else that contributes to our success. We don’t ask whether we’re going to fail. We ask, ‘How many times do I have to fall on my ass before I figure it out?’ Then we fall on our ass, get up, and do it again. Eventually, we figure it out.”
To me, the core element of this story isn’t that I’m failing to figure it out. It’s that I’m failing intelligently – I try something new every time, I’m not making the same mistake twice – and persistently – I fall on my ass, get up, and try it again. And eventually I’ll get it.