I love the first day of the year. So full of hope, so full of promise, so full of stuff I haven’t totally screwed up yet. Today I’m observing another family tradition, which is to spend New Years Day doing a little of everything you would like the next year to hold. To this end, my day is very carefully planned. A little knitting, a little yoga, a little weaving, a little spinning, a little writing, a little conversation with friends, a beautiful levee this evening… all the things I want to carry forward and do more of in the upcoming year. To this end, this morning I had to warp my little rigid heddle loom. I use the direct warping method for it, where you tie the yarn to the back beam, then pull a loop through the heddle and out to a warping peg attached some distance away, then back to the beam again. Every loop pulled out measures the length of the warp. It’s fast and pretty easy, but I’ve always been hampered by a lack of things to attach the peg to.
The peg has to clamp to something, and then you clamp the loom down to something opposite, and it turns out there’s not much in the house that both things will clamp onto that are opposite each other, so my habit has been to pull the dining room table out from the wall, then pull out the leaves of the table so it’s really long, and clamp the loom to one end, and the peg to the other. It’s a little limiting though, since the warp can only be as long as the table. This morning I didn’t have anyone to help me pull the table out, and plus I wanted a warp longer than the table, so I started trying other things. I thought that if I clamped the loom to the table on the side, rather than the end, and then found a way to clamp the warping peg to one of the dining room chairs, then I could put the chair far away and opposite to the loom. It was a perfect solution, except that the peg wouldn’t clamp to the chair.
I was about twenty minutes into a ridiculously complex plan involving pieces of wood, two C-clamps from the basement and a bungee cord, all in the name of attaching this peg upright to the top of the chair, when I had a stunning realization. I didn’t have to attach the peg to the chair.
I could just wind the yarn around the chair. The chair could be one big warping peg. The warping peg isn’t the only thing in the whole wide world that you can wind a warp around – and I can’t believe how this changes my world view. I can have warps any length now, not just the length of my table, and furthermore, I can stop worrying about losing the warping peg, which frankly, has been a burden. It’s not very big, and for as long as my idea about warping involved that peg, I’ve been worried that I would lose it and then what would I do?
I was feeling ridiculously clever and tickled with myself for figuring this out, and I was about to call a weaving friend and tell them all about my amazing innovation, when I realized two things. First, that it had taken me two years to figure this out, and that’s not really something I was proud of, and second… I bet they knew this already, and that calling to tell them how brilliant I was to have engineered this was probably not going to have the effect I wanted. It was going to be more like calling someone to tell them that you’ve just figured out that you can go both IN and OUT your door, and that’s when I decided not to call.
I sat down instead to blog it, because apparently something else I’m going to do for the rest of the year is continually figure out obvious things that make me look dim and then put them on the internet.
Happy New Year.