Stories from a life in progress.

The best teachers

Here is a picture of my backstrap weaving in progress.


It's easy to play "count the mistakes" in this band.  There is a false start on an X-and-O pattern down at the bottom.  There is a section of plain stripes with a weird patch in the middle.  There's another false start before the X-and-O gets going in earnest.

The band doesn't tell the whole story of the mistakes.  I botched up right from the start, by winding twice as many warp yarns as I intended to.  I had crossed threads in the middle which didn't play nicely with each other.  I completely lost the cross in this warp, twice.

(That sentence will draw a wince of sympathy from any weavers in the audience and get blank looks from everyone else.  Never mind, kids.  Ask me if you really want to know.)

This isn't the first warp I wound, either.  The very first one had serious threads-out-of-order issues.  While I was trying to fix that, I managed to cut one of the edge threads, which I don't know how to fix either.  I wound another warp which has too many threads, and I haven't tried weaving it yet to discover what else may be wrong with it.

I've messed up the pattern, messed up the warps, confused myself in a baker's dozen different ways.  I've woven with a pad and paper at hand, scratching diagrams and notes about what I was doing and then scratching my head over what it all meant.

I'm learning a lot.

I'm not learning in spite of my mistakes, either.  I'm learning because of them.  Every time I screw something up, I have to figure out what to do about it.  So far, I've learned from every single goof.  (Except the cut-thread one.  I still don't know what to do about that.)

I've got a whole pack of the best teachers to hand:  my own mistakes.  My teachers are showing me how to weave on a backstrap loom, and we're getting along famously.