I've even made a couple of things I quite like.
Certainly every warp has taught me something new
--even if I'm not always thrilled about it.
This one, for instance, was supposed to be an experiment in word direction.
Upside down, right side up, sideways--which would I like best?
Could I compose at an angle?
To make it easy on myself I used familiar wool warp and weft.
To make room for horizontal words I made it seven inches wide.
To ensure I could really get into it and write something fabulous, I made it long.
The warp was more forgiving than the linen I'd just been using
and I started the first letters with satisfaction -----
only to find that I just couldn't get the the tension tight enough for finger picking.
I moved the backstrap down and and I moved it up.
I added string heddles
I changed the angle of the loom.
I leaned and I sat and I pushed --
but the strong, highly twisted springy wool just kept stretching.
The letters wouldn't grow under my fingers as I have grown to expect.
The brilliant thing I was going to write vanished from my head.
It worked -- quite well in fact.
Until my legs started to go to sleep.
and my feet to hurt.
Turns out I don't really like weaving letters upside down either.
and comforted myself with a long narrow band and sideways woolen words.
This time I had both easy tension and a satisfying way to compose.
Granted, the warp didn't feel as good on my hands,
but I decided to try line linen next time (instead of tow)
and who cares about finger comfort when the words show up of their own accord?
But when I finished, the wool warp was still sitting there.
I didn't want to unroll it.
Should I ditch it?
Call it a failed experiment?
Make it an endurance test?
Or, duh, build a pipe loom and strap it on.
The tension is excellent and the process comfortably familiar.
so there is only the next backstrap lesson to wonder about.