You might also like

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Arithmetic

I believe I've not mentioned the studio in a while. I don't remember. In its own fashion, the studio is coming along, except what I keep waiting for, exacerbated by a holiday and computing errors, compounded by...



I'm waiting on the forty spool stand I ordered. The people who own that rug weaving supply house also have a trucking company, and the runs keep interfering with picking up my spool rack from the Amish fellow who made it. No matter; I have a bigger setback on hand.

To fill the bobbins to put on the spool stand to wind into the back beam sections, I ordered a lovely 8/2 unmercerized cotton, spun in Canada. It comes on big cones; I asked for the biggest they had in stock. When it came I hardly could lift it from the box. Four or five pounds, I figured. Way more than enough.

I cannot find the invoice to see what I got, but no matter. There's the loom, with eleven cords on eleven two inch sections to warp up twenty two inch width towels. I don't intend to make anything but towels. And more towels. Twenty two inches. The rest of my life. 



Here's the math. I have this because I sent it to Beth when I reached the "3 turn" part. First I calculated there are 2.5 ounces of thread on each bobbin. I'm weaving my twenty two inch wide towel at twenty ends per inch, or 440 ends, divided by forty spools is eleven bouts. 

(Remember when your mom bought sheets by thread count. That's how threads are counted in fabric; how many wefts cross how many warps.)

I know there are 3,360 yards per pound in this thread, because I looked it up on the vendor's web site, because I cannot find the invoice. So, there are 210 yards per ounce, times 2.5 ounces per spool are 525 yards per spool. Should be enough to do anything, right?



There are no weaving fairies anywhere in the world; real people do it. I had forty bobbins to fill from that ginormous cone of thread on the floor. I got to work.



I wound twenty bobbins yesterday. I said "Holy cotton balls, Batman. I don't have enough thread to fill twenty more!" It was three in the afternoon. I ran to the phone and called. It is a holiday weekend; the order line closed at one and would reopen Tuesday.

The scrap of paper calculating the thread on each bobbin was right there on the desk. I might as well figure out how much warp would go on the loom; how many towels I will be rewarded with. Those 525 yards will be spread out over eleven bouts, which is 525 divided by eleven is 47.7 yards in each bout. 

The beam averages sixteen inches around, divided into 47.7 is "Holy short sheet, Batman. That's like one towel!" I sent it to Beth. We started at the top. We got down to 47.7 divided by 16", and she KNEW and I saw it: 47.7 is yards, not inches. So, I will be putting on one hundred 16" turns, which is what I instinctively expected, from the "old days". That's about fifty towels. 



After I get the spool rack and another ginormous cone of thread, sometime next week. And I don't mean the short week that starts tomorrow.

To finish torturing myself, and because I really can do this, I calculate the missing invoice shows I purchased about 4.6 pounds of thread. I should have done the math on the front end.

The next mystery: how many towels will a one pound cone of colored thread weave? Actually, I could work it out mathematically, but I won't. I'll just write it all down somewhere, like it's all written down in the original "bible" that I gave away, which has been misplaced by the recipient.




32 comments:

  1. Joanne, you lost me at 2.5 ounces. Can't wait to see what these look like. I wouldn't want to use a handmade towel. Maybe hang it on the wall. Good lord the work is mind boggling. You go girl.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, Donna, you're just like the rest of them. This is a beautiful towel that actually dries dishes, in addition to feeling addictively wonderful.
      For the record, I didn't make dish towels to sell. I would have been required to sell them for sixty or so dollars apiece (not up to that math right now), and no one would pay sixty dollars, even for the finest dishtowel in the universe.

      Delete
    2. It's too late at night for this kind of math. A dish towel is the same length and 2/3 as wide as an average shirt front, with minimal cutting and sewing, so maybe thirty dollars. But, no one would pay thirty dollars for a dish towel. That was fifteen years ago!

      Delete
    3. I use my "Joanne" towels daily and love them, they still look just as good as when I got them.

      Delete
    4. I bet they are beautiful, but I'd be too afraid to use it. And, do we ever get back our time and labor in art?

      Delete
    5. Only in sharing the enjoyment.

      Delete
  2. Math was never my strong point...I have nothing but admiration for you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Incredible to me! Fifty? Amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've just been through the same math. Inside the front cover of my red Moleskine "bible": 8/2 = 3360y pp = 210 yd/oz. And similar notation for 10/2. And people think weaving is a simple craft. Hah.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I like how you say "right?" as if any of us except Carol have the first clue . . . meanwhile I'm sitting here with that deer in the headlights look . . .

    I HAVE, however, done sewing calculations and made a similar math error, so I understand that part all too well!

    Will you use that cute green chair for weaving as well as sewing, seeing as it rolls? Won't it shoot you against the opposite wall when you're working?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hari OM
      I was thinking exactly like Jenny - so I will just say "DITTO!" YAM xx

      Delete
    2. I love how you love that chair, Jenny. I'll put your name on it.

      Delete
  6. That was one gigantic spool of cotton thread!! Back when you were weaving regularly, did you not also make clothes? Not that there's anything wrong with dishtowels. -Jenn

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, clothing was 2/3 of our business, rugs 1/3.

      Delete
  7. I hope you will show us when you finish.

    ReplyDelete
  8. And they say knitting keeps the brain active!

    I'm going back to the corner by the fire with my knitting needles in hand - I'll let you play with your big toys in the other room lol
    And they say

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I used to knit what you knit. I can't do it any more. Too complex, too tiny. So beautiful.

      Delete
  9. Like most of your other commentators you have made my brain hurt. Your towels are wonderful though. Soft, durable and they seem to get better with every wash.

    ReplyDelete
  10. All I know is that if your spool rack is being delivered by the Amish fellow who made it, it could be a while before it arrives.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'll be using my towels with much more appreciation now. That's a LOT of work.
    My elderly neighbour is beginning to load her loom again, another neighbour knows how to do the warp and is helping. I may ask if I can watch a time or two.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Will you be resurrecting your Etsy store?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No. Decent idea; didn't work for me. "The artist must be present!" Art shows were where we found our customers.

      Delete
  13. Dear heaven, I can't make my mind follow this! I wish you well, Joanne! I have some towels from a friend who was a weaver. They are wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Because I can, I just calculated towels per one pound of colored thread:3360 yards/pound x 36 = 120,960 potential inches. At 22 inches wide, there are 5,498 pics. Each row is called a pic. At 20 pics/inch (balanced weave), there will be 275 inches of fabric. At 30" per towel, there are 9 towels per cone of colored thread.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Yes, I remember mum buying sheets by thread count. I used to know what to look for too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Dear Joanne, you and I are so fortunate--we both have a craft to do that gives us great enjoyment. You weave; I write. Life is good! Peace.

    ReplyDelete
  17. applied mathematics...the best, useful and working!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I quit following the math almost immediately though I did read it. I remember when I had to use math before I retired. and how unfortunate your weaving bible has been misplaced by the recipient. perhaps it should have gone to a museum instead.

    ReplyDelete
  19. That's not a hobby or a pastime, that's a cottage industry!

    ReplyDelete
  20. So pleased to read you’ll be weaving again!!

    ReplyDelete