Weighting a Warp

For several years I have habitually chucked my coppers into an old vase as I like to be able to close my purse easily and never can be doing with footering about with coppers in a queue at a till. I remembered that if one takes coins to the bank to exchange for notes then both 1p and 2p coins go in one bag and they can tell how much money is in the bag by the weight of it. This means that 12p must weigh the same whatever the mix of 1s and 2s. How useful!

So as it turns out, that stash of coins is perfect for weighting the warp of my loom – 12p per 5 warp threads tied up in a scrap of recycled fabric.

Wonderful how the softly falling yarn becomes a taught and springy surface as the weights go on.

The next step is putting the ‘shed’ in to allow the weaving to progress a little faster than it might otherwise. I have chosen this red thread to weave the shed from for two reasons.

Firstly Red Thread has come to have a deep significance in my work;  it stands as a metaphor for finding one’s way through the creative maze, for the concept of ‘a common thread’ and for all the connections of text and textile through language and myth and story. I reached for the spool of red almost instinctively. The other thread I had to hand in my studio was an indigo blue and there was just no contest.

Of secondary importance to the symbolism of the Red Thread is the aesthetics of the colours; red felt like it belonged with the white-blond wood and the dark brown yarn. Second reason, yes, but also very important to me as I am very visually sensitive.

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