I have the cut off blues. It happens every time I finish a weaving. While weaving I have this sense of adventure and excitement that builds--without it I tend to be pushed away from the loom and those warps stay on way too long. I felt it with these place mats, some of which are shown above. You can see the kind of path that happens--one idea leading to the next--the last not self-evident in the first. In all I wove about 12 mats, so you aren't seeing the complete path. I was really getting hopeful at the end, and, always a good sign, I was full of possibilities that could not be done since the warp was coming to an end, but could get me to set up a new warp. Slowly I untied the front knots. I have all these ways of postponing looking at the actual woven work, like rolling up the back apron onto its beam, or picking up the thrums that have fallen to the floor. Eventually I have to look at the cloth--and, yes, there it is, the cut off blues.
One of the things that always happens is that disconnect between how the cloth looks under tension on the loom, and how it looks cut off, pliable and mushy. Edges become more distorted and awful. Now I am confronted with the horrible reality of finishing--always a terror for me. In art pieces, I can adjust edges by turning under and even sewing on a backing if it seems necessary, but these place mats are suppose to be functional items. If I consider selling them (not really in the equation yet), then going overboard on finishing will put the price beyond a realistic amount (besides the fact that I won't have the patience to finish each mat). I seem to have a horror of washing my cloth, but since these are to be used, I need to wash them to see what happens. Typically for me, I would now take this cloth, roll it up as a continuous length, put it in my closet, and forget about it. But since these are prototypes for the collaboration I have been discussing, I will need to pursue finishing options.
I think I will ignore place mats for now and set up my Louet dobby loom for napkins or runners. I had fun this summer using the procedures discussed in The Woven Pixel and making dobby designs. I am also going to get my TC-1 going. I have two students coming in a month or two and preparation for them is going to light a fire under me. But first I am off to Rochester, NY tomorrow to see my aunt. I don't like to leave home these days, but I am sure once on the road, I will be fine. A plus to this trip is that there is an Apple store near my cousin's house and I have an appointment to have this computer looked at. The screen pulses and the keyboard flashes on and off. This has been going on for over a year, and the computer has been in for medical attention many times in Arizona and through the mail twice. Since there is no store here in Vermont, I was just ignoring it (if you can ignore a flashing keyboard). I have been an Apple supporter since the mid-80s, so the problems with this computer, and the lack of help by Apple is really upsetting me. Of course the people have all been nice, but none of them seem to be able to fix the problem for more than a week or so. If I could only be this cavalier about my place mats.