Friday, August 20, 2010

The Penelope Factor

So let me tell you a story:

I have this old ridged heddle loom, well it really belongs to a friend, but I've been using and teaching off it
for about 2 - 3 years now, and the back beam and cloth beam have been badly warped from use (and tight tension).  Well, last May at the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Retreat (shameful plug there), Woody, one of the  men there offered to repair it by making new beams. So at the Fiber Frolic (also sponsored by Griffin Dyeworks) earlier this month, he replaced the beams. Now, did I finish weaving on the project I had on the loom? NO! I didn't make the time and figured, I'd just retie the warp on the new beams.

I didn't realize just how badly the old beams were warpped. And because of the warpping, not all the threads went where they were suppose to when I changed sheds. Thus the Penelope Factor was born.

OK - for those of you who weren't into the Greek Classics;

In Homer's Odyssey, Penelope is the faithful wife of Odysseus, who keeps her suitors at bay in his long absence and is eventually rejoined with him. She waits twenty years for the final return of her husband, during which she has a hard time snubbing marriage proposals from 108 odious suitors. On Odysseus's return, disguised as an old beggar, he finds that Penelope has remained faithful. She has devised tricks to delay her suitors, one of which is to pretend to be weaving a burial shroud for Odysseus's elderly father Laertes and claiming that she will choose a suitor when she has finished. Every night for three years, she undoes part of the shroud, until some unfaithful maidens discover her secret and reveal it to the suitors

So I spent about 2 hours (over 2 evenings) taking out the weaving and re-warpping the loom. I had hope to finish the piece and deliver it to the new owner, but she will have to wait and few more weeks.


  1. Ok, silly me, I wondered how the name, and now I know! Welcome to the blogging world. I am looking forward to reading your exploits!

    Big hugs! mmmuuuuuaaaahhhhh!

  2. A good, a first post. 8-] Welcome to the blogosphere.