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Nearing the warp's endNear the end of a project, with the final throws of the shuttle, while I’m quietly stitching the hem, there’s a hint for the next warp. It teases its way into my brain. It’s the “what if…” that carries weavers to rethread the loom time and again.

What if I change the treadling from a straight sequence to a pointed sequence? What happens if I use a finer yarn? What if I focus on block A instead of block C? What if I weave overshot as if it were honeycomb? Can it even work? The only way to find out is to try it.

Samples. I have to confess I’m a “let’s just get it done” type of person. I’m thrifty and I’m impatient. Samples have always seemed like a waste of time and money, and what would I do with them afterwards?

I’m getting wiser in my old age. How many times have I woven something only to find out the sett was too tight, or the yarn I’d chosen bleeds, or the weave just wasn’t what I thought it would be. That’s a waste of time of money.

So my sample stash is growing. I had a tub …

Tub of Samples

that spilled over to a drawer …

Drawer of samples

and now to a second drawer.

Overflow drawer of samples

I really admire those super-organized weavers who keep their samples in neat binders and sleeves along with all their planning notes and records. I’m not there yet.

I have at least started tagging my samples so I have a vague idea about what I was trying to do and why it did or did not work. That’s a start.

The next step is to sort them into some order so I can find that inspiration when I need it. And as I’m sorting the samples, one or another gives me pause. A different yarn perhaps? Maybe this will work for that new curtain? What if I added an accent color right there? What if….?