The Dilatory Institute of Glitchbania — A New Direction

Time has flown!  I can hardly believe it’s been a month since I was searching for Max in the pod, but it has.  He of course was eventually found, but then I could not find a reed in the size and dent I needed.  The reed appeared a week or so later in the bottom of a box that held framed art.

Then I could not find a bobbin winder for another couple of weeks.  Meanwhile, the sewer line got plugged up (the main pipe is not aligned with the septic tank as it should be, as we found out) and the sewage backed up into the basement a bit.  Brian was not happy as he wet-vacuumed it up until I could find a plumber to come out and fix it. Luckily the sewage did not touch anything except the concrete foundation and since there is currently no flooring there, none was ruined.

That is a long way of saying that I progressed not one bit on Olds College work.  And after all the time and effort and travel and money expended for the Olds weaving course, I have admitted defeat and thrown in the handwoven towel.  I know this about myself:  I do not like to take classes all that much.  I am very good at self-directed learning, and I always have the sense that time is short and I need to make the most of it (unless I’m relaxing and wasting time on purpose). I have trouble focusing when classmates are around and the teacher is constantly telling us things; to do my best work I need quiet to think, and no pressure.

After much (quiet!) thought, I have created and enrolled in the Dilatory Institute of Glitchbania’s course of study in Handweaving (not to be confused with their other course of study in Handwaving).  Here is the course description:



Well then!  This curriculum seems tailor-made just for me!

I applied, was accepted, and paid the enrollment fees.  Then I began my Plan for Adequate Weaving. (You too can enroll in this course!  Please apply via this blog and I will forward your plans to the Institute).

What Will I Study?

The first assignment I devised for myself is to weave upholstery fabric for the dining room chairs.  We bought our chairs at a consignment shop in Seattle just before we moved, along with a teak table.  I love these chairs because they have great back support.  They are the same design as two chairs I have in darker wood that I use for spinning.  I will post a photo of them as soon as they can be brought out of storage and put in the soon-to-be dining room.

The fabric on the newly acquired chairs is wool and was once nice but they were a spill magnet for their former possessor, who did not bother to clean them up, and they are no longer very presentable.

Rather than engaging in my usual habit of hastily choosing a weaving draft and grabbing some yarn and warping a loom for the end project, my Dilatory Institute of Glitchbania (DIG) curriculum requires me to specify several possibilities (I chose 10) and sample at least half of them.  If none of the samples speaks to me as the right way to go for the upholstery fabric, I will continue to sample the other possibilities.  I may also have to weave some color gamps in order to choose the perfect color(s).

Once I have woven my samples (2 per draft, one wet-finished) and have made a selection, I will acquire the materials, weave the fabric and re-cover the chairs.


I gathered several of my weaving books and marked about 20 possibilities, then culled them down to 10, which are as follows:

Source Page Name
Björk and Ignell: Simple Weaves 103 Halvdräll “Star”
Hallgren: Kalasfina vävar 27 Hålkrus till stol och kudde (Hålkrus for a chair and pillow)
Väv: Weaver’s Delight 71 Choice Wool
Alderman: Mastering Weave Structures 40 2-block twill
Väv: Weaver’s Delight 42 Furnishing Fabric Brokamala
Alderman: Mastering Weave Structures 223 4/4 Basketweave
Alderman: Mastering Weave Structures 67 5-shaft satin stripe
Alderman: Mastering Weave Structures 11 4/1 basketweave
Eriksson et al: Warp and Weft 24 Droquet
Eriksson et al: Warp and Weft 8 Warp Cord/Twill Weave

I am very excited about this project, for I will surely learn a lot about structures that I haven’t tried, such as Hålkrus and Halvdräll and satin and Droquet.

I’ll also have to learn a bit of Swedish, as the book Kalasfina vävar is not translated.

How Will I Keep Track?

Before I could start any of the samples, I needed a sane way to keep records, so I created a record form for samples and projects, and a master record form as an index for the year.


I filled out as much of the sample form as I could for the first sample (the Halvdräll Star) and made a hand-drawn drawdown.


Yesterday I found all the parts to Girth the Glimakra and put her together.  Now to gather yarns together and wind a warp!


Where is Max?

I am currently looking for this:


in this:


Do you see him anywhere? You may see Abba, the Swedish band loom, there on the left behind the chest of drawers (or the “chester draws” as I have seen some Craigslist ads call it). And you may see the little maple bench right in the middle. And you can see the wheel part of the warping wheel against the right wall. But this poor guy is nowhere to be found.

The missing loom is named Maxmillian Van der Woof XIII, Max for short. According to our records, he should be hiding in the pod we are currently unloading. You may know already that we very recently moved to Hendersonville, North Carolina from Seattle, Washington. It is important to find Max because I need a loom that has all its parts put together in order to finish my class work for the Olds College Master Weaving Level One class I took in Yadkinville, NC the last week in April, and I think he is the likely candidate. Even though he already has a warp on him, which I will have to remove.

This pod is 16 feet long, so there is still much to be pulled out. I’m confident we will find him at some point today.

I’ll be telling you more about the Olds program as I go along, but right now I need to find Max!