We had a discussion among the PhD students in our department on Friday about time management. We were throwing around a few ideas about what we wanted to include in our annual research get-away in June: speakers we would like to hear from, topics we would like presented and so on. We all agreed that we didn’t want a presentation on time management. Why not? Because we all know fine what it is we are supposed to do, we just don’t do it.

I feel that I am exceptionally well placed to contribute to such discussions. I not only manage my PhD time badly, but all my other time as well. I can be disorganised and behind schedule in several diverse areas all at once; quite the multi-tasker in fact. So this week I have been struggling with research time, teaching time, time for the Journal, time for cathedral responsibilities, time for housekeeping and time for weaving (doing it, teaching it and writing about it). I have deadlines coming at me from every direction and yet they are strangely uncompelling. Sometimes deadlines do focus me on the task at hand, but if there are more than one or two of them then none of them seems quite big enough to oomph me into action. Not that I am not active. As all good procrastinators know, there is a wealth of purposeful activity to be done which contributes not a jot to forward progress. Like blogging about procrastination, for instance.

Anyway, it’s been a week of faffing about. I feel that I should have more to show than this, but this is where we’re at:

That is the sample warp for the blue-gold saint hanging, beamed but not yet threaded. It has given me the heebie-jeebies on a number of counts. First of all it was quite tricky to wind, since most of the ends consist of three different yarns. Secondly, the multiple-strands-per-end arrangement meant I couldn’t cope with winding both layers at the same time: that would either mean six strands per pass and therefore using the paddle or changing the whole set of yarns at each end of the warping board. The former option would be less stressful to wind than the latter, but then I would have to work out from the six strands which three belonged to which layer. It makes me shudder to think of it. So I wound two separate layers: no problem.

Except that I then had to put them together as I only have one warp beam on the Megado. I gave each warp its own set of lease sticks and a “dummy” apron rod to hold it steady, then put layer one in the raddle first.

Then I placed layer two into the same raddle dents on top of layer one. The thing that really freaked me out about this process — and contributed heavily to the procrastination — was the need to get the layers both the right way up. My experience with this sort of thing, i.e. complicated colour sequences that have to be handled just so, is that I spend hours planning it to get it exactly right and then manage to get it wrong anyway and have to start again. I really, really wanted to get it right for once!

I could then have kept the two separate apron rods, but I didn’t really want to. My brilliant plan was to slip the two warps loop by loop onto a single apron rod so that they alternated. This was feasible enough in principle since they are narrow warps, but principle doesn’t always work out in practice. In this case, it sort of worked, though it was fiddlier than I had anticipated. I managed to drop a loop of layer one so that I had to fill it in afterwards, but I should perhaps rephrase that to say “I only dropped one loop of layer one”, because it could have been a whole lot worse.

Beaming such a dense fiddly warp wasn’t very pleasant, but I had my trusty assistant to crank the warp beam and the tangles were easy enough to comb out… Now ready for threading, as shown in the first picture.

So are the layers the right way up? I think so…  at least, they match my diagram of what I thought I wanted. When I actually sit down to thread it then I might find out for certain.

inefficiency” was posted by Cally on 20 Feb 2011 at

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3 Responses

  1. Shani Phethean-Hubble
    | Reply

    I have total empathy with your post and the sentiments expressed! I used to think I was inefficient with time, now I know I was just building in creativity/thinking time…

    Best wishes Shani

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Ah, so that’s what it is…

  2. Dot
    | Reply

    I very much agree with Shani – quiet times are important for creativity. Time management is great if you are doing production work, no creative input needed, but “re-charging the batteries” time is essential for creativity – and I’m sure that original research needs this just as much as weaving does!

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