The Fudge Factor

I have always believed there are an infinite number of mistakes to be made in weaving. I also believe there is no mistake you cannot fix (if you will take the time). Plus, there is something I like to call “The Fudge Factor”. Simply defined, some “mistakes” you can fudge and some you just can’t. The trick is knowing which you can fudge and which have to be laboriously repaired.

After 50 years of weaving, I just made a mistake I have NEVER made before! I was so stunned I laughed. This is what I did. I don’t know why I decided to begin sleying the reed in the first dent, but I did. Once I was through the reed and had adjusted the tension, I went to add the floating selvedge only to discover I forgotten to leave a couple of extra dents. (duh)


Do I completely un-thread and move the whole 36″ warp to the left 2 dents? I don’t think so! Employing the Fudge Factor, I pulled out 4 warp ends causing the borders widths to not quite match.

Below is a mistake I make far too often. I forget to center the metal rod I tie the warp onto. Then as I weave, it sticks out too far on one side to advance as I weave. I was lucky this time. I had just enough clearance, so I didn’t have to re-tie the warp.

This always happens to me. I pull in a little bit in those first couple of inches before I even out. I used to go crazy about this, but I finally discovered, it really doesn’t make enough of a difference for me to try to make it any better. It is true that when you take the finished baby blanket and line up both edges—there is a one inch difference.


I usually don’t talk about the fudge factor and how much I use it in every step of my weaving. (and in every weaving)

I have weavers complement me all the time on how perfect my weaving is. If you only knew, oops, now you do (grin)

Mistakes I always fix:
Threading errors in heddles and reed.
Knots in warp
A missed pick

Warps I will cut off the loom: (I haven’t had to do that for many years now, but I can tell you that I have done it more than twice.)
Warp threads that break every inch of weaving. (I can take about a foot of that!)
Warp threads that stick so I can’t make a shed.
Mixed warp threads that have different tensions.

This entry was posted in Tips and Tricks, Weaving Philosophy.

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Laurie in Maine February 16, 2010 at 10:52 am #

    BRAVO for the fudge factor!! And knowing how to use it 🙂 I can still count my woven projects without taking my shoes off, although my little tabletop loom has been around for 15 plus years. Have just recently become addicted to the concept of cutting it up and making something besides a scarf.

    My oopsy loops that turned up on the backside went unnoticed but must have happened when I discovered a missed pick (or sticky warps) and when I went back to fix it, got the weft tangled up in a sticky warp. Now oopsy loops hidden inside by lining of a bag. But I must need to go back and reweave an extra row or two more.

    Another learning curve 🙂
    Loved visiting your blog.

  2. Avatar
    Valerie February 16, 2010 at 12:27 pm #

    Argh! I do that with the tie on bar all the time.

    Doesn't it feel good to niggle back into the cobwebs of the brain to solve some of those weaving problems? It's one of the things I like about weaving….but it's also one of the things that causes me to procrastinate about putting on a warp.

    Wonderful post, Bonnie…very encouraging to us who are further back on the learning curve.

  3. Avatar
    waterfall February 16, 2010 at 7:04 pm #

    An instructor once told us to use shoe polish to mark the middle on the breast beam, and to mark the middle of the tie on rod. Easier to remember to line them up that way.
    Thank you for your simplification of what is necessary to fix, and what can be adjusted to.

    Weave On…

  4. Avatar
    Wendy August 23, 2013 at 6:42 pm #

    I actually hunted for this post. I had scanned it when I first discovered it, but now, when I need it most, I really read it.
    I am putting on my horoscope shawl on the loom as I type. After many hours of warping (I have to take many breaks thanks to a spine that needs surgery…sigh). I counted each heddle as the thread when through the eye and again when I grouped threads together to tie them on the back bar for winding. I watched for cross threads and fixed them when I found them so I wouldn't have to go back later. Pronouncing it good, I wound on and began to spread the warp when I discovered problems. So I fixed the crossed threads that I thought I had a so carefully avoided, even having to re-thread heddles in about a third of the warp. At midnight last night, I hoped I was done and could begin the weaving process to discover that I have one more mistake about 3″ from the edge of the warp. I argued with myself that with all of the color changes, that I MAY not be noticed but the general public, but decided that since this was for me and that I would know there was an error, that I was worth it so I will begin the process of re-threading for hopefully the last time.
    While my plan was to weave my entire weekend I will end up with only the afternoon of my last day home if nothing else comes up.
    Thank you for reminding all of us, that the process is worth it – that the work we put in is worth it; that beauty sometimes needs to be nurtured and tended for it to really bloom.
    Many blessings.