The Gentle Roller Time Paradox

There are occasionally felt makers who believe The Gentle Roller is slow when rolling felt. They say, “I can roll felt quicker than that”. It may be true that they can roll quicker, however, even if you can roll quicker The Gentle Roller saves you time. How can this apparent contradiction be true?

Let’s take two imaginary felt makers; Peon and Clodes.  Peon knows the joy of owning a Gentle Roller.  Clodes says she can hand roll “twice as fast”.   Both have 500 cycles to start or finish an item.  A cycle being one revolution or the equivalent of rolling your bundle approximately 250mm or ten inches.  Peon’s Gentle Roller would typically take around six minutes to do 500 cycles. Clodes isn’t quite twice as fast (she always exaggerates) but she can do 500 cycles (500 ten-inch movements) in four minutes. That’s around 2 movements (or 10 inches forwards/10 inches backwards) each second, which is achievable but quite a quick pace for Clodes to maintain for 4 minutes. 

As well as doing the rolling, both have chores or other activities to do.  It could be checking emails and Facebook, checking stock, ordering materials, research on Google, sketching a new idea, practicing the guitar or doing the ironing.  We all have many things we can be doing at any given time.  Today they are both simply dying for a nice cup of tea.  

Now to keep it real, I timed how long it took to make a cup of tea. I walked from the studio to the kitchen (8 meters), filled the kettle with 1 L of water, put it on, as the water was heating up I took a cup from the cupboard, and a teabag from the tea container, milk from the fridge, noticed a strawberry and popped one in my mouth, Maude (Labrador) was looking forlorn so I quickly cut a slice of apple for her as it is always handy on the nearby breadboard.  As the kettle was coming to the boil, I waited a few moments, poured boiling water on the teabag, jiggled it a few times, added milk, put the milk back in the fridge, jiggled the teabag a few more times, took my cup of tea back to the studio, checked the time and three minutes 53 seconds had elapsed.  Let’s call it four minutes to make a cup of tea. 

Let’s set an imaginary timer and see what happens when Peon and Clodes do some felt rolling.

At 10:00 am precisely Peon presses start on her Gentle Roller 500 cycles.    She watches for 15 seconds taking the speed to 100%.  Satisfied all is well, at the 15 second mark she heads to the kitchen to make that cup of tea.  The tea takes 4 minutes and at 4 min 15 second she is back in the studio.  The roller is still going so Peon relaxes for 1 min 45 seconds sipping her tea and daydreaming for a while about the next step in her project.  At the 6 minute mark the alarm sounds on the Gentle Roller.  At 10:06 am Peon, puts down her cuppa refreshed and ready for the next stage.

Meanwhile at 10:00 am precisely Clodes starts rolling.  Her arms are a little tired from yesterday’s efforts but she keeps up a sterling pace; one minute goes by and the counting voice in her head reaches 125.  Two minutes go by, then three minutes, and finally 499, 500.  She stops at 10:04 am slightly breathless.  Clodes is still keen on that cup of tea and heads to the kitchen.  Four minutes later she returns to the studio.  Clodes also needs a moment to sip her tea and daydream for a while about the next step in her project.  And like Peon, after 1 min 45 seconds is ready to recommence.  The time is 10:09:45

In 6 minutes, from 10:00 to 10:06 am, Peon has rolled 500 cycles without lifting a finger, made a cup of tea, daydreamed and is ready to continue.

Clodes has also rolled 500 cycles, manually and “twice as fast”.  A little tired, she has also made a cup of tea, daydreamed and is ready to continue/  But it’s 10:09:45 !!

It has taken Clodes 9min 45 secs (and the labour of 500 manual rolls) to achieve what Peon has achieved in 6 minutes without any manual rolls.

Clodes can roll “twice as fast” manually.  She also has the same chores and relaxation needs as Peon and it’s only because of her closed mind she can’t understand how Peon manages to be so much more productive and have so much extra time on her hands using The Gentle Roller.

Peon, being much more open to new ideas, is so grateful that her Gentle Roller not only saves her arms and back from the manual work of rolling, but magically gives her so much more time in the day for doing other things.    

And the paradox is resolved.

It may be true that Clodes can roll quicker, however, Peon’s Gentle Roller not only saves work, it also makes her much more productive.  Peon can roll felt AND make a cup of tea, roll felt AND answer her emails, roll felt AND dream of new projects.  Whatever activity she needs to be doing, Peon knows that the Gentle Roller saves time every time she uses it.