Mon 7 Jan 2013
The speed of weaving always shocks me. The planning and setup can be slow, but the actual weaving is fast. I seem to have found some more crafty momentum over the break, which I am hoping will carry me through the new semester (starting Monday).
But let’s talk about fiber. Last night, I cut the rainbow scarf off of the loom.
I am still in love.
I ended up with about 9 feet of fabric, with all the wonderful color gradients from the naturally dyed yarn.
This is one of those wonderful projects where you really can just sit back and let the color do the work. I love seeing how they transition from one to another. It wasn’t possible to make the edges of the repeats line up perfectly, which gives the transitions a lovely feathered look.
I think the high contrast section is my favorite, but it’s hard to tell.
I decided that plain stripes would be boring, so I split the two skeins into several different stripes. The purple/blue/pink skein split into 4 stripes, with the color repeats all going the same way. The two main stripes got almost all of the yarn, and then there are two very narrow ones at the selvedge to tie it all together. The yellow/green/red one was split into two wide stripes whose colors matched, and then I broke off the yarn, offset by half a color repeat, and wound on the rest. This means that the center stripe has the same colors as the two wide outer stripes, but they change at different times.
Then, at the loom, I used different threading to make different patterns within the stripes. The yellow/green/red skein has a straight twill pattern, with uninterrupted diagonal lines. The diagonals are the same for the wide stripes, and opposite in the center. Then, I got random. (This is very unlike me.) As we threaded the pink/purple skein, I made sure to keep a basic twill structure, but I changed direction every so often as the mood hit me, so that those stripes have a random zigzag pattern. I had no idea how this would turn out, but I really like how the different textures add an extra layer of complexity and interest to the piece.
It turns out that my weft choice needed refinement yet again. (This is one reason that you really need a weaving stash. You always need to try several things before you find the one that works.) It’s hard to capture in a photo, but you can sort of see it here.
I had planned to use the rose-colored laceweight that I had dyed to match the pink in the warp skeins. (The bottom stripe in the sample above.) I thought it would complement them nicely, but instead it washed them out. It also muddied the yellows and greens, which I didn’t care for. Then, I switched to a dark gray, which was much better but not quite right. In the end, I chose a dark purple bamboo yarn, and it was perfect. The purple in the weft accented the colors in the warp, but the contrast was high enough that it didn’t fight with the yellow-containing colors like the rose had. The higher contrast also emphasized the woven pattern more.
Once it was on the loom, this was about the simplest thing you could weave. One pattern of four steps, repeated over and over (though I did manage to make mistakes and had to unweave more times than I like to admit…sometimes having room for the mind to wander is not a good thing!)
I have no idea what this will become. For now, I am petting it and just enjoying the fabric with its long, uninterrupted color repeats. Maybe someday it will figure out what it wants to be, but for now it’s quite happy just to exist.
And now, I need to hurry up and get something else on the loom!