Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Next Challenge

I have a long history of never taking the easy road in anything I do. To make sure my brain and my skills are stretched yet once again, I decided to find a way to weave a wavy design (continual S curves) along the length of a fabric. This search brought me to network drafted advancing twills. Now, I can understand each of those words in isolation, but as a phrase, that was another thing altogether!!

Reading and re-reading (more than a couple of times) an indepth article on WeaveZine by Bonnie Inouye titled: Flowing Curves: Network Drafted Twill. I discovered how to do what I wanted on my table loom with six shafts. I took me quite a while to work out the process and I sure don't fully understand how to design my own weaving drafts, but I got to work deciphering the information. Bonnie is a highly experience weaver, so I was worried I may have been way out of my depth.

This meant a 42-thread repeat on the warp threading and a 100 pick (row) repeat in the weft weaving. And in between each of these pattern picks, were alternate odd & even tabby (plain) rows. Attention to detail at every level and step of the way was paramount to the success of this weave structure and design, but I was determined.

It's now complete.  A 2 metre scarf using a deep olive warp with purple and seafoam green weft. The set was possibly a little coarse and using finer yarns would have defined the pattern more, but it has a lovely soft drape. Once I got the hang of it, it was however quote boring to actually weave. I wasn't making moment by moment decisions about colours and different yarns and textures and all the things I really enjoy about weaving!  By following this weave pattern to the absolute letter (essential for the outcome), I became an extension of the loom. This process has produced a fine looking scarf, but without the personal input to design. To me, it doesn't have the life and energy that I bring to my art weaving.

Tiring of the repetitious weaving and abandoning the advancing twill pattern, I went on to have a bit more fun with a short scarf, introducing a multi-coloured yarn along with some silvery highlights. Just because I could!

Because I put on a 6 metre warp, I plan to move on to another 2 metre length which uses simple tabby weave BUT represents something much more, with use of different colours, yarns and their ever changing interactions.............

my next post will explore the outcome of that adventure!

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