Well, not sure how it happened, but I skipped three weeks of update – or rahter I know how it happened, but as it is not craft related, I’ll leave it out.
I did manage to put in some craft work on several evenings though, so I do have progress to report!
Progress on jacket
First of all, my very first bolt of yardage is now complete!
Just over 1kg/2.3lbs of yarn, there are some floats that I need to fix, but not very much at all, and given that I have to cut into this, it may be that I can place the various pattern pieces so as to avoid the mistakes. This means that I first have to make a toile, check it fits or amend as needed, then check it against my bolt, and finally correct mistakes and finish the fabric. But I am positive I will try and make it into a completely reversible garment: here are both sides showing a bit more clearly:
I beat somewhat too lightly (on a closed shed), so the pattern isn’t as square as in a balanced weave, but I looks fine. Of course we’ll have to see how this changes with wet finishing (i.e. washing and pressing).
In this new project I am beating on the “next open shed” – I am using a beautiful, smooth cotton that packs in quite a bit, so I need placing, more than beating. To keep weaving efficient in manipulating levers, I beat on the “next open shed”, so that each weft is trapped, and it packs less than with an open shed. That is:
- pass the weft;
- change to next shed;
- beat (the previous weft).
Echo and Iris workshop with Marian Stubenitsky
The Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers I am now a full member of has organised among others a mindblowing workshop on Echo and Iris run by Marian Stubenitsky. She is the author of Weaving with Echo and Iris (and also of Double with a Twist and The Stubenitsky Code), so it was an unmissable opportunity.
The workshop IS mind-blowing. At the core is using colours in certain arrangements as to create iridescence when weaving. The effect may not be for everyone, but I love it! It was developed around the same time and independetly by Marian on one side, and my Margaret Coe and Amy Norris on the other – a weaver dubbed the latter “Corris Effect” and the name stuck, so you may find Corris elsewhere on the web to refer to this iridescence effect.
The workshop develops over 6 weeks, with a weekly lecture (a pdf). It starts by asking participants to pick a “design line” which is then used in various ways to create several drafts – the threading (i.e. how the warp/vertical threads are arranged and go through the heddles) does not change, but the threading does.
Below a screenshot of the computer generated cloth.
I had to weave off my yardage first, so I’ve only just started weaving, but here is the beginning of my first sample:
It isn’t much yet, but hopefully if I haven’t been bad with my colour choices the iridescence will show – I’ve put in a warp long enough to last me for a scarf after weaving the sample and deciding which version I like best. The various treadlings do make very dramatic differences. But this post is already long, and I will post separately on the workshop/sampler.
Getting down to business with colour
I have always had a hard time imagining how colours will combine, which is a pretty big shortcoming in weaving! However as in most things it may be a case of ‘practice makes perfect’ – to make sure it’s either that or I disprove the theory, I’ve gone back to some colour books I had, and got myself a colour wheel and the Ultimate 3-in-1 colour tool, a pretty nifty set of colour cards with shades and tones, as well as two transparencies (one green one red) to check colour value. Apart from helping work out colour harmonies, the tool also happens to have the “translation” in RGB and CYMK colour models, so that these can be used e.g. in weaving software, here is what I mean:
Building a library
Spurred by the depth of my ignorance on one side, and the workshop on the other, I am now hellbent on uderstanding weaving structures (although Echo and Iris/Corris are not weave structures). I am thus on the hunt for weaving books, several of which I have already amassed. I will be reporting separately on them as I go through them cover to cover, but in the meantime I can already vouch for Madelyn van der Hoogt’s “Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers”
New winding equipment
I have a space problem, but I have also come to the realisation that proper weaving requires a well measured warp, and in my last hack I did end up with ties coming unstuck and ending up with a warp chain of unknown length (with ends of different length anyway).
Plus, I like wood – and so it was that after deciding that warping posts might be the solution, ended up having some custom made by a lovely wookworker on Etsy, Mr Woodington of Mrs Woody Woodington.
The posts can be fixed to a variety of surfaces of different thicknesses, they are removable, and with three posts and 21 pegs I can wind well beyond the capacity of my current loom.
In the second to last picture at the top you can see my hack for cone holders – a shoebox with cones “skewered” by knitting needles – this allows the cones to unroll as I wound the warp with four coulours at the same time.
This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.