Friday, August 13, 2010

WIP August

I'm working on napkins on a warp of 10/2 pearl cotton crossed with wefts of a teal hand-dyed cotton from Guatemala (my daughter stopped in a village and loaded her bag with as much yarn as it could accomodate - very fine, unmercerized cotton, probably around a 20/2 weight) and a 16/2 cotton in a mustard color.

The pattern is Blanket Tweel from Davison's Handweaver's Pattern Book, variation II, I believe. This draft is in the Texture Weave chapter: a smorgasbord of different weaves that create surface interest. At this point, you can't see much happening, other than a slight gap between each set of four warp ends. And this is my first time using this draft, so we shall see, once the warp is off the loom and finished by machine washing and drying. (These will be napkins, so I want them to be prepared for rough and tumble.)

This warp I can sit down, noodle away at, and walk away. The only concern has been trying to get the right selvedge to stay even.

An interesting thing about weaving: one selvedge, or cloth edge, is always more even than the other. For me, the right (because I'm right handed, I adjust better when I'm throwing the shuttle left to right and thus, adjusting the tension of the weft with my right hand) is more troublesome. I discovered this week that if I leave what looks like too large a loop at the right edge, when throwing the shuttle right to left, that the take-up (the length of warp needed to go over and under each warp end) seems to bring that pesky right edge into better alignment.
And inattention seems to help my designing. Somehow, I wound one edge of the warp with closer blue stripes and the other edge with stripes that are further apart. I like the asymmetry: a little bit Gee's Bend.

Now I'm walking down the block to photograph a chalk drawing in front on a neighbor's house. The little girls in this house always do something magnificent with their sidewalk drawings. Looks like a good prospect for my tapestry sample for the COE.

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