Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Shawls Five and Six

The third warp was in the less saturated mid-blue, (the darkest in the first warp), 100% merino wool, 110/2; the sett was 18 DPI; in 14-end straight draw, Shafts 15 and 16 weaving two ends of plain weave at both selvedges.

In Shawl Five (I've stopped calling them candidates now) I used possum/merino/silk in denim blue as weft. The piece was started and finished with a small section of modified #31216; the main weave part is a modified #30147, both from Kris Bruland's web site. The hot water from the tap was exceptionally hot on the day I washed this piece, so the cloth felted more quickly than usual. I like my possum/merino/silk yarn's fluffy feel, so I continued to full until the warp and the weft blended in.

Shawl Six's weft was the same possum/merino/silk again, but in light brown; the weave structure is what I've come to call a Doodle Weave.

Maryland/Colorado weaver Bonnie Inouye teaches weavers to play in the tie-up and in the treadling/lift plan. In my Doodle Weaves, I plot out a straight-draw 14-end twill, with as much difference in the two sides of the cloth as possible, for example 1-5-2-6 twill, in the tie-up, and then doodle in the treadling, drawing long and short curves. I also use different weft repeat options available in Fiberworks PCW, such as Drop or Mirror Repeat. When I think I have an interesting movement in the cloth, I change the draft from tie-up to liftplan, and check for long floats and tweak the design. In this particular shawl, I wanted long floats, and I think I allowed up to seven. I didn't want the weft to blend in with the warp, but rather sit on top, so I did not full the cloth as much as Shawl Five.

As I mentioned before, I hung five of the shawls in the basement to try to name them, and looking at them, I initially thought the less Randall Darwall elements I have, the happier I am with my cloth, by which I mean minimum hue/value contrast, and lack of movements. On closer examination, however, I think I have always tried to introduce some kind of movement when I modified weave structures. For example, Shawl Five's design moves two ends to the left with every repeat. And my Doodle Weaves is all about movement, so my cloth is not un-dynamic, but I use the weave structure to express movements.

In deciding to weave one more piece in Doodle Weave, I am trying to incorporate something of Randall Darwall, most probably Fibonacci Sequence in the weave structure. But I'm still doodling, and I've six days to go.

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