Friday, April 11, 2008

Purpose of the Piece

I may repeat what I wrote when I finished weaving this piece, but please bear with me.

I believe it was on the last day of her workshop that Bonnie Inouye gave us bullet points on good design, and the first thing she mentioned was the purpose of the piece. I can't tell you which weaving books say this and which ones don't, because I don't read the words in weaving books very carefully, but I was surprised and pleased she started with this. As we rack up our weaving mileage, I'm sure we pick up the knowledge, and it's nice to remember this when a different kind of project comes and and requires me to re-think.

I make shawls with merino, possum/merino/silk, or merino/mohair, and small scarves with cashmere and cashmere/silk. So, very soft. I've just started to branch out to 20/2 and 60/2 mercerized cotton but I'm still learning about those yarns.

This is the third baby blanket I wove; previously the blankets were for yet-unborn babies. I consulted with the clients about colors, and as softness was paramount to me I used merino, and I avoided floats where tiny fingers and toes could get caught. Beyond that, I designed the blankets to please the parents, and me.

I'm getting a little more used to thinking about babies and safety, and thus I decided not to dye my yarns and risk amateur-dyed fiber getting into this wee one's mouth, hoping commercially dyed yarns are safer, and stitched my label all the way around instead of my usual top-and-bottom only, again so fingers don't get caught.

When I weave pieces like wedding and baby presents, I also want them to last even with daily or rigorous use. Ergo the blanket single, and I had fun imagining this wee boy at around age 4 or 5 dragging a tattered-but-still-intact blanket.

All in all, this piece suits the purpose and I did good. But I'm still iffy about the aesthetics of the piece, and wonder if I should have gone softer by sourcing blue or navy 4-ply merino. Or should have planned the stripe width and colors more carefully. Hummm.....

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