Friday, October 3, 2008

Sowing Seeds

I wished I were outside doing just that, but the wind has been ferocious these last couple of days and I swear I can see yellow pollen accumulate on the door handles on kitchen French doors. So in between my Captain Hook stints, I've been ransacking my stash room bookshelves for some ideas. And boy, am I finding some interesting books I'd forgotten I had!

I have a small wall again, this time in the shop of the the weaving coop in town called Fibre Spectrum, a group I haven't had much association with, for the month of November, and I want to weave more cotton scarves, but not repeat the same-old-same-old, so I'm looking for ideas. As well, I'm thinking of the dish towels for the exchange.

I have this very bad habit of making warp chains and not using them right away. Usually it happens when I have an exciting new project and I make one warp for it; then while making that warp, I become utterly convinced this current project is so fabulous there is no way I'm going to be happy weaving just the one warp, so I promptly make a second one, planning to tie it on and go my merry way. The fact is, after intensive/extensive sampling and three scarves, I want to move on to something different more often then not, and thus the second warp sits in a basket along with other "seconds". I've had between six and a dozen warps in the basket for almost five years. Long story short, I have a cotton towel warp, and I want to use it; it's a lovely stripe in light and mid browns; 16 ends in each stripe, 368 ends, and at 20EPI, it's 46cm wide. Perfect for big dish towels.

I was looking at books on lace weaves, of which I rediscovered I have half a dozen; must have accumulated them when Mom went through her Swedish lace craze. I have some ideas but I'm ambivalent because I don't think I want to do "square-y" things, though that's what I like about laces, and, well, laces feel a tad too girly for me just now. Some of my books, I bought long before I learned to read drafts, so they are in all kinds of archaic, original notations which require careful scrutiny.

And though I don't like weaving with two shuttles, I have been admiring Marian Powell's "1000 (+) Patterns in 4, 6, and 8 Harness Shadow Weaves". Here again, some of the treadling can be trying to decipher, not helped by the fact the threading and treadling appear in one section, and the photographs of the cloth in another, but still some of the cloth are appealing so I'll definitely keep studying this book. (Sorry, all these books are copyrighted so I can't even take a pick of their notations to show you what I'm on about.)

Color and Weave is something I never looked into, though I remember taking out Margaret B Windeknecht's first Color and Weave book from the library a few years ago and thinking I'd like to revisit the subject. I happen to have her smaller Point Twill with Color-and-Weave book, which is more about point twill possibilities, but has a few tantalizing examples of C&W, and I've been vaguely wondering about a) deliberately offsetting the color changes from the pattern changes, and/or b) advancing the treadling in odd (i.e. strange) numbers so the shapes are less regulated more dynamic. But I haven't tried anything on the computer yet.

On to how weaving can be a bit Kafkaesque for this weaver: in lace weaves, you know how you can use tiny areas of plain weave as the main focus and the lacy part as a background, so that you have these teeny tiny circles of plain weave? I never liked those teeny tiny circles because to me they look like little bugs, and today I overdosed on looking at lace weave pics a bit. I felt a teeny tiny bit freaked out and had to go lie down and close my eyes. I never liked them even as a child.

Enough strangeness for one day.

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