Saturday, April 17, 2010

Summer & Winter: Off the Loom

Last week, Ali told me to get off my computer (PCW weaving software) and go back to paper, collage and the design textbook to study blocks, which totally threw me off my track. Like, completely, entirely, suddenly; like being thrown under a convoy of Mac Trucks. There I thought I was being a model mentee experimenting with drafts!

So, feeling a mixture of dejection and rebellion, yet not wishing to defy my mentor, and after Ali commenting on Facebook, "blocks are squares!", I did the best I could. I couldn't think of collaging, (too complicated!!), and how it tied with weaving design, so I filled in the squares in my notebook randomly. I learned this method a while ago, and though it's time-consuming, even when I didn't do as an elaborate job as the book dictated, it was good to get my mind off where my right track disappeared to. And watching patterns emerge is a bit like watching your cloth grow on the loom.

Then, I got out my favorite color coding stickers and randomly stuck them on the page.

Half a day later and several pages of these, I felt happily defiant and went back to sampling. The lovely think about weaving is it gives me lots more ideas about weaving.

I got to thinking, what if I changed the color of the warp alternately, to match the pattern weft (far left,) and discovered it'll just show off the structure better. I wanted to see what putting in a very skinny tabby weft in a color complementary to the warp color looked like, (center), but this is where I just have to see a cloth in real life instead of on the screen. I need to sample some.

I was feeling smug about having found a way to keep working on the same thing in different ways. I've been feeling very smug about finally being able to defy what I perceive to be instructions, and just do as I please, without feeling guilty. Boy, that was a long time coming.

Wednesday and Thursday, I felt hopeful, as if I were standing on a bank of a big wide river. I can kind of see the sunnier, lovelier other bank in the distance, but I see no bridge nor a ferry, so I might have to swim across.

Having written up these two posts, I feel more like I'm standing on a rocky, wind-swept cliff with choppy sea blow. In the distance I think I see a lovely island with palm trees, warm breeze and ukulele music. (OK, fair maidens in grass skirts and flowers in their hair, too, and large drinks with paper umbrellas!) Shall I take the plunge and swim across or look for a row boat? Shall I wait for a beautiful sail boat? And after I set off, will the island turn out to be a mirage?

Yes, I am talking about connecting design studies and my weaving. I never said I'm not a drama queen.


  1. I know what you're thinking... "Subway map", right?

  2. LOL, well the thought did come to mind. But I think your dot experiment is fascinating. I also think I need to get back to my computer weave program and get to know it!

  3. I'd been of the belief that I only wanted to know those parts of my Fiberworks PCW that helps me in making my own twill patterns, but learning the software and expanding the design and weave structure vocabulary go hand in hand, Theresa. Not that I'm rushing to read the manuals, but I'm poking around on screens and icons I was happy to leave alone previously.


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