Left, old cashmere scarf sample, warp in two grays, 2/2 twill, machine-stitched in "katana"; right, two end calico pieces, dyed in synthetic indigo. The very white spots in the calico were stitched by hand in addition to the machine-stitching; I can't see these spots on the cashmere sample, but it's a nice idea. Dyed in the darker synthetic indigo once. Yoshiko and I discussed variations on the theme with in-between blues because wool absorbs the dye readily.
Fine tussah silk (?), machine woven scarf with peony motifs, from Japan. I hand-stitched the contours of seven of the flowers, then tied four in ”kumokukuri" and capped three as with the first step of "tsujigahana". Dyed in a weak natural indigo twice. The stitching did not follow the exact outline of the flowers on purpose, but it would have looked more interesting had the stitching veered further off course. The pulling of the stitches were inexact, resulting in one flower showing the "Tasmania effect", while another extending the white area outward in a cone shape.
I should have done one where only the outline was left white the the inside dyed as well.
Fine silk handwoven scarf from Laos; folded irregularly and clamped with CD-roms. The original color was chocolate/tea blue brown; to create lots of in-between colors, (here, greens); dyed in the weaker of the synthetic indigo. I clamped approximately one quarter of the CDs tightly with two clamps, but and left the other sides open. This turned out to be my favorite piece from the workshop.
Dichotomy? A lot of the workshop was about Japanese-style planning, precision, and knowledge, of which I am proud and strive at, but I loved the unknowable, incalculable, the unplanned results more.
I never got around to working with my favorite method, pole-wrapping, but I think I know how to do this. I have one more piece I started in the workshop, which I'll dye during my Indigo Duty next week.
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It astonishes me that I felt so alienated I didn't ask Yoshiko if she had her first book to sell, but that I relied on Deb to ask her, and when someone else took the last copy, I felt a bit numb, and mumbled something about Ben having access to the one in the Polytech library. So, no autographed copy!
I know some of you know the terminology of shibori much better than I, so I've listed only what I remember. If you're really stuck, let me know and I'll dig up the information.
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After putting up with these many posts, I think you deserve a bonus. Here are two tips I picked up from Yoshiko:
* To cap and resist an area, as in my white peonies above, use plastic shopping bags rather than kitchen wraps.
* Indigo is alkali; rinse wools and silks in diluted vinegar water to neutralize and soften the fabric.
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I discovered Colleen occasionally reads this blog and she asked me to write something about the workshop. On Day One I replied that it will be an extremely personal view, not exactly relating to the contents of the workshop, and she said that was fine. I hazard to guess she, nor you, ever expected to read the internal journey of one confused Japanese/American/Kiwi weaver who seeks the life of a pretend-savant. If you were disappointed by the lack of techniques, recipes or process photos, I'm sorry. If you were appalled, I remind you there are plenty of sane weaving blogs to enjoy. If you enjoyed the roller-coaster ride, I can't even promises there will be more of that to come.
All I can promise is that this is the last of the workshop-related posts for the time being. Onward and upward!
EDIT: I originally used the term pretend-idiot-savant, even though I knew it was an outdated term, because that is exactly how I felt in the workshop. But I support most changes of terminology if they peel away prejudices and discrimination, so I've taken it off somewhat belatedly. Folks with Savantism and their loved ones have a hard enough time, they don't need an idiot to use an old and mean word.