Signs of Life

I don't sit around staring sat photos all day, just in case you were wondering. As a matter of fact, I've been good about turning the computer off, and get this, tidying the garden in shorter spurts, so I utilize the rest of the day better, rather than being exhausted and sitting in front of the fire.

Yesterday we had the second meeting of The Group (name undecided), which I'll reflect on and post about a bit later. Suffice is to say, things are progressing nicely. 

But Pat told me to hurry up and either weave or cut off the hearts blanket warp, because I haven't wanted to weave it so I don't even go downstairs, which has halted my concentrated weaving period, and among other things, defeats the purpose of my taking a term off of drawing. Touché!

Meanwhile, changes are afoot. The Red Gallery has been sold (to two Nelson women,) and Jay Farnsworth will finish up at the end of June. It's an end of an era for her, Red, and me, but I'm happy for her as she is ready for the next stage in her life.  I will miss my "drop in" center, for sure, but hope to stay in touch in other ways.

Now I'm off for a couple of hours in the garden.



My laptop is temporarily living in the living room, and my P2P2 photo folder is permanently open.  I feel good that I don't know where I'm going with these photos at the moment, I play with photos for an hour, walk away to do other things, then revisit the images.

This morning I was taken aback at my selection of photos yesterday.  I had some I liked better,  but I chose those yesterday; isn't it funny? Especially for someone with such strong tastes such as moi?
This is the negative of the blue Honeysuckle picture, and my favorite yesterday in the shape/value department.  I love the different degrees of details, particularly the hint of unseen details.There is such movement in this as well, created by the different values of yellow, and perhaps the dotted-line-like details.  Can you hear the bumble bees?
Here is one interpretation, with more details in the medium range with a grainy, old look. (This reminds me Victorian hydrangea wallpapers in pinks, purples, blues, or all three. With floating ribbons.)
Here is another interpretation, a highly contrasting, crisp look.  I like both of these very much.
This is the positive of picture above the blue photo.  This was my favorite in the hue department. 
Here, I manipulated the negative further; when I manipulate saturation, contrast, and luminosity repeatedly, things I did not see start to emerge.  In this case, I did not pay attention to the difference in the shapes of the leaves and the boundaries of the different values; here here the shapes all but disappear and the flower sits in a pool of contrasting hues.
I'm still hung up on the blue/purple and yellow/gold/brown combination I liked in the monsoon cloud picture.  Here I played with Grand Canyon, but this weekend, I'm definitely learning towards dark blue/indigo and rusty golds.


Fighting Prejudices

We had a wee bit busy afternoon making four visits to three hardware stores looking for odds and sods we need to fix stuff around the house; the wonky kitchen tap, paint for outside window frames, cords for the bedroom shade which was so tangled we couldn't open it all last week.  And the "safe" algae and moss remover; it costs twice as much as the bleach-based product, but I want to protect the storm-water drainage and ourselves, so it'll pay off in the long run.

So it was nice to come home, light the fire, and sit down to play some more with the images.  A problem I often have is once I have an image/viewpoint/concept, which tends to come to me too early, I have a hard time thinking/seeing an image any other way.  So I've been creating what to me are some prejudice-busting images this evening.   I have about half a dozen to a dozen from each picture, and I can move on to manual/sketchbook manipulation of images. Maybe.
The top three are Grand Canyon, the middle three the cloud, and the bottom three the honeysuckle picture.


I haven't received my hardcopy pics yet; Amanda said she'd mail them to me on the weekend.  We had some misunderstanding about "posting", so I'm very appreciative she uploaded some on her blog and I can get started.  And reading posts by some who have started work, I've been anxious, a little bit, in the last 24 hours, to get started.  So I downloaded three photos from her post, (sorry, kitty,) and started playing a little bit.

When I was five, I vaguely thought Grand Canyon was "thataway", and I realize now I meant southeast of Tucson, Tucson being a smidgen to the right of Satuaro in this map.  I knew the National Park crossed a state border, and whenever I thought of a state border, I thought of the Arizona/New Mexico border, for no particular reason. What can I say, I was a kid.
This is Amanda's picture.
In my mind, though, Grand Canyon (and a lot of Arizona,) was salmon pink/orange, (a touch paler than the picture above,) except at sunset when it turned a darker, deeper orange, and then purple.  Above is a composite of the images I have in my mind.
As well, Ben has digitized some slides Dad took in 1963/64, which have discolored to this kind of pale shade of old.  (I will dig up some of the slides before P2P2 is over.)  It's hard to separate what I actually remember vs. what I rediscovered in 1976 vs. what I think I learned from reading and photographs.

Back in those days, Dad told me The Grand Canyon was a natural phenomenon, and explained how water can, over millions and millions of years, cut through rocks and "the ground" to gouge such a vast "groove".  I had to look down really hard to see the river at the bottom, which was just a glimmer a mile down.  He also told me because it's natural, the Canyon looks different at different parts of the park, (I can't remember the details,) and we saw some picture in a pamphlet (??) and we agreed we liked the deep, dark, rocky parts better.
As regards this picture, the colors in my memory are at the forefront of my thoughts now, but I intend to look into the value contrast as well as the horizontal and vertical lines and the fan shapes.
The Monsoon pic: above is the original.
I love cloud and sky pics, but I couldn't feel the three-dimensionality/depth of the clouds, so I manipulated it.  To you the clouds in the two pictures may appear similar, and I wonder if has to do with the very strong contrast Nelson sun often creates, but the bottom picture feels familiar, and realistic, to me.  Having done this, I really like the hues at the bottom - burnt orange, dirty gold, and indigo - though it makes this, to me, not-a-very-Arizona scene, and my loyalty is divided between the top 60% and the bottom 40% of the picture.
Lastly, the Honeysuckle.  Here is the original.
I have a hard time getting past the lovely orange in sharp focus, and the cool yellow-green in the background, and for sure I'll work with them, but I know there is more.  One thing at the tip of my brain, as it were, is the different degrees of how sharp the focus is, though I can't think of how to investigate this at the moment.


Has it been a Week Already?

Remember this?  This week, I made one for Ben.  It's wonky-looking, but a slightly better fit than mine and as warm as anything.  I wanted to steam-press to smooth out the fabric, but he likes it this way.  I'm all out of my handspuns but have plenty more sliver, so I am thinking of making a hat for my mother, who really feels the cold in the winter in their old house.

Mom and Dad visited a Kurume Kasuri weaver a couple of months ago, and this week I received these. The noodly-looking stuff is eight-ends of cotton, tied and dyed but never used.  The cotton on the cone is the cotton used as resist; previously dyers used soft cotton which broke easily for the purpose, but recently, Mom was told, they use sturdy cottons for resist.  They feels like those old cottons we used in rugs, When tying the resist, dyers don't cut after each section, but continue on using one long thread, and after the dyeing, they pull on one end and the resist-thread comes, showing the undyed area one after another.

Both these colors fall in the spectrum of color called "Shu" in Japanese, or the lacquer-red, but in the old days when folks referred to the color red, they often referred to these orangy reds. Mom said there were lots of blues, as well as other colors, all chemical-dyed, but observing my recent love of oranges, she went with this combo.  These yarns having a Japanese connection, I'm thinking of plain weave or perhaps Herringbone.  But the cotton on the cone is rather stiff, and I must figure out how to use dyed noodle warp; it's very long, each end is slubby but skinny, and I have to study the position of the dyed bits and consider the placements.

I've been gardening, too.  It's been cooler and the work easier.  I've been trying to get things out of the pots and into the ground, some have waited nearly a decade for this, but I'm not rushing.  Then, the night before last, we had heavy rain, again, and we woke up to the national news that a few families were evacuated down the road due to the rising river, and some highways in and out of Nelson closed or slower speed limits imposed.  Yesterday the sun was out, but overnight it rained again, and the ground is soggy this morning.  This means guilt-free weaving for the next couple of days.

Oh, and the weaving?  Well, I wove about 160cm of the second, gray, Hearts blanket, and instead of making it longer, I started another, (this time, once face on each side!) because it looked like I had enough warp for a third.  I'm seriously mystified now because I think I have enough warp to make this a really long one, OR, shock horror, possibly another piece after this.  I thought I made a 5-meter warp,  enough for two blankets; I'm afraid to go back to my records because it might say I have my standard 8-plus meters.

The second, gray, piece didn't have any tension problems, but the third, white, piece is being naughty,  I've done a few things to remedy this, resulting in the gray piece looking warped.  I must hurry weaving so I can take them off the loom sooner rather than later.  (Such slow weaving, though... Mumble, mumble...)     

Just this week, Dot told me about Campaign for Wool, and it was the first I heard of it.  Australia has already started (or finished?) their event, and it looks to me the events in New Zealand is mostly for the industry. Is there anything happening in your area?



The person sending me visuals for my P2P2 project is Amanda, and we've been in communication. Her/my envelope is en route, but she posted the photos on her blog, and though I swore I would be good and wait to receive the real deal, I cheated.  Here they are.

Amanda lives in Arizona, and she included two from there.  Long-time readers will remember Dad worked at the U of A Tucson for a year and I went to kindergarten during the academic year JFK was shot.  I've been going down memory lane all morning, remembering trips to the Grand Canyon, Mesa Verde, (two most memorable places the five-year-old me), the meteor crater, Bryce Canyon, (not in Arizona, but equally visually memorable.)  And the almost weekly drive to Saguaro National Park.  And all the "dips" in the roads that allowed the evening shower water to run and not flood all the roads.

1962/3 were the best year of my parents' lives.  They knew it then, and even I sensed it.  They were in their early/mid 30's, Dad had a relaxing research job, Mom was playing tennis every day, they had two cars, (unthinkable in Japan in the 60's), we lived in a small rented house with a dry garden, and they had to deal with just one kid.  I know they both wanted to stay in the US, (or go to Australia), but Dad respects such things as family ties and duty so we went home after three years "sabbatical" in the US.

Boy, we had a nice life.  And we lived every minute to the fullest. 

There is also a cat pic, and again, you might know I'm a dog person and my eyes are watering and scalp itching just thinking about Zip, so I think I'll give His Loveliness a miss.  The honeysuckle pic is a lovely close up, and you know I'm a sucker for these.  And it's orange, so there are many things I could do with this one.

After I get over reminiscing, maybe next week, I'll have some play with the three.  Well, they're really two in my mind.  I predict a long phone call home in the next couple of days.

* * * * *

This morning, 8:15AM.

Beloved: "Is there any more important envelopes to post/mail, or are you expecting something today?"

Wife of 21 years: "No, and no, thanks. Why?"

Beloved "So it's OK if I forget to check the PO Box."

Bewildered: "Do you plan to forget to go?"

Beloved: "Huh?"



Follow Chronologically

Julie, in progress

Terri explores apples

Sandy's braid

Julie's choices

Amanda's sneak peak

Desirée has even more

Desirée has more thoughts on the matter

Alienore has her warp ready

Desirée shows us her cards

Kaz is getting ready for the Big Reveal

Julie has to make a decision

Amanda is plaid-ing

Sandy is nearly finished

Sampling has the solution

Sandy is a little sad

Cally's plain weave

Julie starts a blog 

Sandy's Warp and her thought and editing

Amanda's sneak peak

Alienore has added some thoughts

Sandy is getting a moving on

Amanda's stats and threading 

Shirley's designs

Michelle's start

Cally is ready

Judy's Leno success

Amanda's plaid color

Meg's half pat on the back 

Holly sewed and... finished one set

Meg's fits and starts

Judy has been distracted

Heidi and her feathery weft

Amanda's ideas

Holly's got another

Further development from Sampling

Cally's update

Meg is stuck

Judy's Round 2 sample 

Sampling's first idea

Meg's doodles by request, focus, and bad coloring, and going back on her words

Sampling is proceeding nicely

Judy's Round 2 Update

Meg is stuck, or away with the fairies, or cheating and avoiding

Sandy is home and has decided on... 

Holly has been weaving

Cally's "Better"

Geodyne is dyeing to move on

Kaz, Egypt, Japan and Australia

Holly's flowers

Terri's thoughts

Heidi and art

Shirley is happy with color matching, and even happier.

Kaz's quick experimentals

Meg ponders

Cally's floats

Judy's Round 2

Cally looks at her least favorite the most

Michelle gets mail

Geodyne doesn't like her sample??

Kaz's turn to explore

Meg admits thinking of more wooly fluff

Kaz has posted

Cally and a brain-ache

Amanda surprises

Geodyne is thinking

Terri receives

Heidi, feather, and straw

A walk in a rainy park for Meg

Alienore has been inspired

Amanda is noticing

Meg... has got some fur balls

Heidi receives pics

Cally's looking, and not telling us her favs/less-favs

Holly's second pic

Holly gives us a sneak peek

Judy's first round

Geodyne receives pics

Sampling's first thoughts

Cindy is thinking

Sampling is ready

Cindy gets mail

Desirée has posted

Shirley is thinking

Meg's just playing and playing some more and more and still more

Amanda starts thinking

Judy gets mail

Julie receives her pics

Shirley posts and receives post

Judy posts

Cindy makes contact

Terri gets started

Cally gets post

Judy has been instructed to have fun

Meg's disappeared down memory lane

Amanda picks her pics

Kaz is thinking... "beach"

Holly has resumed blogging for P2P2

Geodyne is ready

Cally is posting her envelope to Australia

Subtle Web, too, starts a blog for P2P2

Cindy starts a blog for P2P2

Meg is not pleased

Follow the Weavers
(Tag/Label/Category/Set information will be included in the links as they appear in the target url.)

Cally      Geodyne      Judy      Holly      Heidi      Sandy

Shirley      Alienore      Cindy      Julie      Chewiedox      Sampling

Amanda      Michelle      Desirée     Kaz      Terri      Esmae     Meg

The Brief


P2P2 or P2PII Roll Call

Registration has now closed, and you can see links to all participating weavers in the next, TOC post.  Thank you.


End of the Day

Of Tuesday, that was...
As regards Tim's scarf, I decided I wanted the creature bigger. The overall look to me suggests Temari motif, (of which I can't find a nice example,) but Ben thought it was a good thing. Mom's Hearts editing got progressively worse, so I needed to put it aside.

Not much progress here, but progress nonetheless. I love the color of this gray weft; the feel, not so much. But it's slow. And I'm not liking the set I selected for P2P. Not at all. Must edit.

But overall, a relatively productive day.

First Draft

Our mate Tim turned 50 seven and a half months after me, a while back. I promised to weave him a little something-something for the auspicious occasion. I wove one, but that one was too generic for such a creative guy, so I sold it.

A year ago I went back to the Information Center to have a fresh look at his carved pillars. (Actually they are a series of panels affixed to the pillars, but never mind.) You've seen this photo here before; this has always been one of my favorites as scarf motif.
Here is the first draft; first draft because A) this was where I got to after working on it yesterday. I wanted to make the creature a little bigger, but when I did, the overall picture looked like Chinese noodle bowl patterns. I'm going to try something else today.
B) It's also the first draft, because I'd like to get two more specifically-targeted pieces from this warp without rethreading. One is an art swap, which I"ll write about when I have something to show you. The other one is Mama's Hearts scarf!
After staring (glaring?) at it for hours on end, fiddling with floats and then taking them all out to get back to the drawing board, and then fiddling again, I had to step away as I've definitely lost the simplicity of the original hearts.

Half of today will be spent on weaving the second hearts blanket, the other half, on the computer, figuring out these three projects. These pieces are in cashmere, so I don't want intricate interlacements. I'm trying to keep them simple.


Thank Goodness, She's Out with It!

I wasn't sure if it was a secret, but, whoa, Geodyne is out with it!  Congratulations, and many, many, many happy years to come!

Almost Ready

I've put together six items of visual interest, but I'm glad I have a week to be undecided.  This year the set strongly suggests colors my eyes are drawn to, and my liking of extreme close-up shots, even if they are not in sharp focus. It has a distinctly personal/subjective feel compared to last year's set.  I don't think this is necessarily a bad thing, but I can't say it's a good selection.

I'll sit/sleep/gaze on/at the lot for the next week.


In the Madness of Insomnia

At around 5.32AM this morning, after an hour and a half online, the last half an hour spent on detachedly gazing at Google Images of "weaving", the sets punctuated by the occasional appearance of Hugo Weaving dressed as an ethereal king, a picture sprung in my mind; it was a detail of a tied-weave cloth in mercerized cotton, but then the vision zoomed in deeper and deeper like a disease or molecular physics doco, to the point the 2/60 cottons were as thick as [picture me with palms held about a foot to a foot and a half apart].

What I took from it was that I have become more interested in the "internal" structures of cloth than the surface appearance. (I don't know why I feel compelled to use "internal", and in quotes, as "external structure" sounds like an oxymoron.)  I don't know what this means.  I don't know if it's true. And it sure as heck doesn't mean I'm no longer the flat-cloth weaver nor, heaven forbid, the shallow person.  I'm not interested in the so-called 3D textiles; they are occasionally nice when other weavers weave them, but aesthetically they don't seduce me.

What does it mean?


Multiple Personae Disorder

It must be fate that this post comes after the previous post.  

On Thursday, shortly after I finished the post whose title sounds like a law firm, I got a phone call.  It was from a lovely professional-sounding woman.

It took me a while to understand what she was saying, through no fault of hers, but because I was deep in the tied-weave-blogging-about-it maze, and as it is I talk to myself, in my head or sometimes out loud, at roughly Third Grade reading level. I had speak and listen carefully so I wouldn't come across like an Grade A Nincompoop.

Long story short, folks at her work bought a piece of mine as a gift and I suspect they found my website which has background stories on a few very old and a few new pieces, in the Gallery.  The particular piece she was after was not listed, and have I written about it somewhere they can access? 

Well, yes, here.  And because it was one piece in a bigger project, I promised to send her a couple of links. Suffice it to say, it was part of Re:fine, but I had the wrong year it took me a while to track the posts down.   

Nowadays I have a hard time remembering why I rushed upstairs in the middle of weaving, so you cannot expect me to remember what I wrote in 2007, (as it turned out,) and if you're a frequent visitor you know this is a platform for my existential verbiage, weaving or otherwise.  And I hesitated for a moment to send her the links.   

When I started this blog, it was meant as a small and "professional" news section of my website.  As weaving encroached upon and intermeshed with every facet of me, other stuff seeped into this blog.  I was aware it was happening, but I couldn't think of any other way of operating.  (Last month, I finally deleted my other blog, "Not a Woman of Few Words," the only regret being I still think it's a cracker of a title.)  Whereas, around 2006 or whenever it was we built my first website, I had hoped to create a slick and professional and maybe even slightly mysterious personae of Meg the Weaver to reflect the [insert-adjectives] nature of my work, I've consistently tried to be a real person of late because I cannot operate in any other way.  

My current "website" is just another Blogger blog made to look (ever-so-slightly more) website-y, but we made it before Blogger introduced Pages/Tab so Ben found and modified the HTML codes to allow for the (slightly better looking) tabs.  And since my modes operandi as regards websites has become create/neglect/revamp, I've been thinking of bringing bits over here so I'd have only two weaving blogs, instead of the four, to cover the two languages of MegWeaves.  I mean, do we really need a website today?

All this makes me want to either revisit and recalibrate MegWeaves' marketing goals, or chuck it all and just bring the bare minimum so Unravelling functions as a website of sorts.  And knowing how tactful I am in manipulating multiple personae, well, we know which way I should go, don't we.

I know it has been a problem for some on Facebook, the private profile vs, the Public Pages. 

How do you manage this?

In the end I did send her three links, with a disclaimer, explaining the nature of the blog and the WYSIWYG nature of me. Right.  Loom time.

My Bad - The "Previous" Post

I worked on the Festival-related stuff since, oh, last September or October.  Not continuously, but frequently looking at it from different perspectives, consulting with people involved, and for the most part enjoying the process.  When I take on projects like this, I put in as much brain juice as any paid work. I even got rid of the first version and built the second, current one, and was pleased when Joan was pleased, and relieved when eveything was approved and we were at long last good to go ten days ago. (meanwhile Marlborough Weavers sat on the back burner with some contents turning into yogurt and beyond!) 

A while back, I was given an assistant.  She's a lovely young mom, and one of her jobs makes her a selfless virtuous person.  I've always liked her bright personality, and did I mention she's very pretty? And of course she's another one who is much busier than I am.  I looked forward to working with her.

We communicated smoothly; I liked her ideas, and I felt she knew what I was after.  Then we had some misunderstanding, lack of communication, or a perceived (on my part) problem with the blog 24 hours before going live, and though I was careful with my wording, I tried to explain a few things, and she resigned. In one area, though I thought I was doing the right thing according to our policies and vision, I was being petty and her way might have been better in retrospect. Certainly just as good. 

I can tell you I worked darned hard to build a blog as, if you'll excuse my gross stereotyping, oldie-friendly as possible, taking things out and trying to make it as simple and straight-forward as possible.  (I often repeated my high school English teacher, Mr Wolk's favorite saying: "We like mini-skirts: they cover everything that needs covering, but are short enough to keep you interested.")

I can tell you I was not raised by praises but by reprimands, in school and at home; that I surmised I was doing well by the frequency/infrequency of glares, scolding, and punishments; that such concepts as authority, rules and discipline were the main ingredients of childhood. 

But none of that excuses the way I suspect the Virtuous Lovely Volunteer felt, (we haven't communicated since,) and I feel great empathy about being bombarded with words. (I still dread receiving emails or phone calls from Dad because the news was seldom good, or I don't remember the good, and Dad can be relentless, mean, and, this is where I blush, self-righteous.)

My feelings oscillated from feeling terrible for her and about me; to "grow up, it's not about you or me but about the Festival and the Guild" and back in the last ten days. I also felt bad Joan had to head to this year's Festival in Thames with this hanging in the air.  Now that the framework was done, I even offered to hand it over to someone else entirely.

I felt distraught I stayed off line for a day or two, then staying well away from the Festival stuff, to back on track, and I had to put my big girl pants because one of the potential problems was a password breach, not by her but from elsewhere.   I regretted that in spite of much misgivings, I never clarified, neither with Joan nor with the Virtuous Lovely Volunteer what she understood what was committing herself to.  I doodled a flow-chart, but I thought, hoped, we had a common understanding. 

The situation was solved, in a way, today; I'm doing this solo again.  I'm relieved I don't have to consider other people's feelings.  It's not a big project, it was just a little harder than usual to get going, but now we've gone live, what remains is updates for the next 361 days.

On the other hand, I haven't come to any better understanding of why I find it hard to work with others, nor have I found a happy place between enjoying an experience and doing a good job.  I try not to disrupt harmony, but I don't like "sloppy", and I know I don't suffer fools gladly.  And I've come to not act on my hunches and misgivings because my propensity to tick one thing off the list at a time doesn't seem to go down well in a more unspoken-common-consensus-and-loose-agreement Kiwi, or for that matter, Japanese, way, though strangely it served me well in my office jobs, including those in Japan.  This all makes me cognitively constipated.  

Not matter, I have one fewer misgiving, and thank goodness for looms.


Davison, Bergman, and Quigley

*** I am a newbie to tied weaves, so if there are any inaccuracies, incorrect jargon, or a better way to describe something, do please set me strait in the comment section. ***

Say you're sitting on a comfy couch at home, sipping a nice cup of something, gazing at your trusty but inevitably worn copy of Davison's "A Handweaver's Pattern Book" and come across a lovely twill draft. Except you have several more shafts than the draft asks for. What do you do?

I used to modify the draft so I would use strange number of shafts, or just try to use all 16; sometimes the twill became more intricate, sometimes I just wasted time and went back to the original draft, but now I have another option, to turn it into a tied weave.

Davison's twills don't have long floats, so structurally there is little advantage. (Read more about floats below.) But if you imagine one warp end to be the smallest vertical unit and one weft end the smallest horizontal unit in your twill, i.e. 1 end x1 pick is the smallest square on your graph paper, in Summer & Winter the smallest unit is 4x4, (I also read 8x8 in elsewhere,) Bergman, 8x8, Quigley in diamonds, 6x6. This means if I use tied weaves, I can weave with fine yarns and still show the lovely twill "lines" in a reasonable size, or you can weave a reasonably-sized piece and show a whopper of an undulation, for example.

Let me show you.

This is an Undulating Herringbone draft, top left, Treadling III, on page 53.  To weave this as a twill, it requires 86 warp ends in one repeat; with my usual 18EPI merino, one repeat is 4.8 inches; in my 2/20 mercerized cotton at 36EPI, a mere 2.4 inches.
If I use the above draft as a profile draft and convert it into Summer & Winter - Birdseye treadling, it looks like this, and now requires 344 warp ends.  Woven in a nice cottolin at around 20EPI, and treadling lengthened to make the piece square, you could weave a lovely set of napkins/serviettes about 17.2 inches/43cm wide. (This picture doesn't show the tie-down, which is happening in plain weave ever other pick.) 
Top right quadrant of draft converted to Summer & Winter

Bergman, as I understand it, is 3-tied single unit weave threaded 1-P-2-P-3-P-1-P-3-P-2-P-1-P-3-P where P is the pattern block shaft, and treadled in a similar pattern; 1-2-3-1-3-2-1-3, if you get my meaning.  This draft requires 1376 warp ends. 
Top right quadrant of draft converted to Bergman

Quigley, again as I understand it, is a 4-tied single unit weave threaded 1-P-2-P-3-P-4-P-3-P-2-P, and to get diamond-shaped tie-down, is treadled twice, in points. This requires 1032 ends.
Top right quadrant of draft converted to Quigley

You can also split the threading and treadling units to create a smaller shapes, e.g. in Quigley by threading 1-P-2-P-3-P-4-p-3-p-2-p where p is another pattern shaft different from P.  In my P2P piece, I completely ignored everything and switched pattern shafts and colors in the warp and weft at whim. 

So the best argument for tied weaves is you can enlarge the visual element.  Theoretically, it is structurally sound as well, allowing adapt my "pattern" for different purposes.  (But read on about floats.)

Now the cons and issues.

In Summer & Winter, the tie-down is in plain weave, so A-side colors are the opposite of B-side. In Bergman, the tie-down is a 1/2 twill, so A-side is not exactly the opposite of B-side, and to me, the side with the longer float definitely looks nicer.  (Though Pat disagrees.) To suit my taste, I need to balance the number of lifted pattern block ends roughly the same as those not lifted. In Quigley, my software automatically selects a 1/3 twill for tie-down, but I could convert this to 2/2; in theory I like this better, but depending on the pattern, this may make the two sides too similar and render the finished piece boring.  Further investigation is needed. 

If the blocks are too narrow or color changes too frequent, one's eyes are distracted and the tie-down shapes are hard to see. So this balance also requires further investigation.

In Bergman, the longest float is seven threads in the weft; in Quigley with 1/3 twill diamond tie-down it's a whopping 11 threads; Quigley with 2/2 twill diamonds is 7.  To me, this, and the two or more shuttles required to weave these structures scream out, "Turn draft!", particularly if I am considering weaving a scarf. So now I'm looking into a turned Bergman and using thick and thin warps vs uniform warp ends to study the hand.  (Whereas Bonnie Inouye would shout, "Don't bother, go to turned taquete!" and I might.)  

Oh, if you want to weave that set of lovely napkins/serviettes, turn the draft; it would go so much faster.  And as long as you're at it, the original Davison twill draft, woven as drawn in, would make a spectacular set, don't you think? (And by that, I mean, turn it into a tied weave first.)

The Group

We met for the first time the Sunday after we came back from Blenheim the first time. That's a good 18 days ago, and I can't recall details, but this is what happened.

One person pulled out, so six met.  We went around the table first explaining our main techniques, (with a bit of Show & Tell,) what we hoped to get out of a group, and importantly what we didn't want to from a group. Our common consensus was a) we looked for a comfortable but serious place for critiquing, discussing the processes and alternative ways of looking/thinking/problem solving, and b) we didn't want a technique-specific workshop, (but with the possibility for subgroups,) nor an excuse for a coffee group.  By the time we were halfway around the table, we were ready to have a group.

Since it was not to be a study group, we needed a purpose/goal, and we began discussing a joint exhibition. We had different ideas about the location and scale, but agreed that instead of jumping hastily into one, we wanted time to work on the details of the exhibition as well as on our respective work.

Some were keen to write a "statement" which defined/clarified our raison d'etre and goal/s, and pick a name for the group; others with corporate experience felt an official statement was a little OTT, but we had a good time throwing out words to fine-tune our understanding, and observe the group dynamics.

You know me; I don't play nice with other children.  So I am a little apprehensive about working as a member of a group, but the "making" will be individual if we so choose, and I am quietly excited about the prospect of working with these women.  Having spoken to two since, I think everybody else is, too.

Boy, this hasn't been much of a recap; sorry.  To make up for it, I'll put a link to "62 Group" which one member thought we should model ourselves after.  Having communicated with the group's representative, the key to the longevity of the group is being vigilant/strenuous (my words) about selecting only high-standard work.  So I need to up my game big time to play with the big girls now.

We meet next in late May.


P2P2 or P2PII - A Weaving Design Process Challenge for 2011

1) Raise your hand. Let me know if you are interested in taking part by emailing me, by May 16, 2011:
  • subject line: P2P,
  • your real name, to be seen by postal service personnel only; I'm not putting it online if you don't already use it online,
  • your postal address,
  • your url if you have one; blog, website, FB, whatever, but just one, please, where you may record your progress, or the one you feel most representative of you and your work,
  • let me know if you prefer P2P2 or P2PII.
2) Collect three (or more if you like, but no more than around six) photographs/clipping/drawing to inspire a weaver. (May I suggest different types of materials, e.g. abstract, emotional, detail/close up, in case your partner has different taste/sensibilities to yours?)

3) If we can get three or more participants, we will go ahead.

4) Ben will put your names in a baseball cap and pick/match partners. I will let you know around May 18, 2011 whom you are going to inspire.

5) Put all visual material in an envelope, and a personal message if you like; post it so your partner will receive it between June 1 - 5, 2011 at the latest. Keep in mind some plant and animal material could be taken away at various agricultural checkpoints if your envelope is traveling internationally.

If want your images in files, you may contact your inspirer; you may continue to communicate with your partner; that's all up to and your partner to work this out and enjoy.

Keep an eye on your mail/post/PO box for a similar envelope coming your way.

6) Plan a project based on one of the images. You can start with more than one, but you don't have to follow up all except one. Photograph it, sketch it, collage it, write about it, or blog about it. And weave it. Complete work by August 31, 2011. Send me links, photos, and/or texts by September 1, 2011

7) Your final post, to be revealed September 3 or 4, 2011, should include:
  • All original images you received; all of them in one snapshot is also good, or a link to an earlier post where you have shown these;
  • Whatever thoughts and images from your creative process you'd like to mention. I myself am just as curious about "Didn't Work" images or rejected ideas, and why they didn't work or why you rejected them.
  • Pictures of the final piece. If you did not weave it, or complete it, give us as much visuals as possible, (doodles, "something-like-this" photos/drawing/collage, latest on-the-loom pics). Or descriptions of your vision. Also of interest to me is what/how you felt during/about the project, your choices, the steps you took.
8) How far you take the project depends on you. You could weave and have a finished piece, or go as far as determining the yarn, the set and the draft, or come up with a bunch of drawings and alternative project ideas. But do give us as much visuals as possible.

Life happens, and for whatever reasons, you may not be able to work on the project after you've signed up. There is no P2P Police, so please, no lists of reasons or apologies at the Big Reveal, unless you can make them deadly funny. Just show us whatever you got - at least the material you received and what you might have done, would have liked to, or how you felt.

9) I thought paper pictures are tangible and portable and therefore preferable to exchanging JPG files. The printed papers have textures, and we could carry them around and feel them or paste them into our sketchbooks or pin them on our walls. They don't need to be printed JPGs either; postcards, newspaper or mag clipping, anything with images.

10) You can start blogging/publishing about your process any time. You may choose to post on your own blog, (be sure to send me links so I can compile a Links page), or send me files to go into a gallery on my Flickr.

When posting on your blog, please label/tag all posts relating to the project with a relevant keyword.  If posting on your Flickr-like photo sites, please create a folder/set dedicated to this project, or use a tag.  Either way, send me links.

11) As usual, one of the images from the first person to sign up will be made into a poster.

12) These guidelines look long and complicated, but the purpose of the project is for us to share and have fun, and finally, be utterly impressed with ourselves at the other end. So don't go making it hard, OK?

PS: This means there is no SSVE in 2011.

PPS: When in doubt, check out how it was done last year.

PPPS: I'm not sure if this comes across clearly; there is still the option to show your work in my Flickr, i.e. the Big Gallery.  Just so you know?  

In the Intrim

I haven't been able to reach any emotional or practical for the pending "previous" post, which in turns has caused a bit of a backlog in my head and on the blog.

Meanwhile, I've been sampling and learning more about 3-tie weaves.  There is much to learn, and I'm enjoying vague ideas about new possibilities with complexities that won't require purchases of equipment, i.e. a loom with more harnesses, though I am thinking a second warp bean on the big loom may be a sane investment.  There is a guy in town that can do that, too, lucky me.     

I've also watched a few costumes films and listened to a few audio books taking place in similar eras, and have been thinking about this: what if we knew we would never meet a person again, not because either of us are dying, but because there is no technology available.  How would we treat our human relationships?  When I was a child, though international phone lines and telegraphs existed, the only means available to a child was the post/mail.  But say if you were a person of no consequence, (for example, a female,) say in the early 1800's, (so, not even the post at your disposal,) and you grew close to someone as friends, mentor/mentee, or in romantic relationship, but forces beyond your control were to separate you, how would we spend the last few days?  What would we do, and what would we say?

A relatively inconsequential character in an Australian soup opera died recently.  ("Thabo" in "Home and Away".)  I try to watch it because the first showing is at 5.30 when I should be cooking dinner; the rerun at 12.30 when I should be cooking or eating lunch, or when I could be cooking dinner.  Having said that, I haven't been watching it consistently for months, so I don't really know this character, but it his death touched me. Adults may feud and scheme and whatever else, (in this case his mother married a preacher so they can bring the boy to Australia to get medical treatment,) but when a child dies, well, when anyone dies, that's the end not only for that person, but that aspect in the lives of those around him/her.

* * * * *

Last Saturday was Unravelling's fifth blogaversary.  In addition to my current "issue", I felt sad because I was supposed to be in my mother's weaving/stash room on that day. 

I thank you for your company in this long and winding road called life, adorned by some spectacularly colorful (or not) bits of cloth here and there. May we weave happily and for a long time to come.