Saturday, February 18, 2012


I spent the week to-ing and fro-ing from the living room to the stash room, and from one idea to another. I tried to explain what I was doing to Ben filling in squares in a grid notebook, but it was hard to put into words, because I didn't know what I was doing. I'm still unsure, but the paperwork is due in 13 days and the pieces due in 24 days from today, and of them I'm away for five days, so I need to light the fuse at the end of my unsmall right about now. What am I going on about?

In the course of trying to decide what I want to weave for the National Exhibition, I wanted to see how the sizes of the silks on spools compare to 2/60 cottons, and the "red" cottons to 2/20 cottons.  From time to time I throughly enjoy working with fine yarns, and even though my silks on spools were thicker than 2/60 cottons, this week I thought I must be deranged to want to weave in this scale. That eliminated one problem: I'll go with the "red" cottons.

Then, I wanted to see how these cottons, (they being slightly thicker than 2/20, they look yarn-y as opposed to 2/20s looking thread-y,) would work color-wise with 2/20s.

This is how the colors look. Though my stash room is impossible in terms of photographing true colors, a couple of days ago by fluke I was able to better than ever before. (No color adjustments in this one, which is unheard of of anything from this room!) So here, a closeup of the orange ball sitting comfortably.
I kept going back to see them in different lights, and by Friday morning, I decided I'm happy to work with any/all, with the possible exception of the dusty peach, (top ball in middle right, below,) in combination with everything above the white line. I also remembered I had three short warp chains in purples and pinks, (top left) in reasonable width, (12 inches wide on the loom, from memory), and I could edit/expand these quite easily.
So in terms of colors and thread/yarn selection, by Friday morning I was pretty happy. Bright, eh? I know spring is almost in the air for many of you up there.

The issue I've been combating for longer is the structure. Various ideas I had for "Professor, Father, Patient" stayed with me, so I had in mind something irregular, most definitely asymmetrical, something that "develops" in the course of one piece of cloth. For no particular reason, I was thinking more network rather than tied unit weaves. As I thought more about this project, not as an iteration of PFP, Doni posted this, which lead to one of my old favorite idea lifting its pretty head: using simplest structures to weave complicated-looking cloth. Then I started filling in squares in a grid notebook to collect idea seeds on 2-, 3- and 4-shafts, which lead me to try to remember how to calculate mathematical possibilities of combination and permutations on 4 shafts, which lead me to fill in squares in different combinations in a 4x4 squares. And before you go off trying this, I can tell you that in a 4x4 square, there are 65538 combinations, (I think in English this is expressed as 2 to the power of 16,) of coloring the smaller squares.  In weaving terms, if you see this as a 4-end/4-pick square, it includes the option of living all shaft or none at all, but with fine weaving in blocks, i.e. if you see the 4x4 as a profile, it's still valid. Which reminded me to the most fundamental truth in weaving: a thread is either above or below. And it links nicely with Ben's earlier life, (Ben can practice as a sparky in Japan as a result of majoring in electrics/electronics in his industrial high school,) that the power is either on or off. (He can also count in binary codes and do other weird stuff.)
This was a nice philosophical place to end up on a Friday afternoon, though I', no further in my project planning.

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And then while gazing at images late last night, I found this Etsy store, and thought if I ever have an Etsy store, I'd like to stock it with pieces like these. Except I'm not sure if I can, because I grow tired of styles, or material, or scale, easily and would want to try something else.

At least I have something to do while waiting at airport terminals next weekend.

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Yesterday was the due date for submitting paperwork for Changing Threads, Round 4. Best of luck to all who did!


  1. Snap! I've just been pegging up a shaded twill for my current warp; it's one of my most favouritest treadlings. Love those 4 x 4 squares though. That's a brilliant scheme, wherever it takes you.

  2. Oh, yes, the ever-mysterious destination, Cally! Though in many cases, for my weaving, once I get there the destination always seem rather inevitable if I look back. No matter!


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