Friday, March 2, 2012

Hopin' and Prayin'

The reason why I haven't posted about Brisbane is, I finished threading the Prayer Shawl warp last night and have been sampling with gusto. (I also didn't skip drawing this morning.)
The weaving is going unexpectedly quickly, as evident in the size of the first sample. Overall, I'm pleased, but there are much minor problems that need investigating in the next two days, which add up to a non-negligible headache.
1) Strips: I weave 2/20 cottons in 36EPI, six per dent in a 6-dent reed.  With the swirly "Rococo" scarves, I never remember having had stripe problems, but in this sample it just didn't go away. I ended up putting it through two cycles of gentle wash in warm water, but especially in the simply- threaded and structured areas, it's bad news. I have one stripe towards the center where I threaded in undulating twill, and that dark purple disguised the stripes the fastest and best.

2) Though I used only two kinds of cottons in the warp, the skinner 2/20 from the same source are actually manufactured in Italy, Korea and Taiwan, I think, depending on the color.  They behave in different manners, but in this case, I'm having problems with the difference in fulling.

The thicker cotton, which Mom ordered for me in six reds in Japan a while back, is also threaded at 36EPI, so those strips are slightly denser and thicker, but I decided they give a nice lifted ribbon-y effect so I'm not changing the sett there. And other than plain weave, they don't present any beating problems.

3) I've been thinking I'll need to investigate some fancy fringing for this project, but I don't want the fringe to be too fancy they steal the eyes away from the cloth. And then I remembered I like the hemmed finish for my cottons; it's like getting bird's nest out of my hair. 
In addition to ironing out these issues, I must:

4) Decide on the order/combination of weft colors and the length of blocks. At first I planned to change colors every 4 to 8 picks for the most part, interrupted by longer areas, (ergo very slow weaving,) but looking at the sample, I now prefer either color changes at regular intervals, OR long rectangles (about 88 picks) interrupted by 4- or 8-pick "ribbons". Truth to tell, I was shocked and dismayed at how bright the warp was when I finished threading, and how parts of the sample looked like psychedelic Tartans. So at this moment, I think longer rectangles of darker colors and short splashes of saturated ribbons may be the way to go. 

5) Devise a set of structures consisting of desired number of picks, showing off some of the more noticeable color stripes, like the dark purple in the middle.

6) Experiment with ironing. I'm no Ironing Queen and I really wished Nancy still lived in Nelson.

Sorry, this is not a well-written post, (not that that's unusual); I wonder if I'm coming down with something, or if my body is hurting because I wove, ahem, around two hours in one go... But it's not the arm.

EDIT: This is by far the widest warp I made with my 2/20 cottons and I was worried about the feel/hand, as my narrow scarves feel a bit too harsh, but so far it's not been a problem for a shawl. 

* * * * *

Thank you, Dianne, for not being able to decide which one to send me. They are all lovely.


  1. I keep thinking what colors I associate with "prayers" and I keep coming back to the orange/yellow of Tibetan Buddhism. I love the colors in the warp, but I am not sure if I want to keep them alive, or make them a little more sombre.

  2. LOVE the colors, Meg. Even if you tone them down, they'll be beautiful. Feel better!

  3. Well, you know I wouldn't have a problem with a psychedelic tartan (beats the usual ho-hum tartan by miles!), but I like your idea of the darker blocks broken up with flashes of colour. And DON'T OVERDO IT!

  4. I can see what you're saying, but my first reaction was just to be blown away by the loveliness here--particularly in the way you composed your warp to begin with, and the interesting things that happen at a distance with your blocks in the larger bands where you used the darkest and lightest wefts--so your idea of the darker colors and short splashes of saturated ribbons definitely resonates with me. And the framing of the green and yellows at the selvedges is brilliant, good call!

  5. Thank you, everybody. Though I still can't decide if it's screamingly loud or just cheerful, the sett troubled me the most last night. Some of the yarns most decided do not full as well as the others and I'm wondering now if I should just resley at 42EPI, except for the thicker cottons... The finished cloth can be described as "lacy" and not quite what I had in mind.


I love comments. Thank you for taking the time! But do please leave your real or blog name.