Saturday, February 21, 2015

It's Complicated

The warp is 72/2 NZ merino in the most luxurious mid-gray in my long career as gray-yarn collector, slightly sticky, but soft. Mill end, I have a few more cones of the gray and several of indigo, but that's it. I kept it at 48EPI; on the loom the reed marks, or "bunches" are uncomfortably evident, but it washes out depending on the weft size.
I had culled weft candidates to nine silks; first above is C, the second will be B. A creates a grownup autumnal look but the silk is too dense and obliterates the characteristics of merio; D is roughly the same size but less dense. I have warp for three piece so I suspect it will be A or D.
The current weft is the brashest white-silver I have ever seen short of synthetics/metallics but it shimmers in this context. I have one small skein, from Mom's stash, and am keeping my fingers and toes crossed I have enough for a descent-length piece. The second piece will have a single, hand-dyed in pomegranate; it's been washed too vigorously the skeins are matted/felted but it is full of old-fashioned charm. (I am going to have to learn the silk jargon finally.)

The current piece is a milestone; I have wanted to weave something like this since the first day I wound wefts on a stick shuttle, but it took time collecting the right yarns, practice my techniques, draw up a suitable draft, and, well, getting around to it. It will be light-weight, almost translucent, soft but not airy like cashmere; this piece will drape. The weaving is going well, with nice selvedges. I know it will be a lovely piece, and I'm pleased I'm finally weaving this piece, although in retrospect I could have woven it some years ago, and it would have been even nicer had I stuck to my initial plan and made it twice as wide. No matter, I have checked a big item on my weaving To Do list. And I may try again if I can get suitable yarns again, perhaps silk both ways. And yet...

Don't get me wrong, part of me is ecstatic it's worked just as I imagined, it's just the kind of cloth I love, and I've finally done it. But there is a "but"; I have noticed a change in my taste of late and I find this draft too regular and boring; that was my first reaction when I wove the first inch. My ideal cloth has moved a few steps away from me, although I don't know what it looks like. I just know I have to do a bit of innovative thinking and rigorous experimentation.

Which is why weaving is so addictive.


  1. Meg, it looks absolutely amazing to me! Very beautiful and so complicated. Of course I have no idea what it all means, and I feel after all these years I should be a bit more knowledgable. But I'm not, so all I can do is admire your work purely with my artist's eye. Great stuff, my friend!

  2. Weaving, like bookbinding, has a world of jargon, Carol, so very understandable. I imagined this would look lovely with a conservative white tuxedo, but I looked through my silk box and alas I don't have any more of these wefts, so it's going to be an extra short one. Pity.

  3. It is beautiful, wish I could touch it and feel the drape and softness!

  4. I think it IS going to have a lovely hand. And the bad news is, I really don't know how to estimate how far my yarns go, particularly wefts, but the good news is, I might get over 180cm. I wove 159cm so far and have two small bobbins of weft left!

  5. It looks gorgeous! What fibre is this silver yarn? It is so shiny!

  6. It's silk, Charlotte.


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