Thursday, September 30, 2021

Sunflower II - Sample 2

I've been struggling to write this post because sampling is always more fun than translating it into words, and because I've been weeding a bit. Well, a lot. But it's too gusty today.  
 
Sample 1 was posted here. Back then I was thinking of rethreading in an undulated twill and one night I made a draft to see if I was going where I thought I wanted to go. 
Ewww, this was just twill biggified. I waited for a better idea for a fortnight, but I really wanted to keep sampling, so I rethreaded anyway in a pointy, undulated twill, but "skinnier" than the last time, i.e. not too many ends in the same pattern shaft consecutively, same as how I usually thread.
This warp has 278ish ends. I used Mom's Japanese reed which is approximately 7DPI, so this sample was woven 42EPI, but after wet-finishing, it's slightly more compact and stiffer than Sample 1. 
 
It's another small sample, but here are the overall look. 
Top
Reverse
Here is the threading. I found one pattern thread to a shaft too many consecutively (left selvedge,) unattractive, too skinny and hard to see within this narrow width, but effective in between fatter clusters.
 
Without getting into the nitty gritty of individual lifting orders, let's just review how it works in general; if I want to lift pattern shafts 3 and 4, one standard repeat would be:
1&2
1&3&4
3&4&5&6&7&8
2&3&4
1&2
2&3&4
3&4&5&6&7&8
1&3&4
 
Top
Reverse
 
Using two pattern wefts, I tried lifting shafts "geometrically" as per usual on this loom. These didn't show anything of interest on the top side as I wove, but was later surprised to see some shapes on the reverse side.
Top
Reverse
 
Remembering I threaded in undulating twill, I lifted accordingly. I lifted two repeats with the same pattern shafts; then longer; then shorter, i.e. changing pattern shafts within a repeat. At the same time I wanted to sample colors close to those in the warp, because I like subtle colors in scarves. These are hard to see in samples and in photos, however.
 
The undulating/numeric lifting on this loom is confusing; it should be easier on Ashford, for e.g. or foot looms where the handles/treadles are lined up in a row. At one time I contemplated weaving wide Summer & Winter pieces in this style on the big loom. And this sample turned out to be an unexpectedly valuable prelude. Once I learn the relationship between lifting and the resultant appearance, I could make up, oh, a dozen or three shortish files with different sequences and pick and choose as I weave. 
 
On 16 shafts, I can have 14 pattern shafts if I'm happy to keep the tie down tabby simple. In that case I could have blocks within blocks, although I'm not sure what exactly I mean by it. I think I see in my mind's eye a way to manipulate how colors appear when using three pattern wefts, but to sample that, I'm going to the big loom. I am not lifting that on an eight-shaft table loom. 
Top
Reverse

As long as I was trying two pattern wefts, I had to try three. All three samples have the same colors in the same sequence, red-blue-green, but with different lifting. This turned out to be fascinating. In between are three different yellow-green pattern wefts used in the same way. 
 
I have said many times before that I see weaving in terms how the warp threads appear, but after trying three pattern wefts, I'm finally coming to terms with weft-dominance a little bit.
 
I was not exactly thrilled with the overall look of this sample except the part with three pattern wefts, in that it didn't offer too much that was new, but I was pleased I wove this because of the possibilities on the big loom, and harmonious color combinations. I am also starting to see how I want to design narrow/small pieces vs. wider ones. 
 
For a few days I was overwhelmed by my options, and I spent one morning image-searching Summer & Winter Weave. It would have helped if it had a unique name, but skipping a lot of images that didn't fit the bill, I came across two things: the first was folks weaving Summer & Winter on rigid heddle with two reeds. I can see how one reed acts as Shafts 1 and 2, but never having investigated the two reeds mechanism, it was mind-boggling. I have the Ashford extension kit somewhere... 
 
The other was a picture of my own old wallpaper look I absolutely loved in March. I went back to read about it, and it made no sense, (and goodness me, how shabbily I write!) and I'm not sure if I can recreate it from there, but by golly I will. I do remember I wrote it's too stiff and not suitable for scarves, but bags, maybe? Vests?? So that's another option. (I wrote about the old wallpaper on March 11 and March 16, 2021.)
 
I always thought twill was my one true love, but now I see Summer & Winter as my preferred hill to die on. At least until I find the next shiny weave. Isn't this all so very exciting?

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