Purple Warp/Clasped Weft Planning and Weaving Part V

Progress is slow and when I make a treadling mistake, even slower. 6cm is the best I've managed in a couple of hours, (I can't weave longer than that,) but 4.5cm in the same time after backtracking only a few picks. Thank goodness, mistakes are easy to see in this pattern. I have to remind myself I brought this upon myself, :-D but also that it will be an interesting piece to look at when finished.

The right clasp, purple and dark orange, has become somewhat semi-automatic, so I now have headspace to think about the line it creates. The line between two oranges, still not easy.

However, I made a startling discovery. It was a sunny late morning, and I could see/feel the two oranges from the sides of the loom, so I casually took out my phonecam to record progress to that point. Seen through the phonecam, the contrast between the oranges were much easier to see, standing anywhere. So now I can weave, stop and look at through the phonecam to see the line/curve, and keep weaving. It's not improved the line between the oranges yet, but it might happen soon-ish. 
The hues and values are untrue, but the contrast between the two oranges is approximately how I see it through my phonecam standing where I usually stand while weaving.


Purple Warp/Clasped Weft Planning and Weaving Part IV

Working on paper, I realized I needed to clasp both the left and right sides of the darker orange. I consulted Kaz Madigan, who happened to have visited my house soon after I posted the pretty but eventually-abandoned clasped weft project in 2018. She confirmed that is the case. 

On Tuesday last week, I started weaving in the bottom scheme in the previous post, i.e. darker orange sandwiched between paler orange and purple. After an hour and a bit, the clasping didn't become "automatic," but I grasped the process. I wove each shed in two main steps: open shed - clasp purple/dark orange - beat lightly - close shed; rest; open the same shed - clasp two oranges - beat properly. I had to make sure I opened the same shed twice; luckily with this pattern it's easy to see treadling mistakes. (I hope I didn't just jinx myself.)

Except... the two oranges are indistinguishable under artificial light, and barely so from where I stand while I weave. But I can "feel" the difference more than see it if I step to either side of the loom. Sometimes. It's winter now and my workshop is in the basement although this loom is next to a window, so the hours I can weave is limited, and the weather also influences; we had several grey rainy days, the reason it took me a week to get back to it. 
This photo was taken today, but before I wove, so it shows part of the first 12cm with two colors, and the next <6cm with three; I wove another <6cm today, so it's going to be a really slow one, but hopefully the clasping will become a little more automatic and I can start thinking about the line. I left the head/tail of the dark orange so I/you can see where it came in.

I noticed a few other issues:
1) I'm clasping not inside a plain weave, but a four-shaft zigzag twill that is not threaded regularly, i.e. where the twill direction change are completely random. So I must be mindful of checking each clasp so they don't disrupt the twill pattern. 
2) I always, always use floating selvedges regardless of loom, structure, etc. I had a brief nanosecond thinking I could do away with them on this warp, but out of habit, I didn't. It wasn't a problem while clasping two colors, but with three, I have dropped the FL a few times on the left/orange side. I might thread the selvedges instead on the second piece if weaving with three colors.

While speaking with Kaz, we discussed the merits of the two schemes of positioning the oranges I discussed in the previous post. I honestly could have gone either way, maybe even challenging myself with a new aesthetic, but in the end I went with what felt visually more comfortable, or familiar. I'm not sure if it was the right choice, if I'll be happy at the end. Too late to change my mind for this piece, (although I could still incorporate different aspect, in a hybrid design; in fact I almost did today,) but I could try the other style in another piece if I'm patient enough to weave another three-color piece.


Purple Warp/Clasped Weft Planning and Weaving Part III

I like the mid-orange and pale purple combination so much I couldn't help myself. I started weaving soon after the last post, but stopped after using a little more than half of the orange bobbin; I got about 14cm.
I have three bobbins of the paler orange, two of the darker orange, and in comparison unlimited amount of the purple, (an untouched cone besides all this,) so simple math says I'll get 150cm at this rate, more if I make purple more prominent.

The colors are more saturated than in the pic, but this is a good representation of the relative characteristics of the three yarns; both the purple and the paler orange has white flecks, while the middle orange is more saturated. Though I just wanted to keep weaving, I needed a plan, or a scheme on how to mix the two oranges. So over the next few nights, I drew/painted "thumbnail" versions of how the two oranges can be positioned.
By pages 5 and 6, I knew I had two viable options: to use the orange wefts more or less in turn, as in the top six examples, or insert the darker orange in the center, sandwiched between the pale orange and purple, as in the bottom six examples. The top option is easier to weave, starker in look, while the bottom option is more delicate and prettier. I painted a few more examples of the top option, and though not all that different as plans, the two looks give very different impressions. I like the bottom look better for now.

These "thumbnail" sketches are grossly out of proportion, but the paint colors are accurate (by accident). I'm not sure whether to take the plunge with whichever option I choose, or think/paint a little more.

We are expecting a few heavy-rain days later in the week, and it would be a good time to be weaving something fussy, if I can make up my mind by then.  


Purple Warp/Clasped Weft Planning Part II

I am a weaver who loves to plan and sample, and find the actual weaving part, at times, boring. Clasping the weft is good in sustaining my interest. But my body and mind must find clasping exhausting also, as it took me four sittings in three days just for the first sample. In the last sitting, the draw-in was becoming so big was pulling at the selvedges all the time. I shall stop whenever my attention starts to wane when I move onto the scarves. 
In narrower pieces in the past, I used wound bobbins not in shuttles for clasping, but this warp being wider, I put them in shuttles for the first time. Overall it worked well, but I noticed one thing; that slight differences in bobbin lengths makes a huge difference. I make bobbins by recycling card stock to fit the longer shuttle right away, and cut to size when they go into the shorter. As you can see the two shuttles are only slightly different in length, and often the bobbins are cut short enough to fit in the shorter shuttle, but just. Whereas they tend to have more room in the longer. 

While sampling, quite a lot of weft unwound from the longer shuttle as the bobbins moved more freely. I've had to manually rewind several times, in addition to pressing the bobbin ever so slightly with my forefinger when I remembered. This is not a problem per se, but an unwanted nuisance.

Because the wefts travel twice in a shed, after weft-finishing they bunch up nicely, looking in places like tiny beads, and adding meatiness to the cloth.

I am satisfied with the treading, particularly because it works better if I don't change the direction of treadling too often. But with lighter-value wefts the pattern is too visible, taking the eye away from the clasping. 

And finally the colors. I had in mind darker, saturated purples, greens, maybe blues, and perhaps reds to complement, but also used up a lot of thrums to sample the threading, and practice clasping with shuttles. I wished I had a more cheerful true green, but otherwise, I see a few workable combinations.
A few surprises:
* A is a pale lavender a little too light for my liking on its own, but it worked well here, and I have a lot of it.
* B is a salmon-based mix with dark purple, orange, and a few other things from Mom's stash. She had a whole cone, and though I sampled it in different warps it never looked good anywhere, so if memory servers, I used it in a multi-colored warp. I have very little of it now, but this is the first time it looks attractive, and darn it, I wished I had saved it. 
* C is the only cashmere/silk I auditioned; it fulled nicely, almost as much as the 100%, and does stand out with its sheen. I'm hesitant to use it in combination with 100% as it may distort the shape over the planned 180cm length, which is my plan for these pieces, but may weave a piece with two cashmere/silk wefts.
B is at the top. I have three possible pairs, but two with potential problems. 
A, the pale lavender and a rusty orange, (the middle orange,) look great together but I have only three bobbins of the orange, and from memory I need four to five if I were to use two colors in roughly equal amounts. I'm not sure if I like the idea of lopsided distribution. 
And then the medium purple with the medium green; this is the closest to my original color idea, but I have even less of this green, and I really don't want to weave with even more lopsided distribution. Other greens I have are much lighter-value ones, and I'm not keen on the idea of mixing them with this one. 
C, the middle green is the silk mix. Although I did not sample the salmon-colored silk mix, which is somewhere between the two sampled pinks but a slightly different hue, I'm pretty confident this combination will look nice.

Another thought is to use the two purples in the first and second pictures. And I have plenty of them.

I have been staring at the samples for a few days; if I were to start weaving, the last silk-mix combo is probably the best place to start as I have enough of both. Alternatively, I might sample navies and yellows to help me make up my mind. Oh, but this thinking and not knowing but having all the options is a most delicious moment.