Tuesday, February 6, 2024

Yes, And Sample 1

In November and December I went about dyeing new rayon for a church commission that I have agreed to do this year. I did a lot of playing with colors and had a meeting that included putting skeins of yarn that I had dyed up against the wall that the weaving will hang on. We (the committee at the church for this honorarium and I) agreed that saturated colors looked really wonderful and so I set about winding a warp and dressing Beatrice. 

Drafting the way I wanted to warp for this double weave pickup became an obsession. I was rolling it around in my head and sometimes waking up in the middle of the night thinking about what I needed to do to make it work.  This piece is the first where I have one warp threaded as plain weave (which is normal) and the second warp prepared for a twill weave option. The colored layer is plain weave with a striped color warp and the black is twill.  I thought it would be nice to make the more textured fabric in black and it's absolutely wonderful in person. 

One of the things about weaving something that's been in your head can be that you hope it works out in some sort of interesting if not exciting and perfect way, but it can end up being a flop. I was ready, I didn't have my hopes too high, I knew I'd probably have to go in and fix threading errors that would pop up and drive me nuts, or the 2 fabric structures wouldn't play nice together or...something.  It's a miracle. No threading errors and as I started to weave the design it just...worked. I'm still waiting for the shoe to drop on this but it's not, it's just perfect. 

I started with an 8 x 10 of the actual cartoon that I'm working on. The 32 in x 48 in cartoon is just being finalized and working a narrow section of  it gives me a good idea of how the spacing and font sizing is going to look.  After weaving one small portion of the warp (in case I couldn't find the time after a stint of multiple days off in a row) I decided that I wanted to have a long strip to weave and move from one color weft idea to the next. So I printed a 10 x 48 strip of cartoon to work with next. I didn't do too long of a warp because I knew I might want or need to change it up and I didn't want to get stuck with feeling like I had to weave all of it. I think its safe to say that most of us weavers hate to waste warp. So this warp ended up with a 10 x 8 sample and a 10 x 25 sample.

In the above photo I also have a 3rd sample. I tried one more warp with a little bit of color in the black warp.  Just to see how it reads. I didn't want to be weaving that idea on a later project and think "oh man, this would have been great in Stacey's weaving."  I'll talk more about that one in the next blog post.

I met with the church on Sunday. They had a lovely service and afterward an annual meeting that they were happy to have me at to introduce this commission piece in honor of Pastor Stacey. I was so glad to have samples that I could pass around so the church members that attended had something to touch and see as the project was explained. I held the pieces up against the wall. I was afraid to let the blue be too bright, but I need to dye the next batch brighter. I don't naturally tend towards really bright colors, I want more muted tones. This has been nice to get me out of my color-comfort-zone and it really brightens the studio! 

You can check out my YouTube, I post sometimes.
Here I am working on one of these samples.

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