Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Following Ideas

I'm guessing this process is a common one. When I weave up a sample, I find myself with a constant mental flow of "what if I . . ." Sound familiar? When my chain of hearts ended up looking more like pumpkin heads . . .

I was a little disappointed, but wasn't going to let a good sample warp go to waste. What else could I try? Something plaid-like? I already had the yellow and orange yarns on bobbins from a previous project. I also chose a bobbin with navy yarn on it that needed to be used up.

I kind of like it, although I think it would be best to repeat the colors in the warp stripes. 
I also like the circles instead of the squares for the check pattern. And I liked that they have some pattern in them. Just not one that looks like a face. 

So back to the draft. Here's the original "chain of hearts."

Here's what I got by simply playing with the treadling.

And this one, by adding weft colors.

The next step was to try it. 

I lost the pumpkin heads, but it doesn't quite look like my computer draft. Let's check the underside.

Still not seeing it. I firmed my beat for the next sample.

Better, and more interesting. Possibly usable. I'm thinking, kitchen of shirt fabric.

  • The beater on my Glimakra is heavy and I have to keep a light touch to make a balanced weave. In other words, it's easy to weave more picks (weft threads) per inch (PPI) than the warp thread count (ends per inch or EPI). The result is a more dense fabric with a squished-looking pattern.
  • The beater on my table loom is very lightweight and it takes effort on my part to get a balanced weave. It's easy to have too few PPI compared to the EPI. The result is a more open fabric with an elongated pattern.
  • Now, I'm wondering how yarn size effects how the pattern looks. Another experiment?

I'm at the end of my sample warp, so I need to get it off the loom and wet finished to see exactly how these look and behave as cloth. I'll do that today.

QUESTION: Do you design out of your head? Do you start with a ready-made draft or invent your own? Do you follow your ideas and inspirations, or work it from another angle? I'm curious!


Meg said...

Def usable. Say, far left dark red stripe - it's not missing the second last end on the left end, is it??

Valerie said...

What a fun sampling exploration! Can't wait to see what wet finishing does to the fabric.

In answer to your question: All of the above. Sampling is essential. And you are right, it's best to sample on the loom you will use for the project. I've noticed that two people can weave the same project and it looks very different based on the loom that they have used and their personal weaving style (some like a tight warp and hard beat, some can't achieve good tension with their loom...those X style looms).
And you can play with a draft, but you won't know what it will look like until you put it on the loom. Threads shift and deflect away from the grid, which the software and graph paper can't show you.
If I wake up in the middle of the night, I get back to sleep by visualizing and manipulating weaving drafts in my head.

Leigh said...

Meg, good catch, I hadn't noticed at first, but yes, definitely a red warp end missing in that stripe. Likely a thread color error on my part. Something to pay attention to!

Valerie, I was suspecting differences using different looms, but thought maybe it's just me! So, that's very good to know. Then there is the factor of yarn choice, which adds another dimension to the design mix. Such a huge concept; wondering if I can ever master even a fraction of it.

Valerie said...

You mastered it in the past....you are re-mastering now.

Leigh said...

Thanks for the vote of confidence!