The one class sample I haven’t blogged about yet was Rosepath. I really enjoyed doing it. It was just after the unmentionable, and I had a different loom from the Guild which behaved beautifully. I used cottolin for the warp and found that very nice to use, and a whole range of threads and yarns for the pattern weft. Rosepath uses a traditional threading. It has a background of plain weave, with extra pattern wefts added in. Generally there is a “binder” weft of the background plain weave between each pattern weft, which means if you want you can build up blocks of pattern while still having a firm well-structured cloth. The finished, washed sampler is 1.4 metres long (around 55 inches) with 26 different experiments, so I’ve picked out some of my favourite parts to show.
This section was worked from right to left and each stripe used the same pattern with the same number of picks or rows of pattern weft. Going from the right:
1. The basic pattern. Pattern weft is silk/merino yarn (leftover from the Ocean scarf – the lighter of the two yarns). Binder weft is the same cottolin as the warp and general background.
2. Design and pattern weft the same as 1, but binder was a black machine sewing thread.
3. Design and pattern weft the same as 1 and 2, but this time I didn’t use a binder at all. See how the stripe is much thinner and the colour denser, even though it’s exactly the same picks of pattern.
4. I used a doubled thread for the pattern weft and cottolin as the binder. This gave a very similar width to the stripe (compared to sample 1), but denser colour.
5. This was basically the same as 4, but instead of doubling the light Ocean scarf thread I used one thread of light and one of dark. I thought this might give a richer colour.
6. This one used the light merino-silk thread for the pattern weft and the dark merino-silk thread for the binder weft. This is my favourite – it has a lovely sheen and silky feel in person.
The second photo has two sets of experiments. The yellow towards the right is the same pattern, but with the shafts lifted the opposite way. The effect is that what is on the back for one stripe is on the front for the other.
The rest is playing with colour shading. On the right a single pattern weft was used – 4 ply fingering sock weight, 60% merino 20% cashmere 20% nylon from the knittery and handpainted by Daphne (the socks I knitted with this are just about my favourites, lovely to wear).
The three stripes on the left all use a series of solid-coloured yarns. In two the only difference is light or dark in the picks just around the middle.
1. For the binder I used a cotton thread of similar weight to the cottolin but a colour related to the pattern weft.
2. The pattern weft is a whole bundle of embroidery cottons held together. This didn’t photograph well but has a lovely rich appearance in real life.
3. Don’t do this! I had little bobbins of different embroidery silks, and used them as pattern inlay wefts to get a starry sky effect. A lot of fuss and bother and it would make more sense to weave the base cloth then embroider it later.
4. Weaving “on opposites”. Two shuttles of pattern weft were used. First a pick of pink was woven then I reversed the shafts so that was was up was now down and vice versa and wove a pick of blue. I didn’t use a binder weft at all.
5. The pattern weft is rayon machine embroidery thread, much finer than the cottolin binder. Very pretty.
Overall a lot of fun, and I definitely want to try some of these ideas as highlights in future weaving projects.