This week I chose one image to explore a bit more. I played around with it using gimp, my preferred image manipulation software. Click on any of the images for a closer look.
Colour and line were the things that struck me in the photo. I used Colors/Info/Smooth Palette to get a first impression of stripe possibilities.
Next a few different views to highlight structure – first desaturated (ie grey scale), then a series of operations (blur, edge detect, colour level…) to get an outline effect.
Then some general play. Colors/Map/Alien Map gave an interesting alternative set of colours! I find it makes it easier to pick up the nesting shapes.
Filter/Map/Make Seamless created a jumble. It was the most helpful of the many distortions I tried.
At this stage I’m thinking of diversified plain weave. That’s given the strongest, large scale geometrics in my weaving to date. I’ve dragged out my old class notes, plus Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns edited by Carol Strickler which has a chapter on diversified plain weave and The Best of Weaver’s Thick’n Thin edited by Madelyn van der Hoogt which has lots including a modified draft which gives more blocks from the same number of shafts and simplified treadling (although the look is slightly different and the structure is so different I’m struggling with using the same name!).
Current thoughts are green and red thick warp threads, and the thin weft a neutral of similar value. The geometric patterning would be given by a light thick weft thread. The pattern would be big zig-zags and triangles, ignoring stripe boundaries. The sample/scarf I wove previously was in bendigo 2 ply, with 4 threads bundled together for the thick. This time round I could experiment with 20/2 silk, also bundled for the thick. This gives lots of colour play potential. If I sample this, I’d like to try quickly spinning the threads in the bundle together (maybe even a 2 x 2 cable, which would give 4 threads but no additional twist) – extra steps and time, but maybe it would give a more stable result than just warping the threads side by side. Another possibility is the silk chenille I used in my woven shibori experiment.
On a totally different track, possibly more weaverly and less literal than overall patterning, would be one or more stripes of geometric something set in a plain background. I’m thinking of the lace and twill scarves by Coreen Hartig on the cover of the latest Handwoven, or this striped rayon scarf by Margaret (Peg) Cherre. Peg has some interesting results with colour mixing, which could be useful when trying to manage the orange and green without generating mud.
Where does all this rambling leave me? If I want to go any of these directions, next step would be some concrete designing in Fiberworks and putting on a sample warp. Very tempting, but I think I should probably take a look at some of the other images first.