Archive for the 'Colour and weave' Category

Colour and weave

cnw8s_fanThe 8 shaft colour and weave sample I showed last post is finished and I find it fascinating. Lots of colour interactions, and even where they repeat the look is different with the different lifts used. Although there is so much happening, for me the cloth works as a whole. Ignoring that it’s too wide for a scarf, too narrow for a wrap, and too short for either, I’ve used it a few times for extra warmth on mixed-up weather days.

cnw8s_2The basic idea is the same as in the four shaft sampler. This time all the warp sections followed a 2 light/2 dark/2 light etc sequence, using a lot more colours. The exercise was meant to include cutting off and rethreading with 4 light/4 dark, but I didn’t put on enough warp for that.  The patterns can look quite different depending on whether the weft colours match that section of warp.  All the wool is Bendigo Mills 2 ply classic wool, and almost all their standard colours (the very last weft pair were overdyed).

cnw8s_1cnw8s_3

Award and colour

My thanks to Susan of Thrums, who has presented me with this blog award. Susan wrote: “This is a relatively new blog having been started in July of 2008 but already has my attention! Judy has a great teaching style and I for one enjoyed the mini lesson on dukagang and finger manipulated weaves. Actually she was doing a working sampler of techniques but it sure worked as a lesson for me!” As a new blogger and weaver this is a real boost – I started to blog as a kind of diary for myself of my weaving journey and it’s great to think I have something to contribute to others.

I really enjoy Susan’s blog. So much beautiful weaving and good information – and I can’t wait to see how she goes with the new looms.

Copied straight from Susan’s blog, here’s what goes along with receiving this award:
1. Post this award on your blog.

2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3. Nominate at least 4 other bloggers, and add their links as well.

4. Leave a comment at the new recipients’ blogs, so they can pass it on.

Susan’s personal criterion was to award weaving related blogs. I’ve decided to focus on colour – a major passion of mine and I’m looking forward to learning about how to use it well in weaving.

Knitting on Impulse is written by Ruth in Whistler, British Columbia. Ruth does beautiful work both knitting and jewellery making, but what particularly attracts me is the way she photographs the wonderful landscape and nature around her, analyses it carefully, then dyes yarns in colour-ways based in that inspiration. I love the insight Ruth shares into the creative choices she makes through the process.

Kris’s color stripes is another blog showing how the artist is inspired by the colours in her surroundings. Kris lives in Italy, an artist and fashion designer, and has the ability to really see colour everywhere she looks, in streetscapes, household objects, memorabilia… Again I’m attracted to the creative selection of colours, inspired by her source material but not straight-jacketed by it.

Sandra’s Loom Blog is amazing. Stunning work, incredible generosity of sharing information. Keeping with my colour theme, Sandra’s work is not only inspired by the colours around her (see her hummingbird and fire series), in her wood series she uses yarn dyed from wood chips.

Udaipur - Fiona Wright

Udaipur - Fiona Wright

Of daydreams and memories is packed with colour and feeds into my love of vicarious travel. Fiona doesn’t directly write about her colour inspiration, but her work shows both a joy in colour and her response to the colour around her. I am fortunate to have one of Fiona’s textile pieces in my room – Udaipur, purchased at this exhibiton. I’ve also had the pleasure of taking a few classes with Fiona, a very warm and genuine person. It’s fascinating to follow her adventures.

Reviewing these blogs has led me to reflect on my own colour explorations.

I’ve been dyeing fibres for a few years now and have folders full of samples and colour “receipes”. At the bottom right of the photo is the dye sheet for my Ocean scarf (although I see I called it “Blue Waters” at that stage).

I’ve recently started the exercises in colour – a workshop for artists and designers by David Hornung, working in gouache. I read through the book first, intending to absorb the contents and jump straight to experiments in dyes. I found it so rich in information that I decided it was worth the time and “distraction” to acquire and learn to use the paints and do the exercises as presented. You can see the book here.

Of course it’s a whole new ballgame with the optical colour mixing you get when weaving. As it happens my 8 shaft colour and weave sample is currently on the big loom. The yarn is all classic 2 ply wool from Bendigo Woollen Mills. In the picture of the cones, and using the company’s naming, the colour pairs are:

Top row, left to right: Raven – to divide the samples; Ensign and Aztec (blues) – same hue, different in value; Claret and Guava – complementary hues, different value;

Bottom row, left to right: Peony and Mulga – a pink/purple and a neutral, high contrast in value; Java and Plum – a neutral and a purple, a bit closer in value and intended as a hue light/dark switch from the Peony and Mulga; Tuscan and Burnt Orange – close in hue, close in value.

The sample will end with lots of combinations, since I’ll be using different weft pairs in each lifting plan. With so many colours, some quite strong, the overall result could be a visual mess (a dog’s breakfast or even a technicolour yawn in the Australian vernacular), but I’m hoping the individual squares will yield some interesting possibilities.

Thanks again Susan – for the award and for triggering some useful (to me) reflections. It even led me to learn about customising the white balance on my camera – the photos of the yarns and weaving in progress are the most accurate colour reproduction I’ve managed, on my monitor at least.

Colour and weave

With excellent timing, Dot left a comment asking about the colour and weave sample. I finished it during the week and took some scans last night.

With colour and weave, pattern is produced by using a variety of colours (or more importantly values) in the warp and weft.

The sample warp was a straight draft on 4 shafts. Going from left to right in the photo, part one alternated one dark end/one light end; part two: 2 light one dark; part three: 2 light 2 dark; part 4: 4 light 4 dark; part 5: a log cabin, with one light one dark for 5 repeats then switching to one dark one light. There were some slight adjustments at the beginning and end of some parts for balance.

When weaving, the same patterns of colour were used in the weft. So the band at the bottom was one light pick followed by one dark pick, repeated. For the sample I worked through the same 5 combinations of colour using plain weave, then went through everything again in a twill.

Liz (weaving teacher) always whets our appetite with each new exercise by showing us examples of finished pieces as well as samplers she and earlier students have made. She had a lovely black and white scarf using colour and weave – not all over but giving a huge amount of life and interest, the restraint increasing the impact.

Once the base sampler was done Liz encouraged us to play with other colours and ideas. I don’t have a stash of weaving yarns (yet??). The sampler used Bendigo Woollen Mills 2 ply classic wool that I bought from the guild, in maize (yellow divider), aster (lighter yarn) and prussian (the blue/purple darker value). I overdyed some maize with a turquoise in two depths of shade, getting greens in roughly the same values as the aster and prussian. I was also interested in trying a very slight variation in colours, so overdyed some aster and prussian with just a little red – not too much since I didn’t want to darken it a lot.

The combined photo shows three parts of the sampler. All alternate one dark one light in both warp and weft, in a twill. The top is the original colours. You can see the effect of colour and weave is the normal diagonal to the right of twill is replaced by a diagonal of colour to the left.

In the middle the turquoise overdyed yarns were used in the weft. Close up, to my eyes the colour dominates and I see diagonal to the right of the green. At some angles and at a distance the left diagonal of values is more prominant.

The bottom shows the lightly overdyed weft. The colour is much closer to the warp, so the value effect dominates. It’s not a huge difference, but to my eyes it is definitely a richer effect and in some of the patterns there is a more three dimensional element.

A world of possibilities!

Three looms full

Just for a few days I have an embarrassment of weaving riches.

Nearing completion is my colour and weave sample started in weaving class last term. I’m playing around with other colours to finish up the warp. This is on a 16 inch 8 shaft Robinson table loom that I hired from the guild after the unfortunate Monk’s Belt experience. Once the colour and weave is done I’ll return the loom to the guild – I hired it because I was using my own table loom on home projects, but now those will go onto the big loom.
Yesterday I dressed my table loom ready for our next class sampler – a series of finger manipulation techniques – leno, spanish lace, soumak, clasped weft and more. I used grey cottolin for the warp. The loom is a 24 inch 4 shaft Robinson, a bit heavy for carrying to class (which involves stairs) but manageable.
Finally, progress continues slowly on the big loom. I went to a 2/2 twill for a while, working on selvedges and beat. As that improved I noticed that the shafts were lifting erratically – some sticking and repeating, some missed lifting. Geoff and I tried some trouble shooting and decided the major issue was inconsistent tension in the wire cables that run past the control box, with some contribution from weaver inexperience treadling and maybe the carpeted room (Kaz’s floor is wooden). I emailed Kaz for advice and received a gentle comment about her “crisp” treadling. Hmm… “crisp”… let’s try a bit more trouble shooting… yes, that would be 99% user error causing the problem. I found I was resting my right foot on the pedal all the time. Lifting it off cleaning solved the problem. Progress!!!


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