Ruly unruly weaving

This warp started as a deflected doubleweave draft from The Deflected Doubleweave Handbook, which accompanies a video by Madelyn van der Hoogt, adapted to the yarns I had on hand when I began it while staying with my sister and with limited supplies.

Deflected doubleweave is a weaving structure with separate yet interwoven layers where the movement of the yarns, once the cloth is off the loom and wet finished, creates new shapes, curves, even circles, and the front and back are different, sometimes very different.

When I picked it up again after arriving in Swansea, with a different limited set of supplies, I wandered away from the pattern, trying different yarns, using up bobbins and experimenting to see what would happen with different combinations of fibre and pattern.

I find the fibre interactions astonishing, what happens with the colours and the textures and how it can all shift into something so different. And even more than that, I am seeing so much potential in this weave as a metaphor for expressing the magical spaces that fascinate me – this world and the otherworld and the thin places between, those liminal borderlands and thresholds where one thing becomes another, the integration of images, ideas and emotions that seem to be in opposition but can be experienced as both/and, not either/or. What Rowan Williams calls ‘a layered and broken reality’. I’m nowhere near the technical mastery to embody any of this in the weaving yet, but I mean to practise all I can, till I am able to break (or keep) the rules through choice and not through ignorance; and to explore the debatable land a little further with every warp.

tree and moon

Web Spins February Challenge – Racing Stripe

Late, but I hope not too late, my attempt at Racing Stripe for the Web Spins Challenge, working through the book Spin Art by Jacey Boggs. Racing Stripe consists of spinning a singles yarn while letting an existing yarn wrap around it in a controlled way.

fibre and yarn

I had this small arty batt carded and for the wrapping I chose a variegated cotton yarn that would sometimes contrast and sometimes blend in.

racing stripe singles

The spun singles. I ‘lost’ the striping yarn a few time in the fibre, especially to begin with. My batt was only carded once and was quite textural so I went with the flow as I drafted, resulting in some thicker parts with less wrapping and some thin, heavily wrapped sections.

racing stripe plied

I plied it – it’s supposed to be a singles but I wanted to see what would happen. It will find its way into a weaving sooner or later.

a quick one

I realise how often I don’t post here because I take so long to write a post and get images together; and how counter productive that is.

So just a note about a couple of things I’m doing.

The latest in the withdrawn warp experiments, this is bigger than the previous one, 36cm long, and was woven on the tail end of the first warp on my new Saori loom. The fibre was combed top, with an assortment of frayed fabric strips. I’m beginning to get an idea of how this could develop.

wool. fabric

This is the first length of fabric I wove on the loom using the pre-wound warp that came with it. It’s mostly handspun yarns and the warp is cotton. Apologies that I haven’t yet trimmed the ends on the back.

length of fabricOffset Warehouse, while looking for a heavy organic fairtrade cotton. I sent for their sample set and it arrived yesterday. I love the range… They sell reclaimed fabric as well.

fabric samples

The prayer flag project

I can’t remember how I learned about this project, but I’m thinking about joining in. I find prayer flags and prayer trees captivating: the raggedness; the littleness; the physicality of spirituality; the way they hold permanence and impermanence combined.

screenshot of blog

Back when I was exploring prayer flags (and their relationship to laundry) for a prayer flag weaving, I favourited a number of images on Flickr, so I’ve just made them into a small gallery to share with you. If you also happen to like looking at laundry, on the line is another gallery I made a while ago…

scarves

These are all woven with my handspun on a 12 inch Ashford Knitter’s rigid heddle loom.

textile

textile

textile

I made them at the end of 2010. It’s high time to warp the loom again, since the New Year it’s been all spinning and no weaving.

fibre

Work is frenetic at the moment but I am making time to go to a weekly patchwork class on the island – two peaceful hours with likeminded people, and lovely log cabin to play with.

And out of this something very exciting is being born – the new Tiree Tapestry Group – tapestry in the sense of community tapestry, using a wide range of creative textile techniques. We’ll have a web site soon but there’s a little bit about us on our Facebook page. Our first meeting is on Friday – I can’t wait!