Saturday, November 1, 2008

Red Warp Pattern

Managed to find some time late last night to work out a threading etc., for the red warp, fine tuned it and started threading this morning. Got it finished before I left for the demo and just now finished sleying the reed. I hope to start weaving yet tonight, but I'll see how tired I am after I tie up and get the loom's computer programmed.

The diagram shows one pattern repeat and part of the border. The design is repeated 3 times in the centre of the warp and bracketed by 5 and a bit repeats of a point twill progression.

The towels will be woven as drawn in, which is as shown, but for the shawls I'll probably play around with tie ups and treadlings to get variations.

The tie up has one block weaving 3:1 twill (3 shafts raised, one down) while the other blocks are weaving 1:3 twill. With 16 shafts, the fewer shafts raised (on a rising shed loom), the less physical effort is required. While this is no longer a consideration for me - my loom has air assist - I figure what's good for the weaver is also good for the loom and continue to choose to lift the fewest number of shafts where ever possible. Even if this means weaving the fabric up side down. The towels will be presented with the the most amount of warp showing as the right side, but I'll be weaving it with the back side towards me.

Since I've earned my living at weaving for over 30 years, one principle has become very clear. The largest expenditure in terms of creating textiles to sell is not the cost of the materials, but my labour. So when ever I design a project I always look for ways to work with less physical effort and the least amount of time.

To this end I've worked diligently to find methods that streamline the process as much as possible. I've also learned that extra time spent in preparation generally cuts down on effort - and frustration. I might spend extra time winding a warp, for instance, knowing that taking greater care in this step of the process will make the actual weaving time a lot more pleasant, if not actually faster. :)

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