Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"When you don't know....

what you don't know, you don't know that you don't know it....." (Judith MacKenzie)

So today I dragged my sneezing, sniffling, aching body all over town looking for books on colour theory, all to little avail.

I finally found this one at the local library, but it is so very basic it's of little use for my purpose.

So I did what I had to do and went to Amazon and bought two books, spending $35 gambling that they will have sufficient colour theory/terms/vocabulary in order for me to do the research I need for my proposed ebook.

Which will be, yes, about using colour in weaving.

Many new weavers have a hard time choosing effective colours, partly because colour behaves in strange ways in a woven structure. If you don't have an intuitive sense of how to choose colours, it's a bit of a crap shoot at times.

But if there are so few resources for weavers who are insecure about colour use, how are they going to learn? Extrapolate that to any aspect of weaving - fibre characteristics, yarn characteristics (no, they are not the same), how density affects the fabric, and why certain weave structures behave in certain ways.

If you don't know you should know this, how are you going to learn?

I'm quite confident that weaving will not die. It's programmed into our genes. People who could construct textiles to protect them from the elements survived better than those who didn't or couldn't.

But at what level will the craft survive? Even if a weaver is only interested in dressing the loom and throwing the shuttle s/he should at least be aware of fibre characteristics and how choosing the appropriate yarn will enhance their efforts. They should understand why density affects their cloth and what they need to do about it and so on.

In my not so humble opinion, of course.

My post yesterday was in the way of being a devil's advocate. I hoped to stir up some discussion and get people thinking about the resources currently available, and which resources were lacking.

With my current health issues and no resolution in sight, yet, I've been thinking more and more about writing. I am hopeful that Syne Mitchell's skills as editor and publisher (and writer, of course) will translate into a successful boutique publishing effort which will help fill the void I see in the current weaving climate. That is to bring awareness to new weavers that while weaving can be done on a kit or recipe level, it can be so much more, too. While I understand that delving into the technology of weaving is not for everyone, I am convinced that every weaver should at least have a basic understanding that there is more and where to find the information when they want to find out about it.

While in Albuquerque I presented a one day workshop called A Good Yarn. At the end of the day one of the weavers in the group asked "Why don't weavers know about these things?"

Why, indeed.


Joanne said...

I remember being surprised to read how color interaction can change what we perceive a color to be when I read the color section in 'Handwoven Tailormade'. I think the only other description of how individual colors impact each other in woven fabric is Barbara Walker's 2 Weavezine articles on color. I am really looking forward to your e-book.

DebbieB said...

Yes, YES! I need this book! Hurry! Write, Laura, write! :)

Sharon Schulze said...

The resource I need most is time but I like books, too, especially targeted books that help me think about things at times and in places when I can't be at a loom. Like in hotel rooms at night on work trips, which will be the case for most of the rest of this month.

Do you suppose that book will be done by the time I leave on Thursday? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Seriously, whenever the book is ready, I will be too! :-)

Suzanne Hubele said...

Can you hear me jumping up and down and screaming from Kansas?!?! I've been to my local guild meeting, and I decided I could learn more from your website, a few beginner weaver books, and other books!

And I know I'm an oddity doing old crafts at a young age. At 30, I inherited a Sievers loom from my grandpa, and have been trying to teach myself how to weave ever since. As my budget is tight, I can't buy a whole bunch of kits to learn on, and I also inherited a huge stash. So being able to understand how the fibers, yarn characteristics, color, etc. interact would be worth every single penny. As was your magic on the water, it was weaving life-changing ;), because I never could figure out what to do when I was done, that it was web, not fabric, and on & on.

*deep breaths* Okay, think I'm calmed down now...but I am looking forward to (and will be ordering) all the books you will be writing.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for your book -- it sounds like exactly the one I've been searching for.