I had to travel to Boston for most of the day before weaving class. The bonus was I was there an hour and a half early so I picked a more complicated twill to work on. This is an advancing twill done in 10/2 mercerized cotton. I had been thinking about this one for the past week looking forward to weaving it and the moment when I finished most of the first repeat. I love that part. In your head you know what the draft is going to do but when you actually see it in fiber is magical for me.
I wound my bobbin, made myself comfortable in front of the loom and started to weave. It didn’t look like I had pictured it. The pattern wasn’t as defined as I thought it would be. I questioned my use of the white weft. I’d woven about 6 inches when my instructor entered the room. I stopped to visit (this pattern required some serious concentration). I told her I was having trouble keeping track of what I was doing – I honestly just thought my head was not in the game. She went to reprint the treddling pattern so it wasn’t so small – I walked away from the loom for a few minutes.
When I sat back down I realized that I had been treddling the pattern as if it didn’t have tie-ups – damn it! I had tortured myself for an hour in my excitement. Soooooo, I put in a line and started over . . . at the same time I would have started if I had just come to class.
This pattern is quite beautiful when done correctly but I have to say I had to pay attention throughout the whole thing. It wasn’t one of those patterns that you get into the groove once you’ve been through a few repeats. I struggled with it the whole time. I was sure I would have to come back to finish weaving my 27 inches but at 8:50 I wove the close and was done. It was a relief really.
I always really look forward to weaving class as a meditative time. This was different, probably due to the error in the beginning. I can be compulsive in perfection, a serious curse. Once the project went off the rails I had a difficult time refocusing. I struggled through it and walked away thinking I will never weave that pattern again. I’m still thinking that today so my grand plans for that draft will probably never come to fruition. Of course I have grand plans for every single draft I see. That’s been the real beauty of this round robin. I get to weave what are really great samples, something different every week without the work of warping the loom. It allows us all to really get a feel for the structure of the twills and what can be done to change them up within each project. Even though the first 6 inches were woven in a crazy wrong way it still looked pretty cool, the pattern just wasn’t as defined. Maybe this time a wrong was kind of right.
I had lost track of time and realized (yesterday) that I was a week off in getting my loom ready for the class round robin. I left work early to get the loom slayed and tied off. I have to admit I always love the way the loom looks at this point.
It is warped in a 5/2 unmercerized cotton. Once that was done I had 3 hours to weave my 27″ before I could move on to the next loom. The pattern is called “Crooked Check” from Margaret B. Windeknecht’s Color and Weave II. It’s a straight twill and was fun and quick to weave.
I kept getting a little confused using two shuttles in a different way than I do with the overshot. With overshot you use two different shuttles for every row you weave, with this it was 4 rows of white, 4 rows of blue. That may be the inherent problem in weaving two totally different projects at the same time. About two hours into it I was getting the hang of it.
I did my 27 inches in the alloted time and was very pleased with the results. This pattern is so cute, it looks like little snail trails.
The round robin project is perfect for me. I love hand-woven towels, they get better each time you wash them but I find them insufferably boring to weave. I was a little tired of this by the time I finished it. I would have been able to weave a second one but by then I would have been done with it. Next week I will pick another loom, another project without having to warp it. Sweet!
Last week my weaving instructor put out an APB to her students that she needed help winding warps for the upcoming session. Up until now most of the students were at different points in their weaving journey. Each of us would work on samplers or projects that would teach us something in particular about weave structure and be something we wanted to make. This session we are doing a round-robin of twills. I can’t tell you how excited I am about this.
There will be eleven of us participating. Pam is in the process of beaming the warps on eleven looms, some 4 shafts, some 8. Each one of us has to go into the studio before the beginning of the fall session and thread and tie off one loom in the pattern that has been set up for that particular loom. Once the session starts each we will be weaving a different twill pattern on a different loom each week. By the end we will each have eleven different dish towels. How fun is that?
I picked up a cone of 8/2 cotton at the studio and brought in home to wind. I was a few yards short so I just brought my board to Brimfield to finish it. Pam was beaming the warps when I got there. She wanted the tension to be the same on all of the looms. What a project (for her). I will be going over sometime before the 17th of September to thread and will be waiting anxiously to get started.
Meanwhile I have four weaving days to finish that scarf for the Big E. I’m almost there but am at a point where I’m wondering what was I thinking?