Friday, April 13, 2012

Diversified Plain Weave Vest, Plan C

While I was eventually able to straighten out my tangled chenille warp and weave it, the resulting fabric was not what I'd hoped for. So, on to Plan B: I warped my loom again; different yarn, different colors, but after weaving four or five inches, my reaction was (as Snoopy would say), "Bleh!" It looked like mud. I cut that warp off and moved on to Plan C. Again, different colors, different yarn, but this time the result was just what I was looking for.
I love this weave structure-- a variation of diversified plain weave-- the same I used for the black and natural tote bag I wove a couple months ago, and it's fascinating to see how the yarns used impact the finished fabric. The tote bag fabric is woven of 8/4 cotton rug warp and produced a sturdy, durable cloth while the vest fabric yarns--primarily rayon-- resulted in a soft, silky, lustrous fabric.
Diversified plain weave is difficult to visualize when reading an explanation of how the threads interact, so I took some photos that, I hope, will make sense. Notice how the balance of colors raised in each shed shifts from less to more of the gold, allowing more or less of the rose-colored weft to show on the surface. The colors appear in opposite positions on the reverse of the fabric.

In the photo below, the colors are more accurate (not sure why I was getting such strong red and orange in the ones above).
And, finally, the finished vest! to the loom to sample for my next project!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Elemental Huck-Lace Top, Etc.

The huck-lace top I designed for the most recent issue of Handwoven magazine is now available as a kit from Cotton Clouds, and owner Irene Schmoller has asked me to share a little more about the weaving and construction process here.
Photo from Cotton Clouds website

The design for the top was inspired by a challenge in my Clothing study group to create a garment made of strips, the huck-lace my weave structures study group was exploring, and my interest in using Bambu 7 (100% bamboo) for the first time. I chose four colors of Bambu 7 and a coordinating Luna ribbon.
I wove a sample using all four colors...
but decided to use only two for the top; Walnut for the warp and Water Chestnut for weft.
Below is the photo I submitted to Handwoven for their consideration. Please note that the top is unfinished; the hem is only pinned in place, so it looks a little strange at the hem. I finished it before sending it to Handwoven, of course!
Back view:
 And a close-up of the back:
I love the way this top turned out; it feels silky and soft, drapes beautifully, and is loaded with textural interest. I wish the photo in Handwoven showed more of the fringe on the one front panel; it adds another element of texture. 

The Handwoven article includes three process photos I took that provide good visual instruction for joining the woven panels with ribbon. If you are weaving the top and have any questions, please feel free to contact me. And... please! send me a photo of your finished top. I would love to see it.