Friday, 10 October 2008

Bubbles, Bobbles, and Bright Beautiful Colours

There is a certain amplified pleasure when a pattern you have designed turns out successful. Its a kind of achievement that brings you joy throughout the whole process of making the project. This project started with a simple pattern idea which I have always been intrigued by....circles. Its not something that works out particularly easy with a four harness loom. Actually, it was something I was told was very tricky to achieve without any less than 8 harnesses. Well, thats not true my friends :D Here they are!

I started with an interest in a pattern I found on - a brilliant database of all sorts of weaving drafts and patterns. I found a draft which contained quite simple circles in a checkered design (see above). It was taken from the text 'A Manual of Weave Construction' by Ivo Kastanek circa 1903. The website lays out the basic weavers draft which is super easy to follow. The only thing they never explain is whether or not you need to add a tabby weft into the pattern, but, if you have the basic weaver's skills you will know that any weft using the same treadle more than once in a row has to be secured with a tabby weave. Therefore, when dealing with circles, it was quite obvious that a tabby weft would have to be carried on throughout.

When I started this project I was becoming obsessed with the combination of magenta and orange. I was using the combination in brooches, hair clips....I couldn't get enough. I decided that I needed to use the combination for this project with the inclusion of black as the weft. The contrast of black and the magnificent duo seemed to work perfectly for me. It really POPS out at you! There was another colour added for a delicate sparkle :) I used a hand dyed tencel yarn in purples and pinks. It was hand dyed by the wonderful Tammy at YARNTOPIA TREASURES on etsy. She also has a store on ebay as well (but etsy is better! hehehe). This purple tencel worked its magic as the tabby weft in the scarf. You catch hints of it here and there through the pink and orange circles - as well as much of it on the opposite side (where the pattern is reversed and the circles are black). I don't know if you have ever seen or worked with tencel before but it is fantastic! Like vegetarian or vegan silk! Very soft, very shimmery and sheen, and very eco friendly! How fantastic! So...needless to say I jumped on the chance to use it in this project :D
The only thing I was a bit disappointed with with this project is the thickness and stiffness of the fabric. I don't always love using acrylic yarns as they are usually quite cheap and not the nicest of textures. I was quite pleased with the magenta and orange duo together but the black yarn that I used was an acrylic wool mix (75% acrylic, 25% wool) which made it a tad scratchy and stiff because of its chunky nature. I know that it is also because I packed the weft quite tight. I wound the two colours together, counting as a single thread in the warp. Therefore the two colours were put through one heddle as well as through one dent in the reed. The reed was 10epi but I probably could have gotten away with 5epi and it would have been much more loose and flexible.
Notes for next time though! I am certainly very pleased with the project - I even decided to keep it! :D So if you see someone with ginger hair walking down the street with this scarf on...say hello! Its me! hahaha.
Thanks so much for reading and taking the time to look at my blog. Be writing soon! Bye!


Anonymous said...

The circles and colours are gorgeous. Maybe because of its stiffness this would be a great draft for fabric for cushions or a bag.
Well done for coming up with circles on four shafts.

Jane said...

Just lovely! Circles are magical when it comes to weaving on a 'grid' -- good for you for going off the grid and with such a wonderful design!


SpinningLizzy (Elizabeth) said...

This scarf is so pretty! I love the circles! Amazing design and effort you put into this.

Cherri said...

Great color choices, for a wonderful project.

gonga said...

I love it when you can prove the rule books wrong!!!the colours are great, different combinations of colours would give different effects. Keep breaking those rules!!

Sue said...

Wow - I'm late to the party here, but I love that pattern!!! And on just 4 shafts! Amazing!

I get frustrated with the square blockiness of weaving sometimes.

So cool to see circles!

Danielle said...

Thank you so much for developing this draft, it was a pleasure to work with!!!