A leg on each corner

Aside

I was all set to re-thread the long black warp for I Am HOME, until I was about to sit down and start threading. I looked around the room and wondered: sit on what? The dining chairs I used to use, with legs slender enough to stand between the treadles, are long gone, purposefully left behind when I moved. This is going to be interesting. The dining room chairs at Sparrow Hill came with the house, and are of the wrong type, with the metal shaped into sides rather than individual legs. Maybe, just maybe, my slipper chair can be trundled downstairs. Hidden beneath the upholstery skirt, it has short but slender legs.

When studio and home blend seamlessly together, it’s easy to forget that something like a dining room chair is an essential part of the weaving process.

All in good time, because there’s a new loom in the house…

Fog on Sparrow Hill

The mornings have been very foggy on Sparrow Hill. I love the muted colors that emerge from the swirls of mist, and I realize that there is more grey and taupe than I had remembered. The Misted Hills coat was colored by longing. This collection of yarn is colored by the view out my window. Some difference.

For a change, I am not working in wool, and I probably will not use much handspun in this piece. That’s the promise I made to myself—that projects featuring wool and silk should be mostly hand spun, but not when I am working in cotton and other plant fibers. I do have a scant bobbin’s worth of handspun cotton, soft and a bit fragile, that can be inlaid over a sturdier thread.

Over the weekend, I had a chance to hang out with a lot of weavers, first at the New England Weavers’ Seminar(NEWS) and later at a Ravelry weavers’ gathering at WEBS. It was interesting to see how the other half weaves. I saw some incredible pieces woven on 12, 16 or 24 shafts, amazingly complex designs. I respect the knowledge and talent that goes into these projects, but I also realized that I couldn’t live with such smooth and regularly patterned cloth. I am wondering, though, if I could bring a little bit of woven pattern into my work, perhaps an occasional stripe of pattern , treating it just like another color and texture?

I also had fun pulling the weft colors together at WEBS, with Jeen suggesting accent colors. She had not even seen the warp, just the three cones of yarn that I selected as the principal colors. I was working from memory because I didn’t have any of the warp colors with me. I was wearing a t-shirt that has the same grays and mauves in it, so that was my reference point. It all came together quite well, and we had fun choosing the yarn.

20130715-103759.jpg

Next, I will expand on these core colors, going lighter or darker, rougher or smoother, more matte or more shiny, until I have the twenty or thirty different yarns that make up a project . What if I take some fabric and cut very narrow strips? That technique is called sakiori.

Just in case you were wondering, there’s a reason I didn’t select any taupe for the weft. There is a lot of taupe in the warp, and I want to avoid large flat areas of plain taupe. By using grey woven across the taupe, these areas will have a subtle vibration.

I have a lot of projects ahead of me right now, so it may be quite some time until Fog on Sparrow Hill comes to the loom. There’s ten wonderful yards of black warp ahead of me.