Boxes seem to be something of a theme this week. Starting with Songs From the Silver Box by Roger O'Donnell, currently my favorite weaving music.
I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to planning projects. I don't plan more than I absolutely have to. Consequently, I don't always stretch myself artistically as much as I should or could. In fact, I think I have woven myself into a box! This last week is the perfect example. But admitting you have a problem is the first step, so consider that step taken.
I needed to select a pattern/structure for the lovely wedding shawl warp. The weavers among you who plan every detail before even thinking about touching yarn might be asking,"Why/how did you NOT already decide that before making the warp?" The answer is simple. That would take time--something I have precious little of (pardon my grammar). Plus I would have to think. Much faster just to get it wound and on the loom and then decide. I'm one of those weavers who just wants to get to the weaving, to see cloth forming before my eyes and beneath my hands. I've heard that there are weavers who weave the cloth almost as an afterthought. Their greatest joy comes with calculating, problem solving, planning, and anticipating how structures will work. My tent is definitely not set up in that camp. I'm all about the color and the process of weaving itself.
Back to the dilemma of deciding how to weave this shawl. After some thought, I decided that huck lace might be just the structure to use. A little lacy but still sturdy with a nice drape. I've done very little huck lace weaving, but I have done it with success at least once before. I found a pattern I wanted to adapt, only to discover that while the threading and treadling sequence were coded but decipherable, the "treadling template" was completely in another language. Only with no letters or numbers. And after referring to at least 3 other weaving references I still could not figure it out. I did give myself a crash course on huck though, enough to be able to do what I want to do. But I'm going to have to ask a weaver who actually understands weave structures what it means if I want to have any hope of really understanding this. Yes, that will be a priority, right after I get this shawl woven....... in block twill!
I know, I know...block twill? What am I talking about? What about huck lace? Well you see, yours truly *didn't plan* for huck lace, didn't calculate the set of the warp for huck lace. I calculated for twill because twills are what I always do! God help me I'm in a box of my own creation, and if I didn't know it already, this project has made it painfully evident. If I threaded it in huck, the set would have been so different that the width would have increased *significantly* from when I wound on. I didn't spread the warp far enough apart in the raddle to accommodate a plain weave set. Without thinking, I "planned" for twill.
Deciding to weave this shawl in block twill was like the ultimate cop-out. Yes, it will most likely be gorgeous, drapey, and luxurious. But it will not be a departure from anything I've done before. And as much as I want to produce goods for sale, I also want to evolve as a weaver.I swallow hard in saying this, but for all my technical ability and color sense, I am severely, embarassingly deficient in weaving theory and understanding how many structures work, how to create pattern drawdowns, how to look at a piece of cloth and work backwards to decipher the threading, treadling, and tie up. Probably this is due in part to my non-Math brain, but much more it is a side effect of my lack of formal instruction in weaving.
The Etsy Update....
And the other "box of the week" was my extremely shoddy DIY light box which I created for about $2 thanks to some guy's blog who I should credit but forgot to bookmark. Because of this box, I'm very proud to announce that *all* my jewelry stock has been photographed. By me. And let me tell you, I have a whole new respect for the upper body strength and steady hands of talented photographers. Also a new-found appreciation for proper full-spectrum lighting and tripods. My next task is to write up the descriptions of each piece. With any luck the first batch will be in my store by the end of this weekend!