Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Humble Color and Weave

A color-and-weave effect on a twill weave structure can be a lot of fun. One can take a simple weave structure such as twill or plain weave and make it look a lot more complex with just two colors of yarn. Of course, twill can get complex, specially for those lucky weavers who have 32 shaft Megado looms! This is a simple 8 shaft, straight-draw* twill. The picture to the left is the beginning of the warp. I am still getting used to a table loom. I must say, the weaving action is quite nice on the Jane. I chose not to do a detailed posting on the warping process since Susan at Thrums did such a lovely post on that earlier. She has some pretty amazing posts at the moment so be prepared to spend a bit of time reading and then dig back a bit to find her post on warping the Jane loom.
I am about to cut this bit off and wash it to see how the sett is. Judging from the little bit of weaving I just did on it, I am guessing I need to tighten the sett* a bit.

Here is a close-up picture of the weave. This particular draft can be found in various weaving books. I pretty much had this in mind to put on for the first warp and I used the draft from pg 55 of Color-and-Weave II by Margaret B. Windeknecht. It is one of my favorite color-and-weave resource books.
She defines color-and-weave as a
"...pattern effect produced by combining a standard weave structure with a dark/light color sequence in both warp and weft. The color-and-weave effect is a pattern on the surface that is quite different in appearance from either the original weave structure (as seen with solid color warp and weft) or the dark/light sequence."
(Color-and-Weave II, pg. 2)
For those who may not be familiar with how color-and-weave works, the loom is threaded using a standard weave structure with two or more colors in a particular sequence. If L stands for a light colored yarn and D stand for a dark colored yarn, a few examples of color threading sequences would look like this; DDLLL, or DDDLDLD, or simply LDLD. In this particular warp I threaded 8 dark threads followed by 8 light threads and continued the sequence across the warp. The color sequence looks like this: DDDDDDDDLLLLLLLL. Where it really becomes interesting is you then can cross the warp with many different color sequence wefts to get different effects. Color-and-weave gamps can be very educational to make.
To get this spinning star effect, I simply used the same color sequence I warped with in the weft. I throw 8 picks of the dark yarn and the 8 picks of the light yarn.
The tie-up or lift plan on a floor loom or, in my case, the lifting sequence on the table loom adds another dimension. When you start getting into color-and-weave effects you start to see how fascinating and complex it can really be.
I like to use a black and white yarn combination because I can then go back and paint dyes on the fabric to make things even more interesting.
I will be cutting this off and washing it and will post the results of the sample.
*see glossary


Life Looms Large said...

I love that pattern!!! (Like many weavers I guess!)

That's a great idea to use black and white and then dye it!! Interesting!!


Susan said...

I have always loved how the colour curls round and makes stars and even circles. The optical effects are fun no matter what colours you use. I also go for the big and bold look by using 'very dark' versus 'very light'.
Your wee Jane looks fab with her warp in place. Are you enjoying using her?

I must also say thank you for the wonderful comments about my blog and recent posts. It encourages me to share more as we seem to have a neat little online weaving community and guild. Friends far and near!


Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the dyeing results. Interesting possibilities given the formal nature of the pattern which could contrast with colour washes (depending on what you want to do with the dyeing). It's one of the things on my to-do list, having used it a bit with felt. One of these days...

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

I love the fabric!!! It's so nice to see you enjoying this new fabulous loom!!! Louet sure does make great products!!

Renee said...

Thanks for the comments! Susan, you are absolutely right. Reading everyone's blogs is inspiring and we do seem to have a little online guild and community. I am looking forward to seeing what everyone is up to next. -Renee

knits plenty said...

I've used this pattern many times to make really special cotton towels, and I love it, and I never get bored with it. I love the idea of dyeing it after the fact, can't wait to see, your always such and inspiration.