Monday, May 21, 2007

Playing in the Dyepot

The next project is a run of scarves in a totally different colorway.

The weaving draft is another interleaved threading, in two colors of 60/2 silk - fuchsia and orange. The weft thread is 100/2 silk in a variety of colors ranging from brick red through red-violet, violet, and blue-violet to royal. Each scarf will have a different weft color and a different tie-up and treadling.

Here's a partial screenshot of the draft:

The threading started as a single design line, made of "cookie-cutter" shapes that start small, grow in size toward the center of the cloth, then shrink again on their way to the far end of the cloth. Once I had a single design line I liked, I made a duplicate. In the duplicate, I cut just a few threads off the right end and pasted 'em on the left end so there were the same number of ends in both copies, moved the line upward so it starts 8 or 9 shafts above the original design line, and interleaved the two copies. The finished threading has selvedge ends on each side, and the body of the cloth alternates fuchsia and orange threads, one for each design line.

In the drawdown, you can see a highlight on the left edge of most of the shapes, and shadows on the right edge of the shapes, producing a very 3D effect. I'm hoping that will show up even more clearly in the finished cloth.

Here are the warp skeins, fresh from the dye pot and drying rack:

I use a warping wheel to wind the warp and beam it onto the loom, 1-inch section by 1-inch section. Here's a picture of the warping wheel, with a section ready to go onto the loom:

Each arm of the warping wheel has 3 possible positions, so I can adjust the circumference to the dimensions I need for the length of warp I want. I wind from 4 cones of yarn at once, 2 of each color in this case. I had calculated a couple of hundred extra yards of the orange thread, because the selvedge ends are all one color, not alternated. But as you'll see in the shot below, I could have added even more - the orange was almost gone by the time the last section was wound onto the loom.

Here's what the warp looks like on the sectional beam:

With both colors mixed in the warp, the visual effect is not fuchsia, not orange, but a blend of the two that looks sort of tomato red. Depending which warp thread is in the majority in any given area of the design, the cloth may appear orange or fuchsia. If both warp colors are on the surface, it'll look red. And if the weft thread is in the majority, the color you see may be yet another shade because the weft color influences the warp colors, but to a lesser degree because it's thinner thread.

More later as I thread the loom, dye the weft skeins, and start to weave.


Laritza said...

Thanks for the WW picture. I had never seen one in action!

Cynthia said...

Wow! I bet the last few sections were a little fraught as you watched the orange disappear.

Christine said...

I love that you have shown your warping wheel in use. I have been really wanting one to help me dress my loom. Is your WW from AVL? Who else makes them and do they work with any old loom? I so want to give this a whirl -- no pun intended! Do you have any recommendations?