Thursday, September 13, 2007

New Water Series Designs

Before deciding what to weave next, I took a look at current inventory so I can fill in any design series that has too few pieces. The water series is kinda sparse at the moment - water always seems to be the most popular theme - so I sat down at the computer to design a new set of water-themed scarves.

The concept I'm fine-tuning is another interleaved threading. One part of the threading consists of a large curving shape that doesn't really repeat at all, in a dark blue yarn. The second part of the threading consists of a series of networked pointy shapes that recur six (or maybe it's six and a half) times, advancing for each occurrence, in a pale aqua yarn. These two are interleaved thread by thread - one dark blue thread, one pale aqua thread - all across the warp, except for the selvedge threads on each side, which will all be threaded in dark blue.

As I play with weft colors (still playing on the computer, to simulate the look of the finished cloth) I'm seeing a very interesting, and somewhat counter-intuitive effect. My thought was that weaving the draft with a light-colored weft would emphasize the light warp, and weaving with a dark-colored weft would emphasize the dark warp. To my surprise, the effect is the reverse!

Here's a screenshot of the draft with a black weft. What shows most clearly is the advancing pointed shape that is threaded in the pale aqua.

With a light grey weft, what shows most clearly is the large swooping curves. Notice that I haven't changed the threading, the tie-up, or the treadling. The only difference is the value of the weft.

And here's a screenshot with a medium grey weft. In this case, the weft sometimes brings out the pointed shapes and sometimes the curves. Probably the most interesting combination for this particular treadling, to my eye at least.

I suspect the average observer would say these are three completely different designs, not just minor variations in value. This is an easy way to make each piece in the series "one of a kind" even if I don't change the treadling!

It doesn't seem to matter what color the weft is - a change in value is all it takes. The effect was the same when I experimented with pale lavendar, medium green, and deep red as the hues of the weft - it's the value that counts.

1 comment:

Stef said...


I just wanted to let you know that your magazine articles and show entries have provided me with endless inspiration.

I think it's great that you're sharing your creative process via this blog. It's wonderful to see how you gather inspiration from your environment and transform it into beautifully woven textiles.

I have a question for you: Which drafting software allows you to make the warp look as though it's painted?