…which I’m not feeling particularly bad about even though my New Year’s resolution was not to buy more yarn. I want to do more weaving exercises and I don’t have an appropriate yarn – what I really need is a relatively thick, mercerized cotton yarn that’s cheap enough to use for gamps. I do have some yarn of suitable size, but I am simply not going to weave a
sampler gamp out of $90/lb silk! So I have ordered two pounds each of white and dark truffle (= black, or close enough) and will be weaving a gamp with it.
(For those not familiar, a gamp is simply a weaving sampler – you thread it up with different threadings and then use various tie-ups/treadlings to produce a variety of different patterns. The advantage to using a gamp is that you get a lot of different patterns for the price of one setup/threading. The downside is that some of the patterns are going to be mush – whichever one you happened to be actively designing may not look good in the other patterns. Still, it’s helpful to try, I think.)
I have been reading my way through Sharon Alderman’s Mastering Weave Structures. It’s a wonderful book, but requires intense concentration – she was not writing for beginning weavers and while everything is very clearly laid out, it’s also very dense. She can say things in a single paragraph that I have to take off and think about for several hours. There are also a lot of things she’s saying that I simply have no experience with (and thus, of course, have to play around with) like the theory of satin weaving, etc.
One thing that is clear is that a straight draw threading (1 to 8, or the highest number of shafts on your loom) is extremely versatile, far more so than the book of 8-shaft patterns mentions. There are loads and loads of things you can do with a straight draw, from plainweave to some very fancy twills to satins. I look forward to trying them. I think the threadings I will try are the classics: straight draw, point (1 to 8 and back again), rosepath (1 to 8, 1, 8 to 1), and M’s and W’s. It will be interesting to see what patterns result from different threadings and treadlings with this pattern.
One thing that is becoming obvious to me is that you cannot learn by just looking at the photos with this sort of thing – you really have to weave it for yourself so you can see/feel the results. Active vs. passive learning. It’s fascinating.
Anyway, I highly recommend Sharon Alderman’s book, either as a resource guide or a learning tool. It’s rapidly expanding my understanding of weave structure, and I’m very much looking forward to working my way through it.
One last thing I may attempt this week: doing color samples for Procion dyes. I have a pretty nice set of dye triangles for acid dyes, but none for fiber-reactive ones – so, since I have some precious free time available, I may try to squeeze those in.
While doing an intensive cycling training program, of course.
Well, we’ll see how much I can fit in…two precious weeks of vacation, at home! So much to do and so little time to do it in.