I’ve started winding the warp, which I’ve decided will be black 60/2 silk sett at (initially) 40 epi, which is in the mid-range of what Peggy Osterkamp recommends for plain weave. The warp will be 24″ wide – that way if I need to resley to a denser sett, I’ll still have enough width to make a shawl. That was easy.
Now comes the hard part: what to weave? It’s hard not to feel overwhelmed with so many choices. Now I know how people feel when faced with a blank sheet of paper and a pen!
Well, when in doubt, simplify. Here is the matrix of what I want to try:
|Tie-downs||Tie-down yarns||Pattern||Pattern yarns|
|Black 60/2 silk
Solid jewel tone 60/2 silk
30/2 silk (for taquete?)
Variegated color yarn (30/2 with gold metallic?)
OK, there’s still a lot, but it’s much more manageable than a blank slate!
So at the outset, I just need one simple image and one complex image for the tie-downs, and one simple, one complex, and one image pattern for the pattern weft. For the sampling, it doesn’t really matter what the patterns are, it’s mostly to give me an idea of which types of patterns go with which. Once I know how the structures behave, I can start playing around with different weft yarns. And that should keep me busy for awhile.
Given all that, the threading is pretty easy to determine. I want enough shafts for the tie-downs to produce plainweave, twill, and interesting images. 8 shafts sounds like a good number – I can do plainweave, 4 shaft twills, and simple images on 8 shafts. I don’t want a point threading because of the longer floats at the point. So an 8-shaft, straight draw threading on the ties seems reasonable.
That leaves 16 shafts for the pattern wefts. At 40 epi, alternating between tie-downs and pattern shafts, straight draw will give me a motif about 4/5 of an inch wide, with 16 pixels per motif. But I want my motifs a little bigger than that, and I also want a bit more detail. A point threading will double the width of my motif and also give me more pixels to play around with – as long as it’s symmetric – so I will have motifs about 64 threads wide (counting the ties), about an inch and a half. That sounds good to me!
So, I have it down to a fairly simple threading, 8 shaft straight draw on the ties, 16 shaft point threading on the pattern shafts. Wasn’t that easy?
And now I have enough information to move forward…it will take me the rest of the week to finish beaming and threading the warp, so I have a loooong time to come up with the patterns and yarns I want to weave with.
Of course, once I finish my sampling/experimentation, I’ll have to figure out what to weave as a “final” product, but by then I’ll know a lot more about tied weaves and will presumably be able to design something reasonably well. It’s only the tabula rasa at the beginning, when you don’t know anything about anything, that is intimidating. (Well, for me anyway.)
I am winding this warp to be 13 yards long – that is enough for 4 yards of sampling, 1 yard of loom waste, and 3 shawls. Given all the things I want to try, I don’t think I’ll get bored!