I’m starting to prepare for my cross-dyeing experiments. This time I’m going to put on a 10″ wide warp in 10/2 cotton, and weave it off with Henry’s Attic Alpaca Lace as weft. The 10/2 cotton is 4200 ypp and the Alpaca Lace is only 4960 ypp, but as the alpaca will fluff up a bit, I’m hoping the difference won’t be too dramatic. And at only 24-30 epi, it ought to weave up super fast. I’m still debating how much to put on, but 21 yards sounds about right – enough for ten scarves that are 72″ long (including fringe), or for a couple of scarves and a LOT of samples. It may not be woven off by the start of the move, but 10/2 cotton is durable enough to move on the loom. (The AVL Workshop Dobby Loom is designed to allow disassembly/moving with the warp still on the loom. Go AVL!)
I’m going to thread up on a 24-shaft straight draw, which will allow me to simulate any number of shafts as long as the threading repeat divides neatly into 24. So I’m going to do some 4-shaft patterns (bird’s-eye twill, 2/2 twill, 1/3 twill), some 8-shaft patterns (crepe weaves, twill blocks), and some 24-shaft patterns (various fancy twills). I’ll probably also include plain weave. This will allow me to demonstrate concepts for a lot of different loom types, which is important for this particular article.
The concepts I’m trying to convey are fairly simple. Basically, you want to limit complex imagery to either weaving draft or the dye pattern: both at once produces muddled looks. Here are two images from this earlier blog post that illustrate what I mean:
This is successful because it is a complex design with a simple background.
Contrast it with this:
Here the complex patterning in both weave structure and dye job collide, and you get visual mud.
And here is a simple pattern with a complex weave structure:
Anyway, those are the main concepts I want to illustrate, but I also want to do some more experimenting first. There are so many things to try!
Off to the house! I need to water the herb plants, which I didn’t get into the ground yesterday. I think I’ll try to do them tomorrow (I already have a commitment for tonight).