I spent most of yesterday converting the phoenix image to a loom-ready draft. I initially tried the easy path – using Arahweave’s automatic weave generator to convert the image, as Dusan suggested in the comments – but wasn’t happy with the results, so I did a more detailed conversion on my own. I started by putting together a weave blanket, sampling 63 combinations of warp and weft:
Then I took the above photo into Photoshop, where I created a palette of swatches by using the Eyedropper Tool to sample the photo, averaging an 11 pixel radius to arrive at a consistent color. I then had Photoshop index the file to the 63 colors in the weave blanket. Finally, I took the indexed file into Arahweave and matched all 63 colors with the appropriate weave structure. I might have been able to get by with fewer colors, but the end result looks fantastic, so I’m glad I went to the effort of doing all 63 structures.
Here’s a pic of the samples I wove:
This sample came out quite well. I wove short pieces of several sections, checking for technical issues. In the largest section, you can see that the aspect ratio is incorrect – the phoenix head came out slightly stretched vertically. Fortunately, in Arahweave, that’s a two-second fix – just one of its wonderful features. I found and fixed one spot where I had substituted an incorrect weave structure, and a few others where the color match was slightly off. I’ve also fixed a couple of other structural issues, such as making sure the two layers of the double weave are stitched together so they don’t slip against each other.
After wet-finishing and pressing the sample, I had planned to take out my mother’s beads and ribbons and experiment to see what kinds of embellishments would look good. Alas, all my best-laid plans came to naught. Here’s what the sample looked like about ten seconds after I brought out the beads.