Friday, August 26, 2011

Ecology Shawl

One of the best things about weave blogging is that you don't have to wait until your favorite weaving magazine gets around to publishing an article -- you can beat them to the punch. Carol Phillips won a first prize ribbon with this amazing triangular shaped shawl. I'm going to let Carol's words describe the process and then add my own two cents at the end of this post.

The warp is wool/silk from Henry's Attic. I dyed it in Michele Wipplinger's studio about 10 years ago, 9 warp chains, painted, some resisted, some kept loose, then all was dipped in Indigo - some more than one dip. I have lost the very careful notes on specific eyes used - but it included cochineal, madder, fustic, woad, others I can't remember at present. It is woven "ecology style" where the warp becomes the weft, put on the loom double weave so that it is large enough for comfort. I think it was 34 inches in the reed, then not put on the back beam, but weighted at the back with heavy boxes. One thread at a time is pulled forward and used as weft, double weave for the first half, making a diagonal selvege, leaving a fringe on one side where the weft thread exits, then woven plain weave once it is halfway, continuing the diagonal selvege on the long side, fringe on two sides. I did take some photos as I went, but they're a bit hard to interpret! I have done this in the past, but it's been a while, and I had to really probe my memory! The idea is from an old PWC, and there is no date on it, but from the '80's. [Issue 10] The cover has a photo of the one from the article inside - bright colored plaid. The original is done with 2 looms warped back-to-back, not double weave, with a person in the middle to cut one thread at a time to use as weft on each loom, and the looms have to be moved closer together as it progresses. The end result is two matching triangle scarves or shawls. I think it would make a great demo at some event. My plan is to write up the process, so one day I must do that! I did send a photo to Madelyn suggesting she re-visit the project in an upcoming Handwoven. She would like me to do it again with an "available" yarn... perhaps in the winter I'll tackle it!

Perhaps this is my challenge for the year - something out of my comfort zone! It is not really ikat, just the way the warp crosses itself. One problem is that as it gets near the end the weft tends to pack in tighter, so it is not truly an equal triangle... Something to work on! - Carol Phillips

This month's Handwoven has an article by Joanne Parrish George in which the supplementary warp becomes supplementary weft. It seems like a similar process to this ecology shawl, but I think I would have to try it out before I would know for sure.

I agree with Carol;  this would make a fantastic demonstration at CNCH or something such. The problem with doing the shawl with two looms as the original article shows, is that they need to have a 44" weaving width.  The article also suggests two 44" rigid heddle looms could be used but during a brief online search, I didn't come up with any looms that were that wide.

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