Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Added Adventures in Advancing Twill

A second towel project this year in advancing twill gave me the chance to use similar and new treadlings on a similar threading as my recent project, but in lighter warp colours. I felt like I was on a bit of a roll and I wasn't ready to leave advancing twill quite yet. The lighter colours in the warp generally needed medium to dark colours in the weft to show the pattern.

I beamed on a long warp of close to 20 m in length (23 turns on the back beam). This gave me 26 towels in total, but by the last few I had run out of favourite colours and good ideas. This was a good thing though because it pushed me into trying new patterns, and I discovered some new ideas to pursue later. This is so typical: towards the end of the warp I want to finish it all and start something new, then I feel almost heartbroken to weave the last towel when I was on a fresh surge.

I also learned how the little glitch in the centre section was incorrectly threaded. It's a bit off kilter although I doubt anyone will mind too much - just me. I figured out the error and now I want to do a third project with the correction. That's already beamed onto the loom. :-)

Here are some of the towels with the lighter warp.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

One Weaver's Interpretation of the Johnston Tartan

A long-time friend has lineage from the Johnston clan of Scotland, and he requested a wool blanket in the Johnston tartan colours. At first I thought he was talking about me weaving the tartan itself, with all its intricate complexity and specific pattern. That I cannot do! But no, he just wanted a blanket with those colours and I was free to create something that might interest him.

He had a tie of the Johnston tartan, which I used for colour selection.

The blanket warp was stripes of black, charcoal and light grey and the weave structure would be undulating twill. The suitable weft colours I had on hand were black, dark blue, limited dark green, and yellow.

At first I tried to repeat the sequence in the tie with two shots of this and four of that - but that did not suit undulating twill and started to drive me crazy. So I unwove that and thought hard about my next option. And what you see on the dark green cone was all I had. Hmmm.

What I ended up doing was weaving the blanket ends in predominantly dark blue, then the entire blanket with alternating stripes of the dark green, all with yellow stripes edged in black throughout.

I'm not sure how I came up with this plan, but I was pleased with the result. And, as always, the blanket looked better off the loom and stretched out, then better yet when washed and pressed. Here it is with the tie:

And ... what did my friend say about the blanket?
"I love the blanket. We both do. Thank you for exploring this design."
This was actually not an easy challenge, but what challenge is? I like the final product and my friend knew he was under no obligation. The Johnston tartan colours are so nice that as a muse they've helped create a beautiful blanket.