Sunday, November 20, 2016

Mistake or Design Element?

 I have finished the second shawl on the purple-green warp, and as I hem-stitched, beading as I went, I saw two errors.  I'd noticed one before, the short floats on one side of one of the "oranges," but chose to ignore it.  The second, and I'm not sure you can see it in this picture, is that there are two warp threads next to each other.
  When I finished stitching and cut the second shawl off, I pondered the errors.  I remember when I was a member of the Tuesday Weavers, we would joke about errors, asking the philosophical question:  Is it a mistake, or is it a design element?  Another way to think about it is the perennial question:  If an error falls in the warp and no one sees it, does it really fall?
  Look at the topmost repeat of the pattern and see if you can see the mistake.  I see it right away, but when I look at the entire shawl, it disappears.  The two threads running together is much more difficult to see, nearly impossible, unless you happen to be hem-stitiching.
  So, after a day of agonizing--slight exaggeration; there was little agony--I decided to go ahead with the third shawl without fixing the errors.  Two already had them!  If anyone notices the errors, well, they are keen-eyed and fierce.
  The next colorway for the flawed, or over-designed, warp is the grey tencel back as tabby warp, and the sage green carpet warp I wondered about last week.  The beads I chose came out perfectly with the warp and wefts.  I'm not crazy about the purple with the sage green, but overall, I think it does all right.  And I'm to the point in this project that I'm thinking about what's next, as usual.  I have some lovely red and purple bamboo waiting in the wings, or what about the fire red and orange warp?  Or should it be dish towels?  Oh, the possibilities!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Measured in Inches or Millimeters

Inspiration photo
Sunday 11-6
Sunday, 11-13
Since last Sunday, and its extra hour due to daylight savings time, I've been weaving on LouElla, the tapestry loom that lives in the great room.  She was easy to ignore in Knoxville, tucked away into a corner of the studio, and overwhelming me with what I don't know about weaving tapestry.  I've woven on the tapestry just about every morning this week, working on the rose occasionally, the leaves in the background when I get stuck on a petal or shading or shaping on the rose.  It's mighty slow progress.  And I am making a lot of mistakes, but I keep reminding myself that it is my first full tapestry, having only made two small ones before, in Tommye Scanlon's class several years ago.  The whole think is 12 inches wide, and will probably be that long.  
Thursday, 11-10
   Last night, I watched every possible tapestry video on YouTube, and there is one in particular that captured my imagination.  It's titled "Un fil sense fi-How to make a tapestry, and I couldn't believe how the artist, Cesc Biosca,, makes his tapestry with huge yarn, fine yarn, big loops everywhere, using white on white and vague color variations.  I want to finish this tapestry now so I can try the stuff he does!  
    But for now, I will carry on with my millimeters of progress, learning as I go.  I'm going to take a class at the folk school with Tommye on my birthday weekend this year, and really learn--again--how to do this better, but one of the things I learned from watching so many videos is that, like many things, there is no one right way.  I don't think I want to do the minute details that they do at Gobelins in Paris, though I did once peak in their windows on a Sunday morning, but I want to try it all, tapestry-wise.
  An easier way to measure progress has been with my overshot shawls.  I finished the first one, with silver tencel tabby weft and the purple slub cotton pattern weft.  I made it 84 inches long, with two fringes of 6 inches each.  It's waiting downstairs to have its fringes twisted.  
Then, I started using some somewhat fragile black bamboo for the tabby weft.  I'm not sure where it came from; it lost its tube somewhere, but I know it's bamboo.  I like the way it makes the internal shapes in the Orange Peel stand out more than the silver did.  And the shapes are less elongated than with the silver, because the black packs in more tightly.  This one will also be 84 inches long, and I beaded it with smaller beads on the fringe than the first one.  This morning, I went past the halfway mark, and then, I'll have to figure out the third one.  I have some 8/4 carpet warp in the exact perfect shade of green, but do I want to use carpet warp?  It seems so...common!  
 Weftie gives the black weft a paws up.  He took my stool over when I got up to use the computer.
I don't know if you've heard about the fires raging over here in western North Carolina, but they are fierce.  The smokey smell is inside the house this morning, making my throat and eyes burn, but I'm pretty far away from any of the fires.  Two of my employees have been on alert for evacuation, but so far, they haven't had to leave.  It makes the sunrises lovely, but it's a threat anywhere around here, since it's so very dry.

This young lady hung out in the front yard Friday, waited while I got out of the car, fumbled for my phone and took her picture.  As soon as I did, she took off, only to be replaced by another, who seemed to wait for me to take her photo, too.
  Let's all hope this coming week brings better things than this past one.  We've lived through worse, right?  Let's all hope so!  Keep calm and weave on!