Here the idea is to try weaving with items that are a little different to standard wools and yarns.
I continued using the same warp as my previous sample, cotton 12/12. The sample card above shows the weft items.
From left to right: Anchor mercerized cotton knitting yarn, white & gold nylon lace trim, jute twine, stiff gold present-wrapping ribbon, torn crystal organza strip, cotton piping cord, 2 x 7mm hand dyed silk ribbon and viscose tubular ribbon.
The picture to the right shows the weaving before trimming the silk ribbon Ghiordes knots. The variegated colours look magnificent. It seems a shame to trim but some other patterning is being hidden.
I feel the effect of the silk ribbon has been lost after trimming the length. Admittedly there are only two rows and only two thicknesses of ribbon in each knot – which equates to 8 metres of dyed ribbon – so it was never going to be as thick as previously when I used rug wool. So I’ve learned that if I wish to use a material which is fairly thin, flat and/or floppy such as silk ribbon then I must use multiple lengths per knot and more rows to get a better coverage. The amount of ribbon to create that effect would be huge, and could be costly.
I am very pleased with the nylon lace at the bottom which has fanned out beautifully, a little like a tutu. Even though the same technique has been used with other materials none of them sit this way, they all stand up.
The weave structure from bottom to top, excluding the plain weave orange colour follows:
Lace trim, jute and gold ribbon – Ghiordes loops
Organza – double soumak
White piping cord – single soumak
Variegated silk ribbon – Ghiordes knots
Gold viscose tubular ribbon – chaining
Weaving issues and solutions.
The picture, left, shows the shed stick in the position I had for my first sample, just lying between the front and back warp threads. I had to pull the back threads up using the loops and stick method. This became increasingly difficult as I progressed.
This time round I became smarter!!!
I inserted the ruler between the warps in the opposite manner, pulling the back lengths forward to sit closer to the surface. The loops and stick were then attached to the warps that went around the front of the frame, now pushed a little back by the ruler. Sounds complicated so I hope it is understandable. The photos are quite clear though.
This has made a huge difference to the weaving process and the strain of pulling rear warps forward has been much less so the whole process has flowed more smoothly.
Unfortunately what has not been solved is my neck problem. Leaning the loom against a table edge and resting the front part on my knees means that I am looking downwards for an extended period …… actually I’m not, because I simply can’t do it. I love the weaving, I love the effect, I want to try out every knot, loop, yarn and material I can but even though I rest my neck frequently I am finding that the time I can apply to this project is becoming more and more fragmented with many very short spells of actual weaving. My neck is not recovering well between sessions.
My neck, held together with titanium plates, screws and wire, will outlast the rest of me and all of you reading this and it performs marvellously during normal life but clearly it draws the line at weaving. I never thought I would have to start a ‘things I will never try again’ list but I have ….. and weaving is the first thing on it. Let’s hope it remains alone.