Source Word: Tribal
My storyboard includes images, materials and other items from each of the three areas which played a prominent role in the lives of the Canis Tribe. My weaving colours are sourced mainly from the Land section but could also be applied to the Spiritualism area as well.
I gathered together my initial colours and then culled my selection as I decided to only use wools as my weft because this was the yarn, from the earlier exercises, which I most enjoyed working with and which I thought would give the best effects when patterning.
The outline plan was started – from bottom to top as per the weaving direction – by deciding which yarns were to go where and a general overview of the type of look I envisaged in each area, be it a continuous pattern, a feature pattern or a colour mixed area.
I designed some possible feature patterns before starting and chose where they were to go. Then, as the weaving progressed, I filled in the actual weaving stitch I was putting in each area. I found it much easier doing this as I went along because it was a big benefit seeing the completed sections and assessing what needed to go in next.
The two charts above took quite a while to draw and I quickly found out that centering some designs when using an even number of warp threads isn’t possible. You will see below on the finished piece that the pattern on the right above was used and partially repeated to get the effect.
Not only was I using Land colours but I wanted to try to create something that represented the type of weaving a tribe might produce and from my research it seems that it is common to favour motifs, repeat patterning and banding separating distinctive areas.
From bottom to top:
Medium brown – plain weave with rows of single Soumak in alternating directions.
Orange – pattern 1 as per diagram above..
Green/deep brown – plain weave, 2 rows green and 1 row deep brown forming the chevrons.
Dark green – 1 row double Soumak.
Russet – pattern 2 as per diagram, using 3 yarns together so allowing the warp to be exposed where there is only plain weave. I feel this enhances the visual effect of the pattern and pushes it to the fore.
Dark green – 2 rows double Soumak.
Deep yellow – plain weave plus rows of Egyptian knots with silk paper beads woven in. I made these beads especially for this project to match those on the photograph on my storyboard. They represent small scrolls with hidden secret messages and prayers to tribal ancestors.
Medium brown – plain weave over 2 warps.
Green/deep brown – plain weave with a diagonal increase/decrease. I did this section twice (and can confirm how time consuming it is to undo weaving) because the first time I linked the threads together where they met in each row. However, this didn’t give me the sharp, stepped diagonal line I was after so I pulled it out and redid it without linking the two colours and it is a much cleaner colour split and linear definition.
Dark green – 1 row double Soumak.
Orange – plain weave with 2 rows of chaining. I’m a little disappointed in this section because the chaining isn’t as regular and smooth as I would like. I pulled it out twice but found that I couldn’t get the tension any more even. By this stage I was working a significant distance along the loom, away from my body, and just couldn’t control the yarn well enough at that distance. With a real loom that can be wound forward this would be much more easy and controllable.
Overall I’m fairly pleased with the result but I feel that it doesn’t reflect the time I spent on it. Much time was taken choosing yarns, drawing plans and stitch diagrams before even starting to weave and the result is fine, just how I thought it would be, but not wonderfully exciting. Part of this, I feel, comes from it being a sampler. Perhaps if it were a patterned end of a much larger rug with a plain centre it might have more impact.
Or perhaps it is simply that it took me twice as long to do than I thought it would (due to my ongoing neck problems) and it’s become so familiar to me that the newness, or originality, of it has just worn off.