Tuesday, March 31, 2009

"Ode to Inge"

Under this protector sheet, is the shawl project! It sat idle for a time as we were so busy with the new windows and when time allowed or I needed a break, I wove and did finishing on the huck lace shawl. The vertical blinds were down and the sun streamed in so I had to shield the loom. When we got the new window in, painted, new blinds up and so I got busy on the loom. ( the black bundle on the side of the loom is a warp for placemats to go on next.)

To review: this is 2/8 tencel, sett 24 epi and is threaded in a 12 shaft M's and W's. The treadling is a bit more complex than the threading as I did runs to and fro and one repeat was approximately five inches in length. I hunkered down and wove carefully as it was easy to lose your place. I did this once and had to 'un-weave' back known starting place.... almost four inches back! I did develop a rhythm in time and soon it was done.

Then I pinned it out on my styrofoam board and started twisting the fringe. I did the black and red sections first to ensure continuity. I also wanted the beige ends to be solidly beige and not a mix with black or red. {See my post: 'A Good Twist to the Yarn'}

Twisting the ends took two full afternoons as there is a lot of fringe here. Once complete, off the board and now comes the bead stash bag. The red in this shawl is more of a brick red and if I was to use red beads, they had to be the right shade and happily I had one bead that matched!

Beading took another two full afternoons as it's a slow process. This time I set the beads in between the fringes so it will appear worn either side. No double beading as with the last shawl thank goodness. { See my older post: 'Gilding the Lily' Feb/09}

Here it is prior to wet finishing and everything is a bit stiff. Washing really settles all your work into it's place and completes the look you want. Same as the huck lace shawl, I soaked it in warm soapy water for 20 minutes and gently squeezed it through, rinsed, then spun it out in the machine. I hung it over a pvc road to dry after pulling it into shape and untangling the fringe bouts. The next morning I gave it a hard pressing using steam and the shine popped out and the tencel turned to 'butter'. The fringe swayed and the beads relaxed. All I need to do now is to trim the ends of the fringes. This I do by laying the shawl on a table with a cutting mat under the fringe. Straighten all fringe, lay a yard stick across the cutting line and roll through with a rotary cutter. It gives a wonderful sharp line.
So here is the shawl draped on my studio manikin and pinned to hold it up! Gotta get some arms..

A closer shot to show the pattern:

And the bead details...

Now, I'm aware that this shawl has an unusual look to it and may not be for every one's taste. The inspiration for this shawl was the work of Inge Dam. Inge is a Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Guild 'Master Weaver'. Inge did her thesis work on the ancient textiles found in the burial sites in northern Europe. These ancient weavers wove using tablet or card weaving sewn onto their clothing or in some cases actually woven along with their cloth on their warp weighted looms. These bands were much more than methods to tie their clothing to the body, they were adornments and decoration. Inge has incorporated card weaving into her cloth in bright, modern and unique pieces. I would love to show you her weaving here but I hesitate to 'borrow' her images and so ask you to visit and view her work here.

I hope to one day try this method for myself, but in the mean time this shawl gives the appearance of bands while being loom woven. As for wearing it, I see a simple black dress with a Celtic style necklace. Or for the really brave, a simple but stunning brick red dress. I have always had a love of archeology and in particular ancient textiles. I have a number of books on this topic but here is one that features burial garments found in graves in Greenland. The title is 'Woven into the Earth' by Else Ostergard. The Viking descendants found here had no trees to make coffins, so they buried their dead in wrappings of clothes. Most likely older clothing and not their best. The conditions preserved the cloth and they were found with tree roots growing down through them, hence the title.

So when you sit at your loom, what ever style, do you think on weavers that came before? Each thread is a link to our collective past.


Alice said...

Fabulous! The history of textiles and their uses is so very interesting to me too.


bspinner said...

I am beyond impressed with the colors, pattern and finishing on this shawl!!!!!! The historial slant to it only adds to its beauty.

Kimberly Woven ~N~ Spun said...

WOW! Stunning doesn't even begin to cover it.

Life Looms Large said...

The shawl is beautiful!! The pattern and the band look really good together - and I love how you tied it in to textile history!

It's interesting that you've been posting a lot about fringe lately! I've been trying to figure out a nice way to not have fringe on some scarves I want to make. I visited an IRL weaving friend today to get her advice.....but I know that when it is time for me to twist fringe, I'll look at your excellent tutorial about it!

I feel guilty now for letting my looms sit in a bright room. They're not in direct sun.....but there is a lot of light in there.


Judith said...

Susan, I am absolutely gobsmacked! Your Ode to Inga shawl is drop-dead gorgeous . . . you're inspiring me

Chris Stusek said...

Absolutely amazing! The colour and design are gorgeous. WOW!

Theresa said...

Gosh Susan, each piece you do is more beautiful than the one before. The historical information is so darn interesting too. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

I personally LOVE the colors!!! :) The story behind this shawl makes it even more exciting! Thanks for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

That shawl is simply stunning! Wow. How beautiful. I love the effect of the "bands" you put on it.

I've been trying to further my tablet weaving abilities recently, and have been doing a lot of reading on the subject. In the process I've come across a lot of the historical information - so interesting to learn about!
Thanks for the link to Inge Dam's site - amazing work!

I keep going back and scrolling through your pictures of the shawl. SO pretty.

Lynnette said...

I'm jumping and jumping and still can't do it...Susan, lower that damn bar!
As always I'm gob smacked and just want to get a closer look and cop a quick feel!

Evelyn Oldroyd - painter said...

Hi Susan - nice to hear from you! I see you manage a lot of beautiful weaving despite the renos! Thanks for the link - I will follow suit! Evelyn

Lynnette said...

I just can't be the one to break the chain, so there is an award for you on my blog. Mea Culpa! I know they can be difficult to pass forward, but what are friends for?

Caroline M said...

I will confess to being the "London" that's been wandering all over your blog these last few days (right country, wrong location). I've enjoyed seeing your new looms, your dog and your work, I wish I'd known that there was such a thing as weaving twenty years ago because I think I've left it a bit late to start.

The shawl is stunning, there's no other word fo it.

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Caroline M.
Thank you for writing and visiting. I was born in Portsmouth, so an ex-pat.

It's never too late to try your hand and I know that there is a wonderful guild in London. I was a long distance member for a year and know there are at least 2 Canadians there now. The companionship of the ladies is warming too.

I know of a older woman who at age 78 took up spinning for the first time on a very old wheel ( 100+ years old) and she has now spun enough to make everyone one of her faily members a lovely blanket as a gift from her. Yes, she took up weaving at age 82 and is going strong!

Be brave and look them up; you'll be glad you did.
Cheerio, Susan

charlotte said...

This is a fantastic piece of work, it's gorgeous! I thind this might be classified under "wearable art". What kind of yarn did you use?

Susan Harvey said...

Hi Charlotte...
The yarn is tencel (2/8). All the details such as setts and threading is in the text along with the pictures.
Have you tried weaving with it?

PS the white shawl is also tencel but is 2/10

Jackie said...

Beautiful! Your shawl is absolutely stunning! I must weave with tensel! The results are amazing! ( I feel like I am gushing a bit here, but seriously!)

Anonymous said...

Jaw dropping beautifu1 - nothing else needs to be said!