Monday, May 3, 2021

⏳ The One Question All Weavers Get.....

Yesterday I was asked again, and by another weaver no less, "how long did that take to make?"  You know, the question that makes you pause, take a deep breath and then quickly mentally evaluate how much time you have to answer and the questioners patience and level to understand weaving terminology?

I answered: "which part?"

The designing, the selecting colours, the project calculations, the warping winding with all the colour changes, the warp beaming, the threading, the sleying, the (actual) weaving part, the fringe twisting, the washing and pressing or the photography?   

Then because I do sell my work: the computer work or building a business page, managing it, adding the listing,  wrapping the sold item and a trip to the post office.

Its quite the little 'hobby'  😳    Obviously I must get some enjoyment from this process as I keep on doing it...

Its more a series of steps. The thought crosses your mind "can I get a smooth enough transition across a warp to have colours flow from one to another?" Closely followed by "what do I have in my stash that I could do that with?"

The draft below intrigued me and I liked the complexity of the intersections. I used the gradation feature in the Mac version of Fiberworks to flow from blue purple to greyed blue to greyed teal to dark teal, using 8/2 tencel.  The colour changes between the greyed teal and dark teal was a bit sharper than I would have liked, but close enough! The rest flowed very nicely one to another almost seamlessly. 

I left the weft as white so I could see more of the pattern and the warp. I also didn't know what I would choose for weft colours as yet.  I was in love with the warp for now! 

The warp colours on the cones.

The transitions on the warping mill. Yes I had to keep very close track of where I was in the colour order. Thank the gods for sticky notes is all I can say!

Then I started weaving. I auditioned several colours and for the first of two shawls, I chose amethyst.  It didn't really excite me but it did work and meant I was weaving and could work out the second shawl's colour later. Besides, I didn't want to reach for black weft yet again.   The pattern in the program looked fine front and back but once on the loom, I didn't like it at all.  Much too warp dominant one side and too weft dominant the other.   I wanted a more balanced view front and back so it could be reversible.

So I left the threading in place as is and went looking for other options for the tie up and treadling.    Version 2 didn't work and so finally I settled on the draft below, Version 3.  This shows the back view and this was my view on the loom.  Its nifty that I can choose which side is up with a click. 

.... and now the project is fully underway and I'm very happy with what is showing up on the loom.

I started to have some tension issues I wasn't happy about and so cut the first shawl off the loom and finished it up.  Finished dimensions (for both shawls) are 21.5 inches wide by 82 inches long, plus a 5 inch fringe.

The colour shift is more subtle here but the sheen and iridescent effect is lovely!

I called this shawl "Verdigris"

For the second shawl, I decided to be braver and I used my Itten Color Star and found that an orangey tone or a gold was something that the blue-purple and green- teals had in common. My cone of  'old gold' was too brassy but the muted pumpkin shade of adobe seemed to fit nicely.     

So here it is underway and finally with only 20-25 inches to go,  it sat for some time as I pulled a muscle in my right shoulder blade area.  Ice packs became my new best friend.  The larger arm movements of throwing a shuttle on the Megado really aggravated it. 

I was able to weave on the Spring as that was the tartan scarves and rather slow going and smaller arm movements.  Okay, anything to stay in the game....

I finally wove off the last bit, plus a sample for my records this past weekend and it was off the loom.  It looks so vastly different to the first and its even more magic in person.   So taking the time to find other options was well worth it and taking a chance.  Nothing much comes from mediocre.

The colour shift in the warp is accentuated by the weft colour....and it sings! This shawl is called "Desert Verdigris"

Change the angle and the light and it looks different again.

The breeze was blowing so you can feel the 'swish' of the fringe.

⏰🕰⏱  So back to the question of time?   I started the planning in January, wound the warp in February, started weaving in March and finished in April.  I had other projects on the go and so everything was done in due course.   Life also intervenes as well.    Its about the finish, not how fast you get there. 

Now how to sum that up in 50 words or less when asked the question?

🐢   🏆  🐇


Portia's Cloth said...

It's not just weavers. I was at the craft market last Sunday, the first one in 14 months, and couldn't help but laugh when I heard a passer-by asking my neighbour, a potter - how long does it take? He said, as we all would, something along the lines of - a lot more time than the very reasonable price for this article would suggest.
Love those new scarves by the way said...

Your work is beautiful! I also get asked quite often how long it takes me to weave something. My German Weaving teacher was very good with timing herself and could tell to the second how long she took to weave a pulpit cloth, she always told me if I want to sell my weaving I need to know how long it takes me to weave a cushion. I never remember to time myself, and for me the hobby part is the joy I get out of my weaving.

Cindie said...

Your shawls are stunning.
I also get those questions about how long did that take - tough question to answer.

Peg Cherre said...

Your weaving is, as always, STUNNING and an inspiration. And who doesn't hate that question?! Sometimes I'll give a very partial answer, such as, 'well, I know it took me 2 hours just to twist the fringe.' Sometimes I'll mention all the steps. If I'm feeling very grouchy I might say something like, 'I've been weaving full time for x years to be able to weave something this quality. How long has it taken you to get really good at your job?' Ok, I never really say that last thing other than in my mind, but I think it often enough, generally after the person asking the question has walked away.

Susan Harvey said...

Ha! You made me laugh Peg!

I came from the womb, weaving on a loom..... didn't you? 🤣 Quality simply takes time.....

As for people who say "I can make that myself": I saw a sign on a sale table that that said "yes, you could make it, but you won't"
I thought that was pricelsss....

Dianne said...

Beautiful work, love the drape and sheen. I'd never have thought of crossing blues and teal with orange shades, it adds excitement - must get more adventurous. Do hope you can use the original draft some time, it has a magic.