Sunday, October 4, 2015

Green Logcabin

There are few pleasures greater than weaving with yarn I have dyed myself. I bought a few kilograms of silk-merino, silk-alpaca, silk--merino-cashmere from the Chester Wool Company, and then dyed it using acid dyes in various shades of green. I mix most of my colours on the skeins themselves using a splashing technique that is practical only because I do it outdoors. 

Using my old Harrisville Designs 22" loom that crossed the ocean to join me in Scotland, I warped with alternating colours to make a series of log cabin experiments. This structure yields a colour-and-weave effect that results in micro-stripes in two directions. I like the structure because it animates the surface with coloured pixels that are optically mixed from a distance, as these two images show:

In another sample, I like the visual interest that my unevenly dyed weft creates:

To bring out the most dramatic features of the colour-and-weave effect, one has to throw two shuttles, first light, then dark, then light, then dark, etc., in what's called a pick-and-pick. The resulting cloth has contrasting stripes, with horizontal and vertical ones alternating:

The final experiment on this warp involved a black cashmere weft in a twill. This resulted in an optically charged surface and a cloth with lovely drape:

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