Monday, September 17, 2012

Weaving: Where The Inspiration Comes From

September 2011
For this latest project, the Autumn Towels, I was inspired by two things. First, I read a post on about an online tool for creating your own plaid patterns. I browsed to the site, and while I was looking at all these lovely Scottish plaids and whatnot, I thought oh how lovely a plaid in fall colors would be. So, that blog post and the change of seasons is what got under my skin. 

In real life the colors are a little brighter, but this is really turning out exactly as I had envisioned it here, or well pretty close. Below is my calculations for warp and weft and how the colors should line up and how many of each should be sleighed in which order. This was right before I figured out how to read a weaving draft.

September 2012
My original plan had been to show how I set this thing up. As I was sleighing, I realized where I'd made some mistakes. I hadn't planned on doubling the Cottolin. And I don't remember why I wound the warp that way. But I did, and wove it as such. I used the tartan generator online to construct the plaid just the way I wanted it.  

I also recognized during the weaving itself, as I did further research into Tartans, that what I was weaving was truly a plaid, not a tartan. Tartan plaids have very specific criteria, to begin with they are done in a twill and have an odd number of colors. Ha. No twill here, no sir, not on a rigid heddle loom! Actually, I'll bet Jane could figure out how to do twill on an RH, but I'll forego and use the floor loom for that business. Also, an even number of colors. There are a gazillion mistakes and I learned so much from this project. 

It's bright and cheerful and plain woven and soft and wonderful. I love it. It's also VERY long and I'm thinking I can get several fun towels from it. Hm...Christmas presents? I think I have another post about this project but this is, as Paul Harvey would say, is "the rest of the story."


  1. Isn't that a fun word? Whoosh!

    Sleighing is when you pull warp threads through a reed. In weaving, a reed looks like an the business part of an egg slicer, but the tines are closer together and the entire contraption is much longer. On this project and loom, the reed is 32" wide and the tines are plastic. On my Minerva 8 the reed has metal tines and 20" wide. The reed keeps the warp threads spaced at consistent intervals.