Sunday, April 19, 2009

Double Plain Weave

Top and Bottom of Double Plain Weave Study

I am high on double plain weave. Before doing a study of the double weave 12-shaft shaded satins, I thought I should do something with double plain weave. You know, start at the beginning. Thinking of my warp colors (you know by now, starting from the right, they are black, white, black, tussah; repeated to 880 ends total) I came up with 8 structures, all plain weave, none stitched. The top layers of each would be: black warp, black weft; white warp, white weft; black warp, white weft; white warp, black weft; end and end black and white warp, pick and pick black and white weft (giving horizontal stripes, i.e., log cabin); end and end black and white warp, pick and pick white and black weft (giving vertical stripes, i.e., the other part of log cabin); and these last two repeated using black and tussah warps. Then i opened up my copy of Paul O'Connor's book Loom-Controlled Double Weave and realized I had forgotten two. So then I made black warp, pick and pick black and white weft; and white warp, pick and pick white and black weft. 

I turned a digital image taken on a walk in the woods of West Brookfield, Vermont last summer into ten shades of gray and assigned the double plain structures to the colors. I knew that some would appear very similar, but i wanted to use all ten in the image. Then I wrote my data on top, and included little swatches of each color as well as images of the structures. I was so excited by the idea and with each weaving, it becomes clearer to me that this is shaping up into a series of weavings that I can call The Weaving Lesson. Isn't it wonderful when you can conceptualize what you are doing, and still keep doing exactly what you are doing, as you want to do, but now you have a construct that legitimizes it in a more respectable way? The Weaving Lesson: Double Plain Weave. Yes, I like that title.

The Weaving Lesson: Double Plain Weave - detail

Paul's book (if you haven't checked out his latest project, a CD made with Marg Coe called A Tale of Two Tieups, I suggest you do) and Ursina Arn-Grischott's Doubleweave on Four to Eight Shafts are both excellent resources for information on double weave. They are very different, published 7 years apart, one in black and white, the other in color. Read together they are sure to inspire you to try this type of weaving. Of course, there is also an excellent chapter (my unbiased opinion) on double weave in The Woven Pixel.

Right now I don't want to do anything except design in Photoshop and weave on my TC-1, but life (laundry, cooking, cleaning the house) is getting in the way. Tomorrow is Mark's birthday so today I am going to cook (mushroom/spinach empanada roll; pasta with scallops; salad; and a birthday cake). He doesn't want to celebrate his birthday, so tonight we are having a This Is Not a Birthday Dinner with the Sacca/Billings. Some friends have written that Vermont seems to suit me--and I think they are right.

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