Never have we had such a crop of exquisite yellow plums.
I begin each letter by weaving the shape below it
what I call the cradle.
In the case of the 'e' in progress here,
that means building the curve below the e with as much attention as I will subsequently apply to the letter it self, taking advantage of the highs and lows where I can.
I often begin letters by burying the tail of the yarn as well
I forgot to take photos while weaving the word 'worsted', but the same principles apply no matter what font/handwriting I am using
A doubled warp, as with the four selvedge warping technique for instance,
allows the wispy weft tail (never bluntly cut, but always untwisted, broken or frayed with scissors as with the linen ground weft in the photos below), to be anchored/trapped between the warp pairs and then wrapped.
The needle technique works well too.
And though the letters are in mirror writing on the back,
I still love how they look.
Backstrap July has been filled with high hopes.
I've even made a couple of things I quite like.
Certainly every warp has taught me something new
--even if I'm not always thrilled about it.
This one, for instance, was supposed to be an experiment in word direction.
Upside down, right side up, sideways--which would I like best?
Could I compose at an angle?
To make it easy on myself I used familiar wool warp and weft.
To make room for horizontal words I made it seven inches wide.
To ensure I could really get into it and write something fabulous, I made it long.
Initially, all went as planned,
The warp was more forgiving than the linen I'd just been using
and I started the first letters with satisfaction -----
only to find that I just couldn't get the the tension tight enough for finger picking.
I moved the backstrap down and and I moved it up.
I added string heddles
I changed the angle of the loom.
I leaned and I sat and I pushed --
but the strong, highly twisted springy wool just kept stretching.
The letters wouldn't grow under my fingers as I have grown to expect.
The brilliant thing I was going to write vanished from my head.
Finally it occurred to me to attach the loom to a door on the other side of the futon frame, brace my feet against the side of said frame, and push.
It worked -- quite well in fact.
Until my legs started to go to sleep.
and my feet to hurt.
Turns out I don't really like weaving letters upside down either.
Eventually I rolled it up, set it aside, made a different warp (linen)
and comforted myself with a long narrow band and sideways woolen words.
This time I had both easy tension and a satisfying way to compose.
Granted, the warp didn't feel as good on my hands,
but I decided to try line linen next time (instead of tow)
and who cares about finger comfort when the words show up of their own accord?
But when I finished, the wool warp was still sitting there.
I didn't want to unroll it.
Should I ditch it?
Call it a failed experiment?
Make it an endurance test?
Or, duh, build a pipe loom and strap it on.
The tension is excellent and the process comfortably familiar.
Short string heddles make pretty good leashes.
And now that I've ditched the phrase idea and am simply working my way through a section of the dictionary, there's only word direction to worry about.
And look --I'm done with the words worry and worse
so there is only the next backstrap lesson to wonder about.
in love with fabric.
Made or modified,
knit or woven
hand spun --or not,
opaque or translucent,
all fill me with joy.
Cloth in the raw
can be as compelling as fragments that have done their time
Once, I think, I assumed a hierarchy--
accepting this object to be more valuable/ compelling/ worthy than that.
not so much.
Well, sort of.
I'll probably have to put down the Hepty when the berries start ripening fast.
Last night I wound a warp.
This morning I added weft.
I normally finger pick my sheds
so string heddles feel unexpectedly welcoming.
This yarn it was flat when I bought it,
the linen a paper tape and the silk an almost invisible strand at its side -- scarcely twisted.
Ball winding, however, and failed attempts to knit with it (which resulted in more ball winding), added twist which made it difficult to decide on a sett.
Measuring the warp twisted it even more
and for the first few inches I couldn't get comfortable.
As I wove however, the warp untwisted, relaxed, flattened,
and by the end
the warp/ weft relationship made more sense,
at least to me.
Weaver Sarah deplores my casual beat and uneven selvedges.
Artist Sarah finds it beautiful.
Wonder what it'll do when I wash it?
are cool, relaxed and forgiving.
But when a gal spends a lot of time sitting on her butt,
shifting from one comfy position to another,
there invariably comes a moment when the sound of ripping interrupts the quiet.
and decisions must be made.
Does the patch belong on the inside, or the outside?
Does it matter if it (the patch), shows through the tear?
What color thread would be best? What weight?
Is it worth reinforcing the other cheek?
And how much effort am I willing to put in
to secure the disintegrating waistband stitching?
The answers, at least today, are as follows
4. The thread I have:
Güttermann cotton thread and brown pearl cotton (leftovers from making the pants)
6. Restitch but don't bother removing the old green hand spun silk that clearly didn't hold up.
Gotta draw the line somewhere...
I hoped, this morning,
to write an elegantly illustrated post
about the wonder and delight
of my exhibition
which opened last Thursday.
Alas, most of the photos were unsatisfactory for one reason or another.
In the upstairs gallery in particular
my phone camera refused to focus
so the pictures of all of my thrilling recent work
(embroideries, tiny tapestries and mobiles)
But oh well.
The exhibition is up until the end of July,
and all the work, (including the pieces already sold),
will remain until then.
Plenty of time to go back another day
with a different camera
and try again.
And THAT means
after posting this,
I can card a few more rolags,
go outside with my new spindle,
at the same time.
Sarah C Swett