a journey of 1000 miles…

first 156 talim lines of weaving

first 156 talim lines of weaving

beginning lines

beginning lines

The photos show the current stage of weaving a sample of my 17th-century-shawl-motif project, along with an earlier view of the front side, face down on the loom, that will become more and more obstructed as the cloth advances round the front beam.  Increasingly, I’ll only be able to catch sidelong glances of the front, with the help of a small mirror, to check for obvious errors.  It makes for that much more of an “unveiling” when I can take it off the loom.

weaving reverse side up

weaving reverse side up

I’m using a four-shaft countermarche loom at Tasara, with handspun 2-ply linen-mix warp set at 30 ends per inch, in a 15-dent reed.  The background weft is handspun raw silk singles, while the assorted colours are Ellen’s leftovers of merino wool 2-ply I brought with me.  The weaving is progressing steadily – following row-by-row, step-by-step instructions means there’s never any doubt about what to do next.  Because of the slow pace and delicate handling, accidents and breakages are minimal.
The biggest problem has been keeping ahead of the weaving itself with my computer-generated drafting and instructions.  I had worked individually on the eleven component blossoms of the motif, but even now haven’t compiled them all in one complete diagram.  As I go about it, I keep discovering inconsistencies, missing bits of in-fill, things I want to change, reasons to go back and revise the very next page of instructions from the one I’m presently weaving.  I’ll write a more thorough piece about this design-drafting experience, from what I thought was a perfectly readable photograph of the antique fabric.
The photos show my position at line 156, but I’m currently sitting at line 188 of a text projected to be about 400 lines in all, literally in the thick of things, looking forward to the design tapering off at the top, just as it expanded getting established at the bottom.  I have about three weeks in hand to finish, regular afternoon sessions until the mosquitoes invade at dusk – at this point I’m not planning any days off.  Stay tuned.


~ by Peter Harris on 03/03/2014.

One Response to “a journey of 1000 miles…”

  1. Have you ever considered setting up a digital camera on a tripod and doing a time-lapse of weaving? I don’t know what hardware you have on hand, but in theory a $15 webcam ought to be able to do it hooked up to any old laptop.

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