Thursday, 4 December 2008

The latest colour sampler

Here is a reminder of my latest warp colours:
I set out to weave a colour sample in more muted colours than I used in my first colour sampler in September, see below.

I spent a long time not getting started on this 2nd sampler, wondering how useful / important it was. Now it is done I am very pleased with it and feel it was well worth while. Not only did I get to explore how different colours with a lower degree of contrast to each other behave, I also used my bright yarns with this warp and was interested to see how they toned down.

This first picture shows the plain weave section in which the same colours were used in warp and weft:

The next shows the brighter yarns against this warp, again in plain weave:

..and to demonstrate more clearly the effect of the softer / duller warp colours on the bright yarns, here are two photos showing the same weft colours on the different warps:

I was running out of warp by the time I'd been through all my colours in first plain weave and then twill, but I made use of the final inches to weave horizontal pleats, sections of 1/3 twill alternating with 3/1. These turned out lovely and are I feel inspired to do some larger project in these colours & weave. Please note these photos were taken to show off the colours, not the weave, so I had pulled the pleats out and pressed them flat, but before I did this it really did hang in nice soft pleats.

A note on weaving pleats

Here is a link back to my first attempt at weaving pleats, a year ago in November 2007.

Since then, I have learnt more about pleats by talking to other weavers and by reading. I would especially like to recommend Anne Field's new book Collapse Weaves, because she looks into the "hows and whys" of creating textured weaves. It's a discursive book, not a pattern book. If you are already weaving and designing weaves and want to explore the possibilities of texture this book should be on your shelf - or in your hand, being read!

One reason why these pleats work better than my first attempt, in spite of the same 2/12 mercerised cotton yarn being used in both samples and this one using in warp and weft, is the sett. Last year I was working at 24 epi (ends per inch) and the cloth was loose and soft, then I increased to 36 and a finer weft. The finer weft worked and denser warp worked, but so did this latest sample at 30 epi. Once again, this shows what can be learnt by getting to know your yarn by weaving samples.

Here's a note to myself: when I try a new type or size of yarn, I should put on a sample warp and test out basic weave structures at different epi, and finish my samples by washing and ironing before planning any weave project.

Book details:
Collapse Weave: creating three-dimensional cloth, by Anne Field, pub A & C Black, London, 2008, ISBN 978-1-4081-0628-0, £19.99

the same book in the US is published Trafalgar Square Books (September 1, 2008), ISBN-10: 1570764042, $26.95.

Anne Field spent 3 years writing the book and over that time it became a bigger book than originally intended, because she had explored further and had more to say. Her definition of "collapse weave" is that:

"when taken from the loom and washed, the change from a rigid arrangement of threads on the loom to a cloth that bends, distorts and deviates from the usual linear movement of most other cloth is amazing".

Doesn't that make you want to read on?


Peg in South Carolina said...

Wonderful post, as always. Yes, I am going to buy the book. I have no intention of playing with collapse weave, but I have learned never to say never! And I know how quickly these kinds of books go out of print.

Dave Daniels said...

Dot, that's so beautiful and inspirational. I've got a gamp kit at home, but have feared using it. You're giving me the courage to tackle it. I like your muted version of colorplay very much.

Barbara Blundell said...

What beautiful,gorgeous colours,Dorothy. Well worth all the effort.Have never done any weaving but find your writings inspirational. Might yet have a go Thank you!

With ref to a previous post. Whereabouts are the water buffalo ? Would like to try the cheese. My son lives in Fritchly Are they anywhere near there ?

Geodyne said...

Dot, you've done it again: you've forced me to buy another book! (Literally, I've just ordered a copy.)

The samplers are fabulous, again. I really love what you've done with the pleats, even more so because one of my next three projects was to be pleats. Are you planning to use these colour combinations for future projects?

Dorothy said...

Barbara, about the cheese, we buy it from Peak Buffalo. There web site is all about meat, but they do sell very good cheese from their buffalo, this web page lists the farmers markets they sell at

Leagram Dairy, of Chipping, Forest of Bowland, also sell buffalo cheese from time to time (not a regular line). They make several very good cheeses, we buy from them at farmer's markets near us, but see this website for details,

Dorothy said...

Good to hear that some of you will be getting the Collapse Weave book, enjoy! I do hope to work with these colours again. Isn't it interesting, they are the ones I left out first time because I thought they were boring - now I love them!

Leigh said...

I absolutely love these. I am always fascinated by color, an your experiments do not fail to disappoint. I'm going to have to look into weaving pleats someday. And other textures. Yes, I'll have to get that book as well!

Anonymous said...

Fascinating colours Dot, especially the combination of brights with more muted. Plus the collapse weave - the possibilities keep multiplying...

Anonymous said...

Yup, that one's on my Christmas list now!

Just a Plane Ride Away said...

Oh my goodness, this is beautiful! I am sure it is even more stunning in person.