new weave

May 30, 2012

knitting is obviously my spouse.
and i believe i’ve said in the past that
spinning is my mister (or whatever the male equivalent of mistress is)
so i guess that would make weaving, what?
my bit on the side?
my baby mama?
my fuck buddy?


weaving is my fuck buddy.
metaphorically speaking
of course.

and i have to say,
this most recent encounter was amazing!
i absolutely adore this project
(my second, i’ll have you note)
because it came out exactly as i had envisioned.

my vision:
i knew i wanted a ‘shawl’ or ‘blanket’,
something a bit longer than normal to maximize coverage.
i also wanted to take advantage of the full width of my loom,
so i used every single slot for this project.

i knew i wanted color blocks in ‘neutrals’,
and i wanted the stripes to dominate.
i also wanted to create fabric with serious drape
where it was woven loosely enough for a bit light to show through.
both of these goals were accomplished by way of 1) an imbalanced weave, meaning i placed my weft so that the warp was about 2x longer than the weft width. (say that three times fast! weft width weft width weft width) and 2) by choosing a true neutral for my weft.

(any weavers wanna tell me the technical terms for this process?)

i mean, can you even tell me what color the weft is in this photo?
(it’s gray)

i have to say that i met all of my goals.
as a new weaver, that made me extremely happy.

knitting has a totally different feel to it;
i like the feeling of intellectual engagement
and the sense of release when you cast off/block.
knitting is like being able to picture an actor in your mind, but you can’t for the life of you remember his or her name. knitting is that sense of being bottled up and casting off that sense of relief when is you finally remember. that’s what knitting is like; a mental orgasm.

for me, it’s all about that feeling.
even when i’m in the meditative groove
there’s still the tension of working on something, however happily.
and whereas knitting is really all about the knitting
(as opposed to the casting off and blocking etc.)
to my mind, weaving has four distinct stages
each requiring it’s own metal state.

there’s the warping which takes a lot of planning and attention to detail. it’s laborious and meticulous; for me it’s the most stressful step. it’s like taking a test. the weaving is the zen state that’s very different than the zen of knitting. there’s definitely the joy/meditative property of perfecting a repetitive motion, but i unlike with knitting, i can never look up. every shot (right? that’s the right word?) requires i attend to where the weft is placed and if my selvage edge is even (i’ve figured out a great trick for a clean selvage for rigid heddle weaving. go me). i like that the weaving isn’t hard, per se, but still requires that i’m always present. i love the weaving. the ‘freeing from the loom‘ as i call it is the best step; this step is all joy because you get to indulge in the taboo of cutting yarn and finally see if your work has paid off (you don’t really know until it’s off the loom). this is the “i did it! i did it!” moment which is, of course, short-lived. soon you realize there’s the finishing. the finishing is the living hell that follows soon after the joy of the ‘freeing from the loom’ where you realize you now have 200 ends to deal with because a plain yarn fringe will turn this beautiful handmade textile into a shitty rag and so you spend hours attending to each end by putting extra twist in it, twisting its neighbor, then plying them together while watching alien resurrection until your wrist hurst.

then you do the other end.

with all my projects,
i have an idea of who will get a given item when it’s done.
if i don’t have someone specific in mind, i at least have a few.
this time, however, i think i’m keeping it.
i just like it too damn much.
besides, i think someone’s already claimed it for himself.
lil fucker’s got good taste!