least liked, most looked at

So I have been busy with my looking and an idea has begun to take shape. The picture I instinctively liked the least was this one, of the people bathing in the Ganges at the Varanasi ghats.

Why don’t I like it? Well, mainly because I am not very keen on the colours (although they are not quite as mustard-toned as that scan makes them appear). It is also too busy for my taste. The detail which would be engaging and inviting in a mural seems fussy and bitty to me in a postcard. (I feel so rude saying that! Sorry, Meg — though I know you didn’t necessarily choose pictures you like yourself.)

Anyway, a couple of weeks of looking can work wonders. I started to notice more of the subtlety in the shades of beige, brown and orange, and to think about the potential in the complementariness of the blue river and the orange robes. I got out my pastels and played with all the orange and blue ones.

I got out some yarns too. Thinking about the context of the picture, it seemed to me that unmercerised cotton was the fibre I should be using and, believe it or not, this is the range of colours I have in my unmercerised cotton stash:

Although that’s not a brilliant photo, the colours in the picture are a bit more accurate this time! Anyway, I thought it was worth trying out some wrappings, like this one (in yet another colour rendering variant).

Plus, as you know, I have been thinking about weave structure. The reason I started on the whole Brighton honeycomb business was due to the context of the picture again. What goes with bathing? Towels! I have never woven a towel, so this seems like an opportunity to try it.

The first structure that came to mind was ordinary honeycomb (or waffle weave), which I’ve used before although not in any very exciting way. So I turned to the books to look for inspiration and found two things: the Brighton honeycomb and an article by Alice Schlein on network drafting with waffle weave (it’s in Fabrics That Go Bump if you’re interested). Like the threading for waffle weave, the threading for Brighton honeycomb can also be used for plain weave, so I am experimenting in Fiberworks with things like this.

The next important step, though, is to try it in practice. I’m winding a sample warp (hooray! a whole warp for sampling!) in an assortment of cottons to try out some of the structure/colour options. Not bad progress for something I didn’t like the look of.

least liked, most looked at” was posted by Cally on 17 June 2011 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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8 Responses

  1. Julia

    That photo is an introvert’s nightmare – bathing in public in a crowd! Eeek! Love the idea of a cotton towel – dry those people off and send them home.

  2. Margreet

    You did not like the colours when you saw this picture…… ah but you did have those colours in your stash. 😉
    Now is this not interesting to discover?
    Funny how you see something different when you look at it longer and therefore you may discover things you did not “see” in the first place.
    This is going to be very interesting with the way you are playing about in Fiberworks.
    Looking forward to your sampling.

  3. Sandra Rude

    Like Margreet, I find it very interesting that you just happen to have these colors in your stash. Have fun with honeycomb/waffle weave. It’s wonderful to see what happens in the finishing.

  4. Meg in Nelson

    When I collect images, I try to mix images so there is something for everyone, before I learn to whom I am to send my stuff. I have a penchant for extreme close ups with clear lines and colors, but I know they are not for everyone.

    I have a mental list of categories, and this ticked “evocative”, “story”, “history/tradition”, “beliefs” “travel” and “textile places” all in one, and deeper thinkers than myself could delve into the scene in so many ways. I don’t think it’s a bad thing for the recipient to look at the set and (immediately) react, either, or classify as love, maybe, and loathe.

    I liked this image from the start as a design source, but hated the postcard because it was so pixelated and I had to look at it from 3-5 meters away for a week to decide to include it. I also started thinking of my mother’s old knitting patterns and cook books, as photographs in them were just as bad, and sometimes colors applied afterwards. When I found out you were the recipient of my set, I thought it appropriate in the beliefs department, and also because you are a world traveler.

    Funny how you stuck with your least fav, Cally. I try to do this, and give the same degree of attention in the initial phase, (OK, maybe not the kitty pic this year,) but in the end I tend to go back to the first favs, because there is always something in them that feel familiar, as if I know the subject well. Most often colors, but not always.

    That was my long-winded way of saying there is absolutely no need for apology. You must excuse me, as well, while I try to suppress my giggle at Margaret’s comment.

  5. Geodyne

    Now that’s exciting. I like where you’re taking this….

    Like the others, I find it fascinating that one of the things you didn’t like about the picture was represented in your stash!

  6. Joanna

    Y’know, as a novice I couldn’t figure out how to get started or proceed from a photo to a finished woven object. Thanks to you, now I can. Next year I’m going to give it a try. Thanks!

  7. Evelyn

    Love the networked waffle idea. That article has been in my brain for a long time – haven’t done anything about it so seeing what you do will be interesting.

    • Bonnie Inouye

      I have done some network drafted waffle weave for 12 shafts. It was most effective when each area (plain weave or waffles) was large enough to see easily. Not so nice when one bit of waffle sits next to a couple of threads of plain weave as neither has a chance to be effective. Look at relatively large scale of design if you want it to show well in the cloth.