I’ve woven off the woolly teaching samples in a mix of twills…
…with a bit of mohair madness for good measure:
Yup, it brushes up a treat. I have a couple of metres of samples using different treadlings, but, as you can see, I did get rather hooked on the rosepath treadling and the possibilities for colour play. And I reckon the lambswool + mohair would make a wonderfully cuddly cushion.
New warp tomorrow! Either wool in a straight draw or cotton/cottolin in a point draw. Then the other one.
And a thing I am pondering: innovation. I have had some very interesting conversations in the last few weeks, especially with non-weavers.
One of the days I spent at the summer show was in the company of several jewellery designers and it was fascinating to hear them discuss their discipline (not to mention interrupt them to interrogate them further about it). It was clear that for an independent jeweller the pressure to innovate is considerable: you need to come up with a ‘thing’ that you do and that nobody else does. And the result, perhaps not surprisingly, is a culture of great secrecy around one’s techniques and materials. In this culture you would never dream of going up to a fellow jeweller and asking them straight out, “How did you do this?”
Several things about this immediately strike me: (1) that I can’t think of anything further from the openness of the weaving community, which makes me wonder whether openness/secrecy is related to the balance of teaching/designing activity within a discipline (2) that innovation can be a good result, but does it necessarily make a good goal? (3) that history is full of cases of people arriving independently at the same ideas and (4) that quite a lot of what we think of as innovative today may well have very ancient precedent.
One could write a dissertation picking apart any of these thoughts, but for now I’ll limit myself to one instance of no (4) in the latest Journal. Ann Richards has written an article about working with over-twisted yarns to make textured cloth — something she has pioneered and developed in recent times — and notes that they were probably using these kinds of yarns to the same effect in ancient Egypt.