New Tricks (for Picts)

posted in: Blog | 8

The season of significant birthdays continues…

Yes, I have joined a new club! The occasion was understated, thanks to post-holiday lurgy and the fact that I am among the youngest of my ‘cohort of peers’: eleven months of milestones and by the time my birthday comes around, I have pretty much forgotten that I am not already the next number up. So it was a lovely, quiet day. The sun shone and cake was eaten. And in other excellent news: the flies are vanquished!

Also… I got a beautiful new shuttle, which is poorly served by the following photo.

It’s a long low-profile shuttle and perfect for freeform weaving, which is something I have been playing about with for a few months (thanks to Meg). Some of you may have seen the freeform overshot banner I added to my Facebook page:

I’ve done quite a few pieces in white/off-white as I intend to experiment on them using natural dyes and inks.

One of my motivations is to be able to incorporate Pictish forms into weaving in quite a simple style. I could have sworn I had a photo of some samples I did with the Aberlemno serpent in different weave structures, but I can’t find it now. Most recently, though, I have been trying out a very simple Celtic knot design in freeform Bronson Lace and my shuttle arrived just in time to help me finish it.

(Isn’t that a beautiful shuttle? It slips so smoothly though that narrow shed…. *sigh*)

I really like the texture contrast of lace and plain weave, and one of my favourite weaves is a plain weave pattern on a lace ground: for some reason, I much prefer that to the opposite configuration of lace on a plain ground. It is quite easy to slip up and catch or miss threads, as you can see here (this is after washing):

But the new shuttle has made a big difference.

I found that with this piece I had to abandon my first version, which was based on a cartoon, and turn to graph paper to get a consistent rhythm to the lace-vs-plain. I am not entirely satisfied with version two either, as parts of the pattern don’t come through as clearly as I would like. This is most of it, held up against the window: I couldn’t step back far enough to get the whole thing in!

This journey started with a bit of warp in 2/6 cotton which was left after a workshop, and I have gradually worked my way down to a 2/16 cotton for the current warp. I am not sure how far I can go without a new pair of glasses: my eyesight has taken one of those sudden downward steps in the last two or three months, but I really want to hold out until the new year before I buy another pair of specs! I may stay with the 2/16 for a while… I am reasonably pleased with the resolution at this scale although it is still quite blocky. It’s one of the things I like about lace, that the floats tend to soften the edges of blocks and give them a more rounded look.

New Tricks (for Picts)” was posted by Cally on 16 July 2017 at https://callybooker.co.uk

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8 Responses

  1. Meg
    | Reply

    Welcome to the club, little sister as I prepare to exit at the other end come April. I love what you did here, free from and Pict and I love white/white (dif sheen), white/natural, etc. While I seem to have gone a totally different track, for the time being. And by the way, “your” fruit cake was delectable; I think another is coming up later in the week. :->

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Thanks! And I’m glad you enjoyed the cake – we went out for ours and I had coconut & lime, which was delicious. S had choc, ginger and pecan.

  2. Betty Bell
    | Reply

    They’re called the Fabulous Fifties by all of us who left them behind a few decades ago …… enjoy every moment. Taking the work into another dimension is just the first step to see how far it stretches before this decade ends. Kudos for picking white on white, which I personally think is one of the hardest to do, as it’s so easy to see the errors texture and color can hide.

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Yes, it is easy to see the errors – as soon as the cloth is off the loom! Practice, practice, practice…

  3. Sandra Rude
    | Reply

    Amen to Betty’s comment. Do enjoy this new decade of yours, as we enjoy the new experiments in “lace-on-plain-weave.”

    • Cally
      | Reply

      The first few days have been great – let’s hope that’s a good sign!

  4. Neki Rivera
    | Reply

    the shuttle! the shuttle! well and the lace weaving too 🙂

    • Cally
      | Reply

      It’s such a beautiful shuttle, isn’t it? And it glides through that tiny shed like a knife through butter. Ahhhhhh…..

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