elenahpowell

doubleweave!

In Edinburgh, Weaving on May 17, 2015 at 5:01 pm

I’m still waiting on the book that should tell me how to do super huge doubleweave things (it’s out of print and hard to find without spending a lot). I got bored and decided to follow a less detailed pattern (as in, it gives you the threadings and doesn’t give any help beyond that). It’s the first pattern I’ve done from this book (because this is only the second “actual” weaving pattern I’ve done, the rest have been my own), very pretty book though. And Margo Selby seems to have a thing for doubleweave (she designs everything on a table loom before it’s done on a huge scale to make stuff).

I don’t really know what I’m doing or how/why it’s working, but it is working. There’s six patterns in the book that use the same warp threading, so I’ll just go through those until I run out of warp. It’s a deflected doubleweave (nope, no idea either). As far as I can tell (from the first pattern I’m doing) it’s making a piece of fabric that should be near enough identical on each side, not two separate pieces (which tube-ish doubleweave must make). But it’s a much more textured bit of fabric, because the pattern is made from floating threads (the raised bits), it feels quite nice.

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Warping is the same as usual, except I went a bit wild on the colours. Two colours make it easier to see the two different “blocks” of threading that make the front and back of the fabric, so the grey is one block and the pink/blue another. I thought it’d be difficult somehow, because I don’t have a second back beam on the loom, and the yarns are slightly different thicknesses, but it’s working fine so far. (Which is good, I wasn’t looking forward to having to buy a second back beam).

The threading is were it gets a bit complicated – each block has 4 shafts that make that pattern, and they alternate evenly. I guess it’s like doing two patterns at once, but they work together. I don’t know. It’s hard to know without having the book that explains everything…

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All the colours mostly so it’s easier to see where each thread is going, and also because the weft is really lovely soft merino. It’s a beautiful thing (maybe not a *meaningful* beautiful thing, but beautiful anyway), and it looks how it’s meant to. Expect more pictures, there’s a really amazing looking pattern coming up.

I think it will be possible to write my own doubleweave, it’ll probably take longer to write and make useable. And who knows how it’ll come out, these patterns tend to be very even/equal/balanced, and the ones I write… aren’t. In principle, it’ll work. Once I’ve got to grips a bit more with this we’ll see. Right. More weaving, this time with the colours from the warp, to see what that’s like…

Dissertation research is going slowly but pretty well – The Life of Lines came last week (the cover is really trippy), quite nice but not as thread-y as I’d hoped. Still useful. I started out with a very, very specific thing I wanted to look at, so I’m having to widen it out a bit so I can get 12,000 interesting words out of it. At the moment it’s quite heavy on the material culture side of things (which is a good thing because a) it’s interesting and b) I’ll probably get put with the supervisor I’d prefer). I have questionnaire plans in the not-so-distant future (I figured the more the merrier). I haven’t worked out a resarch question (or series of questions) yet. In fact, I can’t really articulate what it is I’m looking at/thinking about yet – more reading to be done. But it’s kind of… a thread-based ontology, understanding through (physical and metaphorical) threads. Can you tell I’ve been re-reading a lot of Tim Ingold lately? Pretty much any thread-based activity is based on ordering chaos – untangling, ordering, classifying, reshaping. Same as collecting. Ways of understanding and knowing the world. I can’t quite say what I mean, but something along those lines. It might turn out to be a load of rubbish, but hey, I’ve got ten months left to make it work.

The Life of Lines is more about an ontology of lines, and I was re-reading The cultural biography of things: commoditization as proces and came across this:

‘…the human mind has an inherent tendency to impose order upon the chaos of its environment by classifying its contents, and without this classification knowledge of the world and adjustment to it would not be possible.’

Kopytoff, I, p.70 in Appadurai, A. (1988), The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective

And so I decided thread-based onotolgy would be a good idea. It has nothing at all do with the fact that I like saying ontology. Anyway, weaving to be done.

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