Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Planning Stages

I mentioned a while ago that I've mentally reassigned a big bag of wool I have to a woven blanket (rather than the tweedy jacket I've had in hibernation for a few years.) I have a few colours of the wool (black, white, oxblood, brick, and peach) and am trying to imagine how to make a cool blanket out of what I have. Since my loom is only 27" wide, I can't make a single layer of fabric wider than that (and I'm not quite ready to tackle doubleweave just yet) so I'm going to weave two panels and sew them together, to made a wider lap blanket. I've been imagining different designs, stripes, etc, and different weaving patterns. I had initially thought I'd do the warp in the three shades of red/orange, in wide stripes (to make it easy) and weave each panel in either black or white, rather than switching colours in the weft (to make it even easier) but I just don't think that will look as nice as if I overcomplicate things (as is my usual choice.)

So I downloaded a free demo of Pixeloom, this great weaving software that has recently come out with a Mac version, and played with a few ideas. In particular, I found that the white yarn, when used as a weft with the others as warp, tended to wash the colours out, and didn't look as good as the black. I thought maybe I'd leave the white out, altogether, and see how that looks. So I came up with a pretty simple striped warp in a pretty simple twill weave, which makes a cool sort of plaid when repeated in the weft (click to zoom):

I like it a lot, but having played for so many hours with the tartan design website, long ago, I know what a difference just a smidgen of a shocking contrast colour can make, so I decided to try adding a narrower stripe of white between the other colours:

I think it really makes the fabric three-dimensional, and adds a lot to it. Now I just have to sit down and do the math to figure out how much of each colour I need for warp and weft, and whether this pattern is doable with what I have in my stash. I hope I do -- I think this might look pretty cool when I'm done.

(Don't get too excited, though. I have one more weaving project to make before I get around to this one. Patience, padawan.)

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