Friday, May 16, 2008

TIF Challenge for May

What do I call myself and why? While I have been stitching the parterre I have been considering this question and have to admit that I feel a little like Paula from The Beauty of Life and wonder why I have to call myself anything.

However until quite recently I was quite happy to call myself a weaver as that was how I spent all my spare time. While I still think of myself as a weaver I have not done any weaving for 18 months. Hopefully this situation will change in the near future.

My challenge piece for the theme for May is the photograph above. This is a jacket I made from my handwoven twill fabric . (Is that cheating? Never mind!)

I am very fond of this jacket. I find it very versatile and can wear it with a black dress (handwoven cotton huck lace) or with trousers. The dress is fully lined but the jacket has only lined sleeves. Since I am a slow sewer and since weaving is not a particularly fast exercise anything I weave and sew for myself has to have longevity. Who mentioned 'slow cloth'?

This twill draft was derived using a random number table from the internet. There are some lovely 'snowflake' twills available but I wanted something that was uniquely mine. I am always looking for different ways to use my weaving software. The inspiration to use a random number table was borrowed from an article I had read in a scientific journal in 1986. The 'organic' jumper had been knitted with cables that changed direction and size according to the numbers on such a table. I did try this as knitting exercise and produced the front of a jumper . However the cables, which were quite exciting, made the jumper front much too tight so it was necessary to unpick the whole front and start again - this time I settled for stocking stitch- not nearly as interesting but much more predictable.

For the cables I found the random number table in a textbook but now there are some amazing sites on the internet that will generate random numbers any way you like. This draft was a much simpler exercise than knitting cables - to derive the it I used ascending twills for half the numbers and descending for the others. Having got a reasonable section of draft it was then reversed for symettry and woven as drawn in. I wrote an article on this for the Complex Weavers CAD study group and can dig it out if anyone is interested.

Offhand I can't remember exactly what the sett was but I did set the 2/20 cotton closer than I would normally for twills as I wanted a fairly firm fabric. The black dress underneath is also of 2/20 cotton and that would have been set at 30epi.
So I think I still call myself a weaver but I am happy to try anything that interests me in textiles - at the moment that is embroidery.


ReneOrgeron said...

Maggie, your jacket is lovely. I used to dream of being a weaver! But the opportunity did not come. Your work in embroidery is beactiful. I would call you a needle person too. Rene

Cally said...

I am fascinated by the names we call ourselves. I don't know how you feel about the phrase "textile artist" but it strikes me that it would suit you rather well.

neki desu said...

Gorgeous fabric as ever.And cool jacket. It was interesting to read about the development too.

neki desu

fiona d said...

If it is cheating, I'm glad you did - this is beautiful. I love that the pattern is unique to you. I don't understand a word of the weaving language (mine being limited to 'warp' and 'weft') but it's entrancing.