Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Now I have a square tetrad that springs

The colors in my small tetrad sample were not working well for the reasons discussed, so I decided to do the same structure again, using the full schematic design, and this time with hand dyed colors so I could get the colors I wanted.  This is a screenshot from a cool online tool used for web design called Color Scheme Designer 3.  These are the colors I was trying to achieve.

I added a little black dye to each color to tone them down a bit.  I dyed wool because it is the fiber I have the most success in dyeing evenly, though I did still get some spotting in the blue, probably because it was the biggest batch and only barely fit in my dyepot: this gave the dye less space to move and get onto the fiber consistently.

I also swapped the proportion of the blue with the orange from what I had in my sample piece, so that now the full size piece is half blue, a quarter yellow-green, and about an eighth each red-violet and orange.

Once the weaving started, I almost immediately regretted choosing wool; the close double-sett required for doubleweave made for very sticky sheds.  It reminded me of the year I wove double-wide throws for all my family members.  I was having to clear the shed half the time.  I did discover about 5 rows into the weaving that my brake system was not hooked up properly.  After fixing that, the tension improved and weaving went a little more smoothly, though I was still checking the shed before every shot of the weft.  And my choice of combinations of what the blocks were doing required that I got down under the loom every 1-1/2 inches to change the tie-up of treadles to lamms.  This turned out to be quite a physical weaving project!
I got this onto the loom on Easter Sunday.  The colors remind me of a field of California wildflowers: lupine, poppy and owl's clover in spring green grass.  So I think its title is California Spring Sprang.

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