Sunday, July 30, 2017

Dyeing to Dye

Today was a beautiful North Carolina day, cool breezes, cloudless sky and sunshine.  Too beautiful to be inside weaving or doing chores.  A perfect day to fire up the indigo pot.  I purchased a huge lot of rug yarn on Ravelry with the intent to play with some natural dyes.
Nice natural wool
I also had some tapestry yarns in white, gray, yellow and a funky green.
The first two skeins are wrapped with plastic for an experiment in space dyeing.

I am pleased with the variety of greens and blues I achieved.
Fresh from the vat.

Not a total success, there was some bleeding under the plastic.

Ready to sample.  The intervals of wrapping were varied, more blue on the right.
Interesting striping in this sample wedge.
I am currently working on a design for my second wedge weave.  Deciding on the dimension is giving me pause right now.  I am more comfortable with the small format but want to go big.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Loving Wedge Weave

What I love about tapestry is the ability to put a thought, a feeling, an idea or the essence of something into a tangible and tactile (and yes, even textile) form.  I wanted to capture my week at Peters Valley in my first wedge weave.
The lushness of the vegetation, the rustic rambling nature of the buildings and the green, verdant nature of the place.
 How Green is My Valley
This tapestry was woven at 10 ends per inch on my Cactus Flower loom.  The warp is wool and the weft is also a two ply wool I hand dyed last year.
These are my wedge weave class samples from the week at Peters Valley with Connie Lippert.  I am loving wedge weave.  In the above samples I tried some different appproaches, mixing the wedges with plain weave and eccentric weave to see what would happen.
In How Green is My Valley I followed the diagonal path of traditional wedge weave.  You can see I am weaving diagonal stripes distorting the vertical orientation of the warp threads. 
As you can see this results in a scalloped selvedge.  This was probably why its use in Navajo rugs was short lived.  Straight selvedges were the hallmark of a proficient weaver.  I love the undulating edges.
Two excellent wedge weave resources are:

Peter Collingwood has a very good overview of the technique in his Techniques of Rug Weaving book, available via PDF here. Scroll to page 164:
Connie Lippert's article "Contemporary Interpretation of an Unusual Navajo Weaving Technique " is here
I thoroughly enjoyed weaving this piece and hope the verdant greens will take me back to my time at Peters Valley.