Weaving colour #4

If you mix red and yellow you get orange and if you mix yellow and blue you get green, right? Most weavers know the answer to this question, because they’ve messed about with paints at some point or watched others do so. Some of you will even have created or used a colour wheel at some stage. If not then this post is for you!

Essentially a colour wheel shows how colour moves gradually from red to blue and blue to yellow and yellow to red with all the gradations in between.

It’s not just an exercise in paint mixing though; the colour wheel has long been used as a ready-reckoner or quick-reference tool for choosing colours that work together.

So should you rush out and buy a colour wheel? Well they are fun to play with if you like colours! But (sadly) they’re probably only of use to people who really struggle with colour.

Okay, so why did I do a post about them? Because they are used to explain key colour concepts that I’ll be talking about in future posts in this series!

colour wheel

And then there was yarn

I think it was inevitable. The moment I decided to re-acquaint myself with all the weaving info I accrued in the first crazy months of my passion (obsession?), I fell head-first into what a weaver friend of mine calls wanting to weave ALL THE THINGS.

This is true: About 5 minutes into remembering why I have separate folders for ‘patterns’, ‘drafts’, ‘ideas’ and ‘techniques’ I was already planning about seven scarves. Then, of course it’s xmas and everything is on sale, so I bought yarn.

I have cupboards full of yarn. I did not need any more yarn. But… I didn’t feel I had the right yarn for the first thing I believe I’m going to weave just as soon as I give the craftroom a really, really thorough vacuuming. Yes well.

Good thing was (aside from getting 20% off) that I only bought two skeins and that’ll do for this new project. Of course it does mean that I now absolutely have to weave this project first, to justify buying the new yarn. Hmm… Have to love the way the brain works, don’t you?

Anyway, the yarn is Manos del Uruguay, Clasica 12 ply in a lovely blue and mauve vari and a natural cream/white.

Two skeins of wool, one blue and one whiteAnd what will be the fate of this lovely yarn? You’ll have to wait and see. It’s a bit of an experiment, so it could all go very badly, but I suspect it’ll be an attractive ruin even if it does!

A final note for this post… when I went back through the stack of documents I collected (mostly from the internet) about weaving back at the start, I found a post I’d saved which at the time meant nothing to me. I liked the example cloth in the pics but it might have well been written in Venusian. This time I opened it, read it and at the end when ‘aaah, that’s how you do that’  *grin*

Last woven item for 2016 was… (yes LAST year!)

Technically I took this off the loom at the beginning of 2017, but most of the weaving happened in 2016 and as you can tell from the creases, it’s been languishing in a cupboard ever since. Why? Well, I was disappointed with it.

Unlike my first skinny shawl, the shaping on this one went haywire! Which was only my own fault for weaving when a bit tired (never a good idea). Still, it was nice to see the way the fringe (while unfinished still) worked and the overall weave was nice and even.

Blue and white cotton shawlette

The lesson for me from both shawls is that shaping on the loom works, but needs maximum attention and preferably you should complete the project without any long gaps so you keep your rhythm. All good to know!

A weaving-lite year!

So 2017 turned into an almost weaving free year. Oh well. It happens. But each time I come back to From This Cloth to check-up on things, I’m happy to see other learner-weavers are finding my posts on how weave-y things work. I hope you find them useful!

Of course this year got eaten up by the Scotland trip and the novel I’m working on, but also – if I’m honest – some fatigue. As I usually do, I went a bit hard at the new passion in my life and found I was ready to pack it away for a couple of months.

A few weeks ago a friend came to stay with me and she asked if I could show her how my loom works.

Now, she’s been on the journey with me since 2015 because video technology has allowed me to show her each new piece that’s come off the loom. So it was nice to be able to oblige. I measured a small warp, put on a few ends and wove a few rows.

Funny thing was that she was shocked by how long the set up takes and yet to me – probably because I know how long a proper bit of weaving takes! – I had to say that it wasn’t something that bothered me. Not for plain weaving anyway. Some of the two heddle threading activities have certainly tested my patience!

Of course, the thing that’s hard to explain is that the ‘preparation’ is part of the weaving. The choice of heddle and the use of colours are a good proportion of what makes a pattern or texture work.

It was nice to go through the steps of dressing the loom and doing an inch of weaving for her. Put me back in touch with all the projects sitting at the back of my mind. Over the weeks since she headed home, I’ve found myself looking at a list of ideas that I keep on my phone and you know what that means.

Bring on 2018!