Hello, friends. I hope that you are all safe and well. Here we are, almost into February, and we’ve been living under the dark cloud of a pandemic for nearly a year. I was thinking today, as I jotted down notes and ideas for some new design pieces, that my work has taken a decidedly different turn over the past year. I wondered if any of my fellow artisans have also noticed changes in their work, even small ones, since we’ve all been living quite differently under the threat of Covid.
I don’t have the mental bandwidth to get too philosophical about the perceived (as I see them) changes in my work, by I am noticing some trends.
While I have always used color in my pieces, I’m finding a tendency toward brighter, more vibrant colors. Instead of, for example, burgundy wine and ivory, I’m getting more enjoyment working with colorways that include bright yellow, turquoise, and orange. And (wait for it…) I am ordering some magenta cotton yarn this weekend. Gasp! Maybe the bright colors inspire a sense of positivity, a sense of freshness. Hope.
I love two shuttle weaves, but lately I am more interested in designing with summer and winter vs. overshot. Maybe the overshot, with all of its swirls and twirls, just seems a little too ornate. The simplicity of summer and winter, which is often described as “blocky,” has a nice rhythm to it. Maybe the predictability of the summer and winter drafts is comforting. And I’m finding that plain weave is becoming my go-to weave for scarves and tabletop textiles. I think that I am resisting the urge to overcomplicate matters in general. There is value in enjoying the process and keeping stress at bay. We have enough of that, to be sure.
I think that most of my warps at least for the last year have been primarily cotton or 100% wool. Cotton for household textiles, wool for wearables. I have tubs full of stuff like rayon chenille and variegated tencel. I have nothing against either of these yarns and there was a time when I worked with them regularly. But for now, I think they will stay tucked away. I’m enjoying the cotton (and even the occasional batik cotton fabric or quilting cotton warp) and the wool.
I have found the pattern writing process to be arduous but very rewarding. Learning in a classroom setting is really not possible these days. I am delighted that many new weavers have sought out my patterns to help them develop their skills. I exchanged messages with two new weavers this week and it was lovely. I am looking forward to getting two more patterns ready to share in the near future (and one is rigid heddle friendly!).
Here’s a look at a couple of things that I either finished this week or have in process:
The white and blue warp above is part of a pattern drafting exercise. Stay tuned!
Stay safe and well, friends. Thanks for checking in.