Monday, October 17, 2011

Zen weaves

 I have found my new zen doodles... but for weaving.

 Have you ever heard of zen doodles?  This is an example I randomly pulled off of a Google search:

First, let me clear this up.  I didn't draw this really great picture!  In zen doodles, the doodler just draws what they feel where they want to put the design.  I have tried it myself, but mine never really look this good.  And because they don't look this good, they also don't feel this good.

BUT... I think I have discovered my zen doodles in weaving!  I have felt so free with this project idea inspired by my friend Martha.

First you start with a few colors that look good together.

After some quick calculations to decide how big you want your finished piece, you can then randomly choose the amounts to warp on the warp board.

The amount of each color is supposed to be random.  Now's the time to just let go.  Sometimes it was 5 wraps around the warp board, sometimes 2 or 15.  Sometimes I just even asked my husband to pick out a random color and number for me!

May I suggest putting on some creative music for an even more interesting twist....

Then you thread your reed to the correct epi.  Here I am using my typical 12/2 cotton at 20 epi because huck uses a tabby set.

Huck is simply a 4-shaft lace.  I used the pattern in Anne Dixon's 4-shaft pattern book.  In her pattern, it is threaded 1-3-1-3-1 & 2-4-2-4-2.  Then the pedals are hooked up like 1-4, 2-3, 1-3-4, 2-3-4 and treadled with pedals 2-3-2-3-2 & 1-4-1-4-1.  Pedals 1&2 make up a plain weave, and the rest combine to form a great huck lace. I've been doing my color changes at the 1 or 2 pedal marks.  I am not carrying it up the sides, I am just cutting whenever I feel like it and overlapping the weave for a few inches.  But I choose to do it when it's a plain weave so the tails will hold much easier.

It's the random colors that is really making this weave interesting.  Just like Martha, I love seeing how the colors interact with the huck floats.  I feel like a kid again armed with a brand new box of crayons, coloring outside the lines just to see how the waxes mix with each other.... just for fun.  The only rules I have to follow are the those of the lace weave, but everything else is just so feeling based.

It's gorgeous!  It's exciting!  These towels I'm making have the same concept as the 400 lbs of apples we just finished canning... we are saving them for a time during the winter when we want to zip and pep up a dull, gray, cold day. 

So weave your own last little bit of excitement before winter into towels to cheer you up on a [____fill in the blank with your own negative adjective(s) here_____] winter day!