Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I wrote a post last week in which I reluctantly found myself deciding to weave a sample before I wove the crackle shawl.  When I started writing the post, that was not how I thought it would end. 

Thanks to Bonnie Tarses I now have a better ending. She made the following comment on that post:

For me the answer to sampling is a 6"-8" "scarf" 4-5 yd warp. Not too wide, not too long, but enough to both sample AND have a finished product

I stared at that comment for a moment.  Slowly I began to realize how right she was.  And my dreading of putting this narrow warp on the loom has been transformed into eager anticipation.

I realized Bonnie’s answer would allow me a lot more latitude in playing with the motifs and sub-motifs: their spacing, their height, their combinings, their frequency.  Indeed, I woke up this morning with a possible plan for the overall design which will help bring some feeling of order to all of this play.  Finally, because this is something I will wear, I have to be honest in my weaving.  That means I cannot dismiss errors and other technical problems simply because I am weaving a sample.  I have to take care with the technical aspects of the weaving as well as the design aspects.  That will be very good for me.

One more thing about this brings me great happiness.  I feel I will have enough understanding, not only to use this concept for a shawl, but to use a painted warp as well.  That is something I have been wanting to do for a long time.

Sampling for Silk Crackle Shawl” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on February 20, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Laritza said...

Words of wisdom. Not applicable when weaving with handpsun, at least in my case when I like to dress the loom with every single inch of handspun yarn of that kind that I have. That is why I weave plain weave with handspun. It could change....why not? a blanket and a matching scarf :D

Peg in South Carolina said...

I agree that these words are not applicable to my handspun; I feel just like you. But they are perfect for my upcoming silk crackle projects where I am weaving with commercial yarn. Even though I dye them, they are not precious in the sense that my handspun is precious!

Dorothy said...

Sample / scarf - love the idea, you can explore ideas and know that the result is going to be useful. I think this is also a good way of reserving something you've woven for yourself.

I sometimes look around and realise almost everything I've made, and every drawing or painting has been given away. It leaves me with no sense of perspective from looking at my work, no ideas to go back to and develop.

Peg in South Carolina said...

My husband long ago wanted me to keep a photo album of the things I weave. Didn't do it. Too much trouble. Now I have a digital camera, so at least I have that record for recent stuff. I gave a crackle scarf recently for a benefit auction only to realize that I did not have a photo of it! I don't mind for myself not having a record, but I know that my daughter would like one when I die.