Once a month, we’ll be updating the blog with a post from one of the retreat instructors. This month’s post is from Dana who will be teaching a 4-Harness Weaving Intensive at camp this summer. Here’s what she’s been up to:
I was a year and 5 months overdue to weave my best friend Evie the table runner she had asked for as her wedding present. The reason for the delay was that I had a five-project warp on my loom for quiet a while, and the weaver’s code is that you must finish what’s on the loom before you begin another project. No cutting allowed. So, I was stuck having to finish other things before I could tackle her request.
Fortunately, I had decided to create a table runner that needed more planning that I could do off-loom. I wanted to make her and her new husband a piece with lots of intention and process behind it. In 2011, I was the apprentice for a weaver in South Portland who was a master in Ikat and dip-dyeing. I learned about resist dye and wove a three-panel piece in weft Ikat. I had never done what I did for Evie’s runner– I wanted to dye both the warp and weft, creating a wave in the design. This being the first time, I wasn’t quite sure how to do it, (which is why there are more stripes than waves) but I was determined to make this meaningful, beautiful, and most importantly, something Evie would be proud to have in her favorite dining room space.
I went to PortFiber (thanks, Casey!) and bought 2-100% silk Habu Textile cones of yarn and took to the dye kitchen. I wound off the cone into a skein and dipped 3/4ths of the skein into a green colorway and the other bit into a blue colorway, leaving a bit of white for speckles in the weave. What I should have done was either wound the weft skein the width of the table runner (about 6-7″) so that the color change would be more fluid rather than stripe-y, or dipped the skeins in differently. There’s a lot of math to it, something I’m working on!
That said, I’m happy with the outcome of the table runner. I loved weaving it; I was always eager to get to different sections of the warp to see how the weft would interact with it. I love the sections that have a bit of white static in the warp, as well as the depth and richness of color. After I sent the table runner to Evie, she called me (I wasn’t available to answer), then left a series of texts messages of love of our friendship. That woven piece meant so much to her and she loved it so much that she’s repainting her dining room to match.