This one little ball of yarn sat on the shelf waiting for the right moment for many months – I got the lone skein of Colinette Point 5 in a swap a few years back. The colors were garish and bright, but it attracted me. Little did I know that a few years later, it would be the *perfect* inspiration for Project Spectrum’s FIRE element…
:: threaded bobbins ::
This yarn was not my only inspiration, however… another inspiration came from the ancient weaving traditions of the Zapotec Indians, indigenous to Oaxaca, Mexico… My father visited Oaxaca last December, and he brought back many lovely souvenirs, stories, and photographs. Among the souvenirs was this amazing woven rug, which he gave me for Christmas, made with naturally dyed wools, in a traditional geometric design.
It is the technique of the rug that was particularly intriguing to me. It is called weft-faced or warp rep, because the weft – the fibers that are interlaced horizontally through the warp (vertical threads) – is compacted and beat closely together, hiding the warp threads below, and making a dense and sturdy fabric, perfect for rugs, or other items that will see a lot of wear.
I read a little about the technique, and then I decided to give it a go for myself. I warped the loom with an ivory wool yarn that I picked up on clearance at Springwater. There were no general markings on the small cone, so I do not know any more about the yarn. I wound up my bobbins with the fiery wool yarn above – so perfect for FIRE – and loaded up the boat shuttle to start weaving.
I got a great rhythm, and the piece was finished in about 2 hours. I had a minor setback – my first of its kind! The last warp thread on the far left side broke in the middle of the piece. I tried not to freak out too much, and I managed to fix it, although it is not as seamless as I would like. The broken thread caused some major tension issues, which later caused the left edge to ripple like lettuce… but hey, at least it was pretty. More practice needed.
“Me llamo ‘Caliente’”
I thought the name was fitting – the deep oranges and reds in the yarn definitely look hot, just like fire. I love the little black and blue bits thrown in there too. I am happy with the way that this certain colorway worked up. The variegations are pretty even, with very little pooling. The closeup of the stitches shows you just how textural this piece is.
The piece measures about 29 inches long, and about 5.5 inches wide. I am planning to lightly felt it – hopefully keeping the stitch definition – and then cutting it to make potholders and/or coasters. I think it will be a beautiful and functional woven piece!