Kick that Weaving Rock and See Where it leads You
Written on the white board in my studio are the words “kick that rock”. The reference is to the game I played with my sisters and our friends during our walk home from school. The rules were simple: 1) Find a small rock, 2) Kick the rock, 3) Follow the rock wherever it goes, and then kick it again. Playing this game kept the walk home from school from being boring. We lived in the country, so traffic wasn’t an issue, and the fields we passed were safe for us to enter. Although I advocate planning weaving projects, I also embrace the idea of letting weaving dictate the way sometimes, letting the threads be the rock, so to speak.
Kicking the weaving rock means trying new things without a really firm plan in mind. About 15 years ago, I wove a striped rep weave runner. I used the remnants of leftover cones of 10/2 cotton from a Lunatic Fringe color gamp combined with cones of UKI 10/2 cotton. I lined up all of the cones on a table, organizing them until I had a rough idea of the warp I wanted to wind. I wound my warp in sections and did a small amount of designing in the reed. In the end, I used 19 colors. I don’t believe I could have planned that project, but it remains one of my favorites, and I won an award for it.
Another rock you might want to kick is the weft rock. It’s easy enough (usually) to use the same weft as you used for the warp, but sometimes you can get more interesting effects if you use something thicker, or rougher, or combine two colors to get an unusual blend. In the September/October 2017 issue of Handwoven, Laura Fry’s Summer Berry Towels are an example of using weft that isn’t the same as the warp. Laura used 8/2 cotton for her striped warp but then wove the towels with 4 different wefts.
There are many other rocks you can kick in weaving; the color rock, the treadling rock, and the tie up rock just to name some. Kick a few, and see where they lead you.
Featured Image: Laura Fry’s Summer Berry Towels