Merrily weaving along–almost!

I’m Weaving-Along—Almost!

So this is my first blog entry for our Weave-Along! I hope to take you with me through  my, er, not very exemplary design process. We would love for you to comment and share your Weave-Along progress by posting descriptions of your steps and process photos on the Weave-Along forum (instead of replying here).  If you haven’t already downloaded the profile draft, be sure to do that (see the upper left menu of options on the home page at

My first thought was that this challenge would be a piece of cake! We have the profile draft, all that’s left is to pick the block weave, the yarns, and the colors. What could be so hard about that?

Since I’m a Structure Person, I started there. I thought it would be most interesting to pick a weave structure that not many others will pick. So my first thought was lampas (a not-extremely-well-known version of doubleweave). Done! That leaves only yarn and colors.

For yarn, I had two thoughts.  First: In 1987, I traveled through Sweden, Denmark, Germany, and Belgium with Clotilde Barrett. We actually went unexpectedly to France, too, which turned out to be a problem for me. When we were in Belgium, we were close to Lille, France, where there was (by repute) fabulous linen to be had. So we crossed the border and visited a linen mill (about which I remember nothing) and crossed back two hours later with a large cone each of gleaming natural linen. At the end of the trip, I flew home through Paris, where I intended to spend two days touring on my own. However, because my visa had been stamped when we went to Lille, I could not leave the gate area of the De Gaulle airport, where I lived for two days with a luggage cart holding my suitcases and two large boxes of shuttles, Texsolv cord and heddles, the linen, and other such weaverly purchases, toting them like a bag lady to bathroom and restaurant and sleeping by them on the floor. So, this linen is important to me. I also I like the alliteration of linen and lampas.

But lampas is formed of two separate weaves (hence the doubleweave), one a main weave with a fine warp and weft, and one a pattern weave with a fine warp and a heavy weft. So my second yarn must be relatively heavy. I don’t want to dye the yarn, and I’d like it to be interesting, so I thought: space-dyed! I have long wanted to use a 5/2 space-dyed cotton on my shelf called Mexicali. I'd like the colors to be aligned instead of all muddled up, so I had lots of fun winding off color repeats of the Fiesta. But then I couldn’t figure out how to use it in the weft in a way that wouldn’t compete with the design in the profile draft. So I turned to some other more subtly space-dyed yarns I have on hand. These yarns are a lovely wool/silk.

Which brought me to a new challenge: What will I use this item for besides fulfilling the requirements of the Weave-Along? My favorite things to weave are towels and table runners. But a wool/silk table runner?    Stay tuned!

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