Thursday, 7 July 2011

A little request for suggestions

So yeah, it has been suggested to me that what your average person (not me, but most people, apparently) likes in a scarf is a feeling of bulk and airiness (not airiness, but fluffiness, maybe?) which is obviously something you get a lot of in a knitted scarf, because of the inherently loose structure of a knitted fabric (it's full of air, that's why it's so warm, but it's full of air which is why it doesn't provide a great wind barrier, but that's what your coat's for)

So the lady (who is worth listening to, 'cos she knows what she's on about) suggests that i should use a nice loose weave, like hopsack or something like that.

But for some reason I'm really at a loss.

I'm only working on 4 shafts and 6 pedals you see, as opposed to the 24 shaft dobby loom to which I've become accustomed. And instinct tells me to make twills, because I really like twills, and I'm very visually orientated, so I tend to work with colour a lot more than texture. but it seems that a tight pattern like that could tend to deaden the natural bounce of the yarn (it's knitting yarn, so a bit more airy than yer worsted)

Aaagh! I've spent all day with checked paper here and i can't wrap my head round it! I have a lot of silly patterns, but they don't help me at all. Because they'll obviously end up being so small that you'll barely be able to see them.

But yeah, never mind all that pish. The only thing that matters is that I need a loose weave I can make on a 4 shaft loom. If I was using a dobby, I'd intersperse hopsack with lines of plain weave to stabilise it, but I don't think that's an option

Am I being thick?



Meg in Nelson said...

Oh, ha ha ha, I like slick, flat cloth, Andy, so I don't do fluffy much, except possibilities I can think of are:

Different yarns/sett to create bumpy surfaces - what are they called? You know what I mean - pleats and squares that shrink a lot more than areas around it.

Also, boucle, slub, fat yarns.

Waffle weave. Some lace weaves, (something similar to the different-shrinkage thing happens here.)

But don't listen to me - listen to weavers who have tried these. I still LOVE my mercerized cotton and the colors they come in.

humblebumble said...

Go meg! Just back from work in NZ and it's 1AM over here :D

seriously, my yarn are all conventional, because they're they yarns I have. I like my cloth to be soft, but also stable too, is why I like twills. I know what you mean about using variable setts. Don't think I'll be going for that this year. I have a lot of different colours to play with so I reckon I'll use that to my advantage.

but waffle-weave! oh yes! Now, I know that apparently we have a different name for that over here, but I forget what it is. But yes, It makes excellent dishcloths and such things doesn't it? I'd definitely be doing some of that if I was working with cellulose as opposed to hair fibres. indeedy. Though I might give it a go, make a small run of scarves in waffle weave. You never know, it could be a winner. We'll see

Meg in Nelson said...

Cally would know about waffle weave - or is that the same as honeycomb?? I only know about some twills and Summer & Winter. Just started with color and weave in plain weave myself.

It's one way to look at what folks want and make them - like all the marketing professionals tell you to. It's another to create what you love to create and see if anybody else values it - a bit more dangerous, and financially unstable, but you might become the Next Big Thing.

Meg in Nelson said...

All this time I thought you were "in" Edinburgh, but realized (checked the map for the first time), you were south of the boarders. Are you near Hadrian's Wall, or south of it??

Anonymous said...

As Meg says, there is what the Americans call waffle weave and we call honeycomb, which can be woven on 4 shafts. I was going to suggest something even simpler: how about using the twills but with some cramming and spacing in the reed so that you get an airier finish? I can see that for some scarves a degree of fluffiness or loftiness is desirable, but for a smart outfit a smooth, sleek scarf is perfect. (I also happen to be married to someone who has a very active metabolism and prefers a scarf that just keeps the wind off the back of his neck and doesn't cause him to heat up!)

humblebumble said...

meg, i'm not south of the border, I'm in galashiels. The wall is a bit south of me yet.

Bit of trivia, galashiels is a big textile town, and the river tweed runs nearby (can you guess what well-known cloth got it's name from that river?). Until about 10 years ago the textile industry employed thousands if not tens of thousands of workers in this area. It's hundreds now, although things are picking up.

Also, Hawick (Hawick Cashmere) is nearby which is famous for being where industrialised knitting first kicked off.

But yeah, close, but not in England

Anyway, interesting comments about marketability or "doing what the customer wants". Really, I don't think people know what they actually want until they see it. Some things just grab you. Personally, I like to use good proportions and pleasing colourways in my fabrics. I am a big fan of the golden ratio, I think it makes a pleasing proportion whether used in architecture, photography or weaving.

TBH, i don't think I'll be using honeycomb (thanks Cally), I don't want people mistaking my scarves for dishcloths, lol ;)

And I agree that I also like a more sleek and stable scarf that I can tuck in under my jacket or shirt. I'm still wearing the first scarf I wove something like 4 years ago.

I don't think I'll be using reed-spacing either. I have tried it before, and when used with a twill it sort of gives a wavy line. I'll probably do a wee experimental run, but I think for the time being, I'll probably be working with large-scale twill variations using irregular threading and treadling diagrams. I'd like to not be changing the tie-up every time I start a new warp too, so I'll probably be sticking with a 2/2 twill/PW tie-up

Meg in Nelson said...

Yay to sticking to your guns. Yay to staying inside your side of the wall, too. (Notice I said "inside"!!)

Goodness me, there are a lot of mills still there standing. Why didn't anyone tell me in 2003? I was all, "So so sad for textile" up in Inverness or was it Elgin? (Oh,I remember, we tend to head north for the single you-know-whats, but we were in Edinburgh for 5 nights AND we even went down to Durham by train with GREAT difficulty - going down took 2 hours coming back took longer!)