These are my ongoing experiments with the dozens of tiny silk skeins I was recently given. They had been used in natural dye experiments and I have been combining the colors in various ways and using different structures to create a set of leaf-themed pieces. which are a nice size to use as journal covers. The more recent ones use green and blue tones and browns. The green one has a leaf and creeper pattern that I designed in supplementary weft and I invented a leaf pattern using the Andean Pebble Weave structure for the brown piece.
I want to be able to create shapes like circles and curves and diagonals at any chosen angle using the ikat technique and then fill in the shapes with pick-up patterns. Here is my first attempt with a circle...
I was pretty pleased with that. I want very large shapes but I have yet to perfect my ikat tape wrapping technique over large sections of warp. I still get more dye seepage than I would like. So, I plan to do some experiments with simple block-like shapes just to improve my wrapping skills and I started with a pre-columbian bird motif...
I then wove the piece filling in the ikat section with Andean Pebble Weave pick-up patterns, a motif I adapted from designs on Tarahumara belts of Mexico. There was quite a lot of dye seepage along the wraps which would have looked quite ugly if I had woven this in plain weave but, you can barely see it in amongst the pick-up. What didn't look good was the irregularity that typically forms along the edges of ikat shapes...the feathering that is so attractive in plain weave. It turns out that it is not so attractive when you are using two and three-span warp floats. It just looks messy and spotty. So, I sewed a crross-knit looping stitch along the horizontal edges. This is a stitch that was taught to me by my Bolivian teachers and it used often to edge small items.The black on black stitching was difficult!
I need to take another look at how I am handling the ikat wraps over long sections before I get into the circular and other shapes that I would like to create.
I love red, black and white together. These are three panels in a wall hanging series I am making on my backstrap loom. The theme is Textile Trails and have been influenced by textiles I have studied and experiences I have had traveling in South America learnng to weave. These three have been inspired by indigenous and mestizo cultures of Peru, Chile and Colombia.
Various pebble weave sample bands with patterns from my new book......
This book enables you to use the skills you have acquired by working your way through the step-by-step lessons in Andean Pebble Weave, to weave over 100 new pebble weave patterns. The patterns include traditional motifs of South America as well as patterns from textiles in other cultures around the world which have been adapted to the pebble weave structure.
Tutorials encourage you to add to your pebble weave repertoire by designing and charting your own original patterns.
Other complementary-warp weave structures of South America are also included with over 30 charts of pick-up patterns for these techniques. One particular structure used by the Guarani weavers of lowland Bolivia is studied in depth and step-by-step instructions show how the technique can be applied to bold, soild motifs found on textiles of Mexico and Bhutan.
This e-book, which is aimed at experienced weavers of Andean pebble weave, is available now from Patternfish.com.
A piece in Andean pebble weave wih a Central Asian flavor. I adapted hook motifs woven on Central Asian yurt bands which are woven in a simple warp float technique to pebble weave which is double-faced. The picture shows the two faces of two different bands which I photogrpahed and placed together as I thought that the color combination was quite exotic. This design is in my new book coming soon.
Almost at the end of this project. I will try to squeeze as much as I can out of this warp for my wall hanging.
This is in pebble weave and, as the piece was so long and the design fairly small, I added in two extra sets of string heddles to program the pattern. So, that meant four sets of string heddles instead of the two that I normally use to do pebble weave.
Using the string heddles along with the saver cord meant that I got to do 7 consecutive weft passes without having to do any pick up at all rather than having to hand pick every second shed as I would normally do. The weaving really zoomed along! This piece was commissioned by a friend and I hope she likes it. She is giving it as a birthday gift to a friend so that is two people that need to be happy with it!
I traveled to the central highlands of Bolivia last weekend to study tubular band weaving with my teacher Maxima and while there I also learned how weavers in this region do pebble weave which is very different to the the way I was taught in the western part of Peru. This makes a total of four ways now that I have learned to do this my favorite of all techniques.
Maxima taught me some of the typical motifs of her hometown on bands which we tensioned between our forefingers and big toes. (although I gave up on the big toe after a while and tied to a convenient pole). I wove one of these motifs into a cell phone pouch. I have made a lot of these pouches and realized that this is the very first one that I have patterned with pebble weave designs.
There are many more pictures of my visit with Maxima in my latest blog post.
The pouch is edged with a tubular band which is woven and sewn to the pouch using the weft as the sewing thread. In the picture you can see the wool bands on which I learned the new designs with Maxima. Maxima's overtwisted handspun wool causes the bands to spiral and the threads to curl up on themselves when not under tension.
This is lesson two from Laverne's Andean Pebble Weave e-book. The band is the same width as the one from lesson one (see upper right corner of the photo and my earlier project). How much harder could this be? Don't skip it! There is much to be learned here, including a couple of shortcuts that make life much easier. So, little by little, I am learning how to set up my warp without making crazy mistakes, how to adjust the tension with my body, how to pick up warps in the right order, how to see what row to do next, how to roll up the warp as the weaving progresses, and many other little nuances. And I love it and think of the weavers, both now and in the past, who, without have fancy multi-harness looms, turned out works of incredible beauty. Can't wait to start lesson three!