At the 2005 MAFA conference, Mr. Penney paid me a visit, as he was just a half hour away from the conference site. This was his first exposure to my world of fiber in such saturation. Fortunately, it did not scare him off.
I walked him around the vendor area, answering whatever questions he had about any of the fibers or tools that he saw. While at Judy Ditmore’s booth, he saw one of the yarns that I used in this project. The yarn was a four different strands of fibers (silk, cotton, rayon, and flax,) lightly twisted together as one yarn. It was dip-dyed three shades of a red. This was my time to act, and so I found a compliment to it that I could use to weave a throw that Mr. Penney had been talking about.
My idea for the throw was to try and keep the colors in the warp together such that it looked like a painted warp. The best way for me to do this, I figured, was to measure each warp thread individual, as winding the warp using a mill or board would have reversed the color order on half of the threads. This, I must say, took quite a while; but I persevered and measured out the entire skein of green that I purchased for the warp.
Actually warping the loom was quite a challenge as well, since I was the first time that I was using a tension box to warp my sectional warp. This step was totally unnecessary, but did get me some practice on the new toy that I had acquired at the time.
Once the warp was on, I started weaving with the red. Again, I wanted to keep the color order of the yarn, so I made sure that the freshly cut end of the yarn was the last to be woven off of the ski shuttle that I was using. I did this by winding the yarn around my hand, cutting the yarn, and then winding from my hand onto the shuttle. This worked well, I think, and wasn’t too much of a problem due to the scale of the weaving.
With all of that work, here is the result:
As you might notice, it is not very wide, only 28″. When showing to people, the women would tend to just wrap it around themselves. Thus, the throw is now referred to as a sofa shawl.
Also, all of that effort to make the warp look like a painted warp seems to have been for naught. The difference in shades of green was no match for the difference in shades of the red. The close-up of different parts of the fabric do show you that there is a change in the warp color, however subtle it is.