The fascinating thing about weaving a transparency is that it feels like color-by-number with yarn. There are similarities to tapestry weaving, for sure. But this seems ten times faster. I found it to be engaging and fun! I echo what my transparency-weaving friend says when it’s time to stop and do something else, “Just one more row…”
After the main transparency with the zigzags, I had room to play on the remaining warp. I made another cartoon–a “cartoon” house. This gave me a chance to use a few more yarn butterflies, without it being overwhelming. Home. Sweet. Home.
May you enjoy the fascination of learning something new.
The cotton chenille looks as if it is magically suspended in space. But it’s the linen that suspends it. 16/2 unbleached linen weft crosses 16/2 golden bleached linen warp. The two shades blend into one as they are woven for the transparency background.
Unfortunately, I had 16/1 golden bleached linen (16/1 is half as thin as 16/2) on my winding table, for the plattväv towels on the other loom. I wound a quill with the 16/1 and wove the transparency with it. It’s the wrong thread size and color. For 8 1/2 inches! Too far to undo without irreparably damaging the linen warp. This is disappointing. How did I let that happen? Take a deep breath… Move forward, and finish out the weaving with the correct16/2 linen.
We all fall short. We do the wrong thing. That’s a weight to carry. Jesus breaks the yoke of our burden, and lifts the weight. We have been set free! When we finish the weaving, the chenille pattern will be the main attraction, not the error. By amazing grace, the error is overcome by the light shining through the transparency.
Weaving a transparency could become one of my favorite things to do. I had no idea that drawing a cartoon for this project would make such a difference. Now, I can see vast possibilities with this weaving technique.
I started the transparency without a cartoon. I wanted to weave a few zigzags back and forth. How hard could that be? I counted warpends, “under 12 to the right, and then, under 13 to the left.” When I tried to change the angle of the slant, though, it was confusing. I started getting jagged zigs and zags. This cartoon has made a world of difference.
How often do we think it will be easier to go our own way? We want to make it up as we go. Wait. There’s a better way. The head designer has drawn out a path. It makes sense to follow those lines. It’s a picture that’s bigger than we are. God created. He did it in such a way that shows his loving attention to those he created. And we get to follow his design. No more striving. No more trying to find our way. His way makes perfect sense. It’s satisfying to place the weft in a thought-out design.
When the front side of the fabric is on the underside, it helps to have a mirror. This is one of those times. A transparency can be woven with the weft turns on the front or on the back. I’m weaving this transparency with the weft turns on the front. The underside, therefore, has the crisper lines, and will (probably) be the right side of the finished transparency.
You can think of other weaves, as well, that have a different appearance on the back than on the front. That’s when a little mirror comes in handy. You can use a larger hand mirror, of course; but these are two little mirrors that I keep in the cart by my loom.
A little wooden mirror with mother-of-pearl inlay that I picked up on one of my international travels.
A lighted extended little mirror that I picked up on one of my wanderings at Home Depot while my husband was shopping for tools. A Husky Round Lighted Inspection Mirror, “…for inspection of hidden, unlit areas in applications ranging from industrial maintenance and automotive repair to general homeowner DIY applications.” They forgot to add, “…and for handweaver inspections of the reverse side of the cloth.”
Ten centimeters of plain weave are for the casing at the top of this transparency. My aim is five picks per centimeter. What a challenge! It’s not a good idea to be fussy about it, pulling out and repositioning the weft. Linen can’t take that. So, carefully I go, restraining the beater in my hands, to be as precise as possible. Packing in the weft for a few picks at the beginning and end of the section takes a stronger beat, …with much less effort.
Restraint is not easy. The easy path is to do what’s popular, familiar, and people-approved. We falsely think our ease at the moment is the most important thing. Don’t entertain false notions. Walk in the right way, even when it takes restraint. Blessings come to those who avoid the temptation of easier paths. The warp and weft are aligned, imperfectly, as we learn how to restrain the beater.
The linen web becomes a successful backdrop for the chenille inlay. That’s when the purpose for the linen becomes evident. It’s an almost-invisible (transparent) framework for the visible inlay pattern. The hard work of restraint is at its best, like this, when it draws little attention to itself.