Sunday, January 16, 2011

Clasped Weft ~ Music from the Loom

I received my first commission for scarves in November but I couldn’t blog about them earlier because they were destined to be Christmas presents. But I wrote the blog as I was doing it so here is the blog in the present tense because when I tried to put it into past tense it read really funny/bad.

The commission is for scarves that look like a piano keyboard, which is a really nifty idea. The idea is to use clasped weft because it would be the same on both sides, if I used double weave one side would look like a piano but the other side would have the colours reversed.

The warp is 2/20 Cotton/Tencel because I am hoping that the white warp will be hidden by the chenille that I am using for the weft. The picture below shows the warp and the clasping of the wefts.
I actually sampled, I had to because I wasn’t sure if the weft was going to cover the warp and I had to figure out the pattern, and I wanted to have the keys the correct size after washing. I don't have a piano, so I went to the internet and printed off a real keyboard. I copied it exactly, right down to the note/half note placement. I did two samples, the first I had black chenille as my floating selvedges because I was trying to hide the black chenille going up the side when I didn’t need it but it just looked messy on both sides, so I nixed that idea. The second sample was without the floating selvedges and it looks cleaner and I also changed the pattern a little. In the picture below is both samples, the first sample is the background and has been washed. The second sample had not been washed so I could get an idea of the shrinkage.
I developed the pattern on the warp because there isn’t a really good way to graph the keys. I used a picture of a keyboard and carefully wrote down the pattern. At the end I had the main pattern repeat having steps A through X, with a step having 5 to 8 picks. It is a long repeat and it takes me about an 1 hour to do, by the end I was a little faster but it was still slow going.
Here is a little peek of the scarf. It looks very neat!
The first scarf is finished, although still on the loom, and I am starting on the second. Watching a piano grow on my loom is a little surreal but fun! Stay tuned, the second installment will be soon!

13 comments:

Susan said...

It looks absolutely like a piano keyboard! Well done Ngaire!

This needs to be submitted to Handwoven!

:) Susan

Melissa said...

What an awesome scarf that will be!

Maggie said...

That is super cool! My piano teacher would love that!

Anonymous said...

I love it!! Thanks for letting us know your thought process.
Ann in MO

DebbieB said...

OK, that is VERY cool!

textrix said...

Thats a lovely idea!!!

Deanna said...

That is very cool!!!

Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

Wow - what a great scarf! It would make for a great Handwoven article. hint, hint.

Meta said...

Fantastic flying music!!

Geodyne said...

I'm blown away by how fabulous those scarves are. I'd definitely second the article idea.

Peg Cherre said...

OMG, those scarves are STUNNING!!! I haven't done any clasped weave, so just that part is amazing to me. And all that planning!

I definitely agree with the Handwoven submission!

Margreet said...

What a lovely commission to get! How nice the way you have kept your blog post up to date whilst weaving for later publication. The scarves look stunning!

~ Kirsten ~ said...

I have been searching for a pattern to make these piano scarfs for a group (www.hugsnbugs.org) who uses the proceeds for music therapy for families who have children with cancer. I started weaving a couple of years ago when I became employed at a Historical Museum as a Living History Educator. I believe you have a loom with many shafts. Is there a pattern available for a 4 shaft loom? Please email me at krf13@att.net Thank you. :)