At GGFI in August, I took Judith's Color on Cloth class and dyed a warp, progressively tying resists and immersing in color.
Yes, that really was the first color.
Other lovely warps drying:
Compared to these, mine ended up looking rather dull, but I have to admit I was not giving it much focus. I was concentrating on trying to finish the woven shibori piece that we had to warp, weave, and dye in record time. (Also trying to turn part of my hair indigo - thus the plastic-wrapped knob.)
When I got the warp home on its own, I decided it's not dull, per se, but subtle.
The woven shibori turned out okay, too.
I was actually very proud of myself for getting this done, to a decent scarf length. It was an immersion in the deep end for a new weaver like me, but that was a great way to learn, and I deeply appreciated Judith's method and message of trust in simply getting me started and letting me do it.
Once home, I had to rig up a way to weave my warp.
I have no loom, and a longstanding interest in backstrap weaving, so the way was clear.
With the aid of Laverne's tutorials, I began to weave with a backstrap, practicing on a narrow cotton strip, then moving on to handspun wool.
Once I had this taste of backstrap weaving, I could not wait to start on my dyed warp. It took some wrangling, since the warp yarns had gotten sticky with the dyeing, but I enjoyed this part, too.
This is the grey base yarn. I also dyed 1/3 as many warp yarns over white, and when I prepared the warp for weaving, I integrated them as two stripes.
It was very slow-going at first. With such a long warp, three times as wide as my previous one (this is about 12" wide,) I had a steep learning curve. The cotton I'd used for a string heddle was sticking to the wool like crazy, so I eventually abandoned it for a new one made of plastic tape. (The rejected heddle string will make an interesting addition to a yarn someday: pale blue cotton with felted rust-orange nubs every several inches!) Here is the plastic heddle, and some actual woven cloth, which was a thrill to see:
Making this cloth, and watching the colors interact as the weft joins it, has been a deeply satisfying trip.
This piece will be significant on so many levels, and I cherish every aspect of its formation, not least the people who have guided the way.
I think I'm more than halfway finished, adding a few inches each day.