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July 31, 2014

gathering and tying the shibori threads

P1050317they need to be tight – very tight

the gathering threads need to be strong but soft so they don’t hurt your hands

P1050323ten dips in the indigo gave a nice dark colour

the fabric is soft and has a nice drape

P1050324the dye migrated along the draw-up threads and left an interesting pattern on the selvedges

but not what I wanted

I’ve now woven another 1 1/2 yards – every inch was a struggle

this time the problem is caused by the threads that were initially wound two together in the balls

I thought I had dealt with this when the warp was measured – apparently not

they are becoming increasingly twisted (plied together) as I advance the weaving

they are breaking at the heddles and it is impossible to make a workable shed

time to admit defeat

stop wasting time and energy

and – move on!

28 Comments leave one →
  1. August 2, 2014 3:56 am

    I think it’s great that you are willing to talk about the plans that go awry. So many blogs only focus on the successful finished projects, with no hint that that isn’t how real life works!


  2. August 1, 2014 9:45 pm

    I’m so glad my nasty warp was only 4 yards long instead of 14! I’m sure you were fully justified in going all Red Queen on it. (Off with its head!) Hope the next one – for both of us – is problem-free! Your indigo is lovely though. I always have trouble tying the shibori ties tight enough even if I pull with a “handle” such as a weaving bobbin to save my hands.


    • August 1, 2014 10:38 pm

      Louisa – oh yes, I do like the idea of the Red Queen. I use 2/5 merc. cotton for the pull-up thread, it is strong but soft on the hands.


  3. August 1, 2014 2:17 am

    beautiful color and yes onward!


  4. Judi Bushby permalink
    July 31, 2014 5:33 pm

    Love that piece of dyeing. It looks stunning. Pity it’s not what you were after all that hard work. Busily belabouring away on my HW stitching fort upcoming visit to The best exotic indigo hotel.


    • July 31, 2014 6:08 pm

      Judi – i would be delighted with the result if I’d been able to weave off all 14 yards of warp. I’ll be thinking of all of you at the indigo hotel – have a great time.


  5. July 31, 2014 1:06 pm

    Cut your losses. Good girl. Onward.


  6. July 31, 2014 12:13 pm

    Beautiful, kinda like a speckled egg. Moving on is good, and sometimes setting fire to stuff is a good way to do that!


    • July 31, 2014 12:59 pm

      Kristin – do you literally mean setting fire?? It is all still useful, even the warp I’ve taken off can be used.


      • July 31, 2014 4:59 pm

        Yeah! It’s great catharsis.


      • July 31, 2014 5:05 pm

        Kristin – I don’t feel the need for catharsis. don’t feel any strong emotion towards a warp I designed/planned, it was my failure and I’m grateful for the lessons learned. no doubt I’ll be back to try it all again.


  7. July 31, 2014 12:13 pm

    This is really interesting. I’ve been looking to try stitching as a resist and then the indigo dye. Is there a certain type of thread that would be most successful? Is a thicker thread better? I thought it would be a good project to play with while we are on the coast.


    • July 31, 2014 1:00 pm

      Deb – you have to experiment with different threads with different weights of fabric.


      • August 2, 2014 5:06 am

        Thanks. Test samples it is.


      • August 2, 2014 7:56 am

        Deb – if you are planning some kind of shaped pattern it helps to use a water erasable marking pen to mark the pattern.


      • August 2, 2014 8:37 am

        Great tip!


  8. July 31, 2014 11:36 am

    Thank you for sharing your experience. I´ve never woven shibori .. but sometimes…who knows… I will remember your trials.;O)


  9. July 31, 2014 11:22 am

    Awww… well, classify this one as a worthy experiment. Knowing when to stop is an art in itself!


    • July 31, 2014 11:56 am

      Heather – nothing ventured, nothing gained. the biggest risks are the biggest learning experiences. as I tell my students “it’s just weaving, not life threatening”!


  10. Judy Lathrop permalink
    July 31, 2014 10:43 am

    Appreciate your sharing this. Since you say “its time to move on” we must accept it! Know you have given it your best shot. And, the small dyed piece turned out nice after all. You will discover the perfect way to use that in days to follow. Don’t force it, just let it happen! Now go find yourself something less tedious to play with, and let your creative juices flow. This is only a temporary little bump in the road!


    • July 31, 2014 10:46 am

      Judy – so right! after 40 years of weaving there have been many bumps in the road – some bigger than others. I’m off to weed the garden.


  11. July 31, 2014 10:20 am

    I found when I ‘m dying woven Shibori if I tie the weft pattern threads individually not in groups of 2, I won’t get the type of color migration you had. Of course this means tieing twice as many knots.


    • July 31, 2014 10:42 am

      Barbara – yes, I realize that is the reason for such a definite pattern of migration but I was expecting to have to gather 14 yards sett at 60 ppi. it wasn’t the tying that I was concerned about but the removal of all those knots after dying.


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