Saturday, March 23, 2013

Ply Split Braiding Fun

Last weekend I enjoyed a St. Louis Weavers' Guild workshop on Ply-Split Braiding with Louise French.

I had taken a quick course from Linda Hendrickson at Convergence several years ago, and it looked interesting, but I wasn't willing to split any time away from my card weaving.  And the idea of making the cords that were to be split looked quite tedious.

Well, let me tell you how wrong I was!  The cord making is actually very fun and makes up a huge part of the creative process in ply-splitting.  Plus, there was great fun in just playing with the different splitting techniques.

I knew that many card weavers were also ply-split braiders, and now it makes sense why.  We (card weavers) split the plys with the weft as we are plying the threads in each card.  The draft tells us what color threads go where.  But one can take a card weaving draft, create cords to ply split using the draft and get the same pattern!  The only problem is that unlike card weaving where I can change the direction of my plies from Z to S (turning cards forward and back), the ply direction of the cords for splitting is stuck in the one direction I created it.  Hmm, seems to be an opportunity here to figure out a way to make a cord with different ply directions.

As soon as I get some card weaving drafts translated and cords made and split into something interesting, I'll post pics here.

 Actually finished this necklace.
Great Cord Monster!

Someday this will be a small basket.  Actually it is almost finished.  One or two more rounds are all that are left.  This was taken end of day two of the workshop. Go Gripfid!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Woven Shibori with Card Weaving?

Our guild's challenge this year is woven shibori.  Shibori is a dyeing technique using stitching, clamps or other ways to resist the dye.  Woven shibori is weaving ties into the hand woven piece.  An example might be weaving the pattern threads of an Overshot with ties instead of a pattern yarn.  Then tying up the piece and throwing it in a dye pot.  You can read more from Catherine Ellis' website.

My good friend Amy wanted a small group of us guildies to document our trials with woven shibori in our individual favorite techniques.  This was beginning to sound like the iridescent challenge where we argued back and forth that you can't do it with tablet weaving.  "But how do you know unless you try?"  And it did work.  And it probably will work with woven shibori.

So here it is woven up before tying and dyeing.  We're doing the dyeing sometime in May, so you'll have to wait until then for the finished samples.

The pattern is 3 white, 1 black thread in each card setup to be similar to patterns found on coptic bands.

The colored threads are the ties.  They aren't really woven in, they are more threaded between.  I tried a sample with the ties woven in, but card woven bands are so thick I was afraid it wouldn't gather enough to resist the dyes.  We'll see how this all works after the dye pot.