Penelope Scarves, Coded in Cotton

This in the first weaving that evolved out of reading the story of Penelope, a woman from a long time ago, who was waiting for her husband to return, and passed the time while waiting, weaving during the day and unweaving again through the night.  And I started thinking about what we think about while we are weaving.  And I thought about how many of us weave for loved ones who are not at home with us.  Family and friends who have gone off to serve in the military, or to work overseas, or to a different part of our country.  Children who have gone off to school, or to start their own life in a different city.  Sisters and friends who are no longer close by.  Others that we cannot be with during these Covid times.

We are makers.  We make things with our hands and with our hearts.  My daughter says that when she cooks with love, the food always tastes better.  And it really does.

Then I thought about how we can let our loved ones know how much we care and respect who they are, what they do, and where they go.  And I thought about real messages, secretly coded into the cloth.  I looked around and started seeing bar codes everywhere, on practically everything we buy and use.  Bar codes are a series of light and dark lines, the order of which describe a product.  The bar code is scanned, and the computer interprets the code and identifies the product.  So, I searched the internet and found out the order of the light and dark lines of the bar code that represent the letters of the alphabet.  It really is a form of colour and weave: For instance, A is DDLDLDLLDLDD.

I simplified it a bit so that every letter represents 12 threads in a light and dark pattern.  Then I thought of a person who is going off to travel on a grand adventure, and I coded the message “Go, make memories” into the scarves. 

So, a subtle message embedded into the cloth.  I made the scarves in a lighter and a darker colour of Fox Fibre naturally coloured cotton, light green and coyote, and I separated each letter with a dark brown thread of 2/8 cotton.  Sett at 20 ends per inch.  I wove the first scarf in straight twill, with a border in brown basket weave and twill.

The second scarf on the same warp was woven in plain weave with organic cotton in the colour “Curry”, and naturally coloured “Coyote”

So, certainly not a coded message that can be read with a bar code scanner, but you, the weaver, know that the message is there. What messages do you weave into your cloth?

About spinweaverbarbara

I have been steadily weaving since 1980. I enjoy sharing and passing on my learning.
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2 Responses to Penelope Scarves, Coded in Cotton

  1. Lynne Russell says:

    Beautiful thoughts and beautiful work.❤️

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