My last weaving was full of colour, with lots of colour changes and ends to weave in. I needed a palate changer, a little bit of simple weaving that I didn’t really need to think about. I looked at the stash on my shelf and pulled a dark blue, a light blue, and white to create a striped warp. These colours in the warp would provide a nice foundation that would “go with” several weft choices. I wanted to randomly use up bits and pieces, and not think too hard about what I was weaving as I cleared my mind for more complicated designs.
I happily made my warp, with a simple graphic and wound the colour blocks and started to dress my loom. I took a break and looked up, and my husband was watching Blue Jays baseball. I looked at the team uniforms, and then my warp, and . . . now that is all I see.
It confirms my belief that nothing really happens in a vacuum, and everything that is going on around us affects our choices.
I wove a long, long run of fabric, mostly plain weave with small inserts of twill. The weft is composed of the left-over thrums of past projects knotted together, creating a rustic feel with random colour changes. Thrums are the scraps of warp threads that are left over on the end of the loom, called loom waste, after the handwoven cloth has been cut off. These small scraps of yarn can be knotted together and used for weft in a new project. The knots become points of interest in the story. In Japanese weaving, this technique is called zanshi. In addition to the plain weave, I added small sections of twill to add to the story.
The thrums were all 2/8 cotton, and no real thought was given to colour changes. Just tie on the next piece and keep going. No ends to weave in.
I will probably sew this fabric into a set of tote bags. It feels good to recycle the small lengths of cotton thread to a useful purpose.