Sunday, February 21, 2010

Placemat's progress

When we last saw the Navajo placemat, it looked something like this:
This was some time ago. I could consult my own posts, but I won't. So many windows on the screen, so much chance for confusion! In this image, I have done tapestry ovals, stripes, triangles, and more stripes. If we skip ahead a whole lot of weeks -- about three, I would say, we come to a more advanced stage:
As you can see, I have added a rhomboidal (double triangle) design in the center, more triangles, and some more stripes symmetrical with the bottom. If you look at color they are antisymetrical, but shapewise they are symmetrical. I am more or less making this up as I go; I made a sketch of what I wanted and then followed it -- up to a point. My objective was to master (1) dovetails, where horizontal colors overlap; and (2) lazy lines, where colors overlap at an angle. In the picture above, I am putting in a little tapestry oval in green in the unwoven warpage. This brings us to right now:

All the tapestry ovals are done, and I am doing the black fill above. The black will continue to the top. There are about 10cm left to go. Notice how the fill makes waves above the ovals. It will all have to be leveled out. We are now in what I call the end game phase of the weaving. The threads are converging to a point at the top, and it is very hard to make the heddle shed. In fact, it is impossible. So I have removed the heddle stick, and make the heddle shed with a batten (or baton). Time-consuming, but no alternative. The "stick shed" can still be made, by aid of a chinese chopstick which replaces the normal "stick." Soon the chopstick will go, and it will be blunt needle all the rest of the way. In and out. This is the Navajo way, and it is why their rugs cost so much. It is Labor Intensive (with capital letters).

I am very pleased with this placemat. It has lots of mistakes, but not so many as my first; I now know how to make dovetails and lazy lines. More when the mat is complete.

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