Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Conundrum Solved

How did I solve those four problems that bothered me about "Norse Kitchen"?

Miniaturized "Norse Kitchen" (red)
"Norse Kitchen" original towel (blue)
Recently I have been inspired by the work of Josephine Estes and Bertha Gray Hayes and have been weaving a lot of Miniature Overshot. So the ideal solution was already on my radar - write my own miniaturized version of "Norse Kitchen".

Once I'd finalized my Mini "Norse Kitchen" draft I needed to adjust the number of center repeats to maintain the same width as my original towel warp. Then I cut off the first few towels I'd woven using the old draft and rethreaded the remainder of that warp with the revised design. This required three additional warp ends. I also decided to add one more twill repeat at each selvedge which added another eight ends.

Miniaturized "Norse Kitchen" towels

While I was at it I changed the direction of some of the border twill lines so each border is symmetric. You can see the change in the red towel above the original blue one. It is even clearer in the detail of the magenta towel below.

Weaving the rest of the warp was thrilling because the result brought me great joy. Never again will I view an overshot draft without wondering how it would work in miniature. Such fun!

Miniature "Norse Kitchen" - Detail

Miniaturized "Norse Kitchen" towels showing the reverse sides.
It's hard to decide which side is my favorite.
Warp on/Weave off,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shedding Some Light

Handbook of Weaves by Caroline Halvorsen
Handbook of Weaving by Caroline Halverson
Copyright Oslo, 1927
The book arrived last week. Here it is. The author, Caroline Halverson, is not named on the cover.

This is a great little book filled with interesting drafts. Fortunately actual drafts, like music, are universally understood. Unfortunately, I do not speak or read Norwegian so the text is beyond me.

Checking online translators gave a general idea of the description for the original draft #185 on page 104 of Halverson as referenced by Marguerite Porter Davison with her "Norse Kitchen" draft.  But that raises the question, "Is the Halvorsen draft the actual original?" Somehow I doubt it and unless someone has further information to share or someone who understands Norwegian can find a reference within the text there doesn't seem to be any other trail to follow. Perhaps you have seen similar designs and can point me in the right direction.

The Norse Kitchen design from the Davison book is clearly derived from the draft in the Halverson book. They are very similar but not exactly alike. In Halverson there is a photo of the woven piece that looks very much like Davison's photo but with additional repeats in the border sections. Interestingly, some of the things that bothered me in the Davison draft also appear in the original draft. Those wavy lines all curve in paralell directions in both drafts (bother number three). And the unbalanced nature of the draft (bother number four) is apparent in both drafts as well as in both photos. There is an unsettling unbalance in the Halvorsen border in that of four oval figures in the corner block, three are closed or complete but the fourth is not. Interesting, isn't it? Davison changed the draft to close that fourth oval.

The most striking aspect of the piece in Halverson is the design is woven perfectly to square. It is so precisely woven that one has to look with a very critical eye to notice some of the problems I found with the draft. Those problems are far more obvious in the Davison example. The Davison piece is clearly not woven to square. The design is compressed warp-wise, most noticeably in the corner blocks (bother number two).

It would be an interesting exercise to make adjustments to the Halverson draft and weave it. But for now I will have to be content with the solution I found for my Christmas Conundrum. I am now weaving a second warp using my own version of the draft. I'll let you in on what I came up with in my next post. Maybe by that time I will have photos of the finished pieces currently on my loom.

By the way, I realized that somewhere along the way I stopped signing my posts. So I will do my best to remember from now on.

Warp on/Weave off,