6 + 2 does not equal 8

My grandson learned to add in kindergarten, so he would not be happy about the title of this post. The 6 are scarves toward my May monthly goal, the 2 are something entirely different. So let’s start with those different things.

The Rochester Central Library is collaborating with Rochester Technical Institute on an exhibit called Crafting Democracy. As the home of both Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony, the area has a rich history to pull from. They put out a call for fiber pieces, and my interest was sparked. I decided I wanted to make a clasped weft piece with symbolism representing the work of these two historic figures. Here’s my finished piece, which I actually wove in April – one reason that the ‘2’ don’t get added to this month’s ‘6.’

Crafting Democracy piece #1

I do realize that all the colors don’t stand out well, especially in the photo, but it is what it is. White represents the people in power, generally white men. Black represents those without power, often people of color. Purple represents women’s struggles for gender equity; red stands for blood shed in the struggles; gold is for voting rights – or lack thereof. The title, “Will it Ever End?”, refers to the fact that gender equity, racial justice, and voting equality remain unresolved today.

If I were to weave it again, I would make some changes, but I don’t have much white rayon chenille left and didn’t really want to weave the scarf again anyway. So I got the ‘itch’ to weave a tiny tapestry that was more the look I had in mind. I wanted to try Sarah Swett’s 4 selvedge method. Like almost everything else in life, it was not as easy as Sarah, a very skillful tapestry weaver, made it look. Here’s my loom, warped up and ready to weave, after some number of hours. I’m sure it’ll go a bit quicker next time.

tiny tapestry loom

Now, bear in mind that this is only the 2nd tapestry I’ve ever woven, the first being done a few years ago in a class. That being true, I’m satisfied with the results.

1st tiny tapestry

It’s pretty wonky, but looks much better in a frame that doesn’t show the selvedges. Since this isn’t something I’d sell, this is the second reason why the ‘2’ doesn’t get added to the ‘6’.

tiny tapestry, framed

Still, I don’t know if I’ll submit it to the show. I’d really like to try again. So I need to get my May pieces woven to give myself time to play with tapestry again.

UPDATE: Oooooo…just got the thought that this would make more sense turned on its side. Shows more oppression and reaching for justice.

tiny tapestry turned

That being true, let’s not waste any more time, but get right to the 6!

First I went back to that deflected doubleweave structure I first wove in January. I used 2 hand painted warps again this time. Both warps were 8/2 tencel, with each layer sett at 24 EPI. Next time I’ll sett them further apart for a lighter scarf.

deflected doubleweave scarf

I wove the first scarf with a rather gentle beat, and then was a bit worried that my floats were too long, so wove the second scarf with a much firmer beat. After wet finishing, it’s now clear to me that the gentle beat was fine, at least at this sett. The 2 long, fringed scarves were woven with yellow and blue tencel wefts.

deflected doubleweave cowl

The cowl has a purple bamboo-cotton and a gold mercerized cotton weft, again with that firm beat.

Next up is the last of the painted warps I made in April. I went for twill blocks this time, moving from all terra cotta at one selvedge to all blue and green at the other. This time you’re getting my least favorite first. It’s a short cowl with a black weft. It’s fine, just not my fav.

terra cotta & blue cowl

I really can’t decide which of the next two pieces I prefer. I think they’re both very attractive. First I wove with a medium blue weft, organizing the weft block shifts in relation to the width of each block. Required a lot of thought and planning, and that may not have been worth it, but the colors are swell.

terra cotta & blue scarf

Then I wove a regular pattern of 24 picks each block with a sienna weft. Also yummy.

terra cotta & blue long cowl

I was planning for the next warp of three when I realized I’d really better see what I’ve already woven and how that compared to my sales last year. Learned that I really need to weave more silk scarves, so that’s the warp that’s on the loom now. I’ll get it done in the next few days so I can try another tiny tapestry before the month ends.

See why it takes me so long to do a blog post? I’m busy!

10 comments to 6 + 2 does not equal 8

  • Caroline

    I just sent you some pictures on Facebook! Thank you for the inspiration!!

  • Caroline

    I found you!! I have been looking at a picture of your clasped weft cowl for the Finding Democracy exhibit for a long time. I found the picture on Pinterest over a year ago. I tracked it down this morning. I absolutely love this cowl! It is so elegant and stunning. I am trying to weave something similar on my rigid heddle loom this week with merino/rayon/silk fingering weight that I found at a discount store. The yarn I picked up is cream, turquoise blue and charcoal gray. I was dreaming about adding in a deep purple. And now I see that is what you did with the cowl! Somehow I can’t see the purple at all but I imagined it. The symbolism is lovely on this scarf. Thank you for your work and blog!

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks for looking and finding me, Caroline, and for your kind words. Yes, the purple is hard to see in the piece, but especially difficult in the photos. And you can certainly do clasped weft on your rigid heddle. Share photos when you’re in progress and done!

  • Barbara G Fornoff

    Hi, I am interested in your 8/2 tencel Deflected Doubleweave scarf. What did you use for the shrinking fiber? Zepyhr or wool? I am about to do an 8/2 tencel + Zephyr and wondering what to sett it at…24, 28, 30? Thoughts are appreciated.
    Your work is so lovely,

    • Peg Cherre

      I didn’t use a shrinking fiber at all, Barbara. All yarns, both warp and weft, were 8/2 tencel. As noted in the blog post, each layer was sett at 24 EPI, so 48EPI total, noting that I’d sett a bit wider next time around.

  • Alma

    I like the framed tapestry, but I LOVE the clasped weft piece. Either – or both – should be entered, I think! Keep up the good work!

  • Jennifer P.

    Love the frame on the tapestry weaving. The colors of the scarves and the cowels are gorgeous. Deflected double weave is gorgeous.

  • Peg Cherre

    Thanks to both Theresa & Judy. I’m hopeful that my next tapestry attempt will turn out a little better so that I’ll be comfortable submitting that. I’ll use the same colors, but it will most likely look different, since I don’t know how to use a cartoon (a design pinned to the loom) for it – I just make it up as I go.

  • Judy T

    Peg – I love both of your thoughtful and thought-provoking weavings and do hope that you’ll enter both into the show… along with a placard that describes your color choices. What a lovely way to showcase your weaving talent!

  • Oh Peg, I adore that little tapestry and the symbolism! Beautiful, thoughtful weaving all around.

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