A few months ago, I was commissioned to make a 22” x 24” weave for a nursery. I was so excited, but I was also a little nervous because I had never made a weave that large before. The mother-to-be wanted something with a lot of color and texture. I don’t like to set up strict designs when weaving. I’ve tried it before, but when I do this my weaves come out looking not right. So now I just think up a general idea of the design and then change it as I go. I feel like this approach allows me to let the weave take on it’s own design and I end up much happier with the results.It turned out that even thinking up a general design was a challenge for me. I was not used to the large scale so I kept thinking of the weave in a compact version and that wasn’t helping. What I ended up doing was thinking of the weave as a “squinted” image. I know that sounds weird, but it really helped me to think in this way. I thought about the size and rectangular shape of the weave in my head and then I thought about what would this weave look like if I squinted at it. This approach gave me a general flow of colors and a really general shape of the weave. I drew up a tiny blob of a sketch that represented this mental squint image and from there I had a great starting point.I pulled out the yarn colors aI wanted to use, and then got to work. Since I had the large vision of the weave, I was able to create the weave in sections. I mentally split my weave into 5 sections of the top and then a 6th section that would be the fringe. The first section was a yellow/green top corner, which I was able to add a lot of different textures to. Next came a very fluffy clump of my favorite multi-colored wool roving that has a really great red/purple color I put at the top the of weave. I moved this roving across the middle of the weave and down to give the weave some visual flow. I also changed to the blue/greens of the roving as it progressed down. In the third top section of the weave and I then added a textured section of neutrals to balance out the color. This included a white wool roving to also balance the texture of the middle section.
On my 4th section that starts in the bottom left of the weave, I mirrored the top right of neutral colors and roving texture. These two neutral sections allow for the eye to have a break from the color. In the bottom right corner I put in different threads of blues and greens with different textures too.
The fringe I added had a neutral base with pops of color. I made the fringe different lengths and styles so that the design interest of the weave continued. I really love how this weave turned out because I feel like it has a lot going on, so the viewer can see more and more every time they look at it. I also really love that it’s in a baby’s room. I hope the colors and texture of the weave hold the baby’s interest.
What is the largest weave you’ve ever made? Did you find designing on a larger scale challenging also? What tactics have you used when trying to design a large weave? Have you ever done a mental squint before? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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