Saturday, April 10, 2010

This is a photo of one of my favorite handwoven shawls. I no longer own it, but recently came across it draped over a chair at a friend's house. It felt good meeting up with an old friend, and I was glad the shawl had found an appreciative home.
And familiar textiles do indeed become friends; they enrich our lives in many ways. I'd bet most of us have a favorite towel, blanket, or wrap. Babies become attached to the comfort their "blankies" provide. When we come across a swatch of fabric from a forgotten dress or shirt, we are flooded with memories of ancient family picnics, days on the beach with beloved friends, berry picking in the Cascades, our grandmother's capable hands tying colorful apron strings as she prepares the Thanksgiving turkey for the last time. . .
Late last night I finished warping one of my looms with a gold rayon yarn that I will cover completely with intense, jewel-colored chenille yarns that arrived UPS this week: ruby, earthy sapphire, shale, emerald, amethyst. . .
These cones and others are sitting about my living room in groups. Before beginning a weaving project, I spend several days admiring yarns' colors and textures, moving the cones about to discover the most pleasing combinations. I'm often surprised at what "works" and what doesn't. Unlike a painter's palette, unless I dye my own yarns (which I do with my handspun wools), I must work with the colors as they come to me, and it should come as no surprise to other artists that I enjoy the creativity this limitation provides.
So, for the next couple of weeks, I will be weaving luxurious textiles, and I will become attached to each, and with luck, I'll find good homes for them.

1 comment:

  1. I've worn my own Penelope shawl like this one a lot, so beautifully constructed from these lovely colors. In the seaside village where I now live, I can see them all around me in my environment. The everchanging ocean greens and blues and the sky reflected in the water, the gray in the rock of the incredible Olympic mountains and the whales and seabirds and back again in the ocean and sky on a Pacific Northwest rainy day. I wear this lovingly woven work from a well-loved friend with anything. It makes me feel so fine!