Variants on a theme

I really enjoy doing these gradient warps. They came from necessity; I had lots of colors of 8/2 cotton leftover from batches of towels and, after playing around with random warps (grab any five colors and go!), I realized that I could use up more colors by moving through a series.

Yesterday, in a fit of pre-holiday productivity, I put a 9-yard warp on the AVL in a (fruitless!) attempt to use up a huge stash of Harrisville Shetland. And, because I have lots of cones of lots of colors, I decided to try a gradient. First step was to choose a series of colors across the 14 sections

Since there were so many colors, I decided to switch out in pairs rather than one at a time. And, rather than having it move only from left to right, I’ve set this one up to have a point of reflection at the fold. I can decided whether to have the fold on the left or right in the weaving so that didn’t matter in the winding.

The warping wheel makes this easy; I held four ends together on each wind and made sure they didn’t cross or tangle. Fast forward a few hours and now I have this:

Not surprisingly, the lighter ones are really rather yellow on the beam, but past experience tells me that they’ll weave up much differently. The weft makes a big difference in how the finished cloth blends the colors. Finally, so that I have a record of what I actually wound on, I used the little ends that are a natural byproduct of using the wheel to make up a quick sample card

I still need to write down the name/number of each individual color, but this is the first step. So, now I’m set to thread the loom and pass the rest of the holiday in the best way possible – with family, friends, and a bit of weaving. I hope you’re able to spend the day in the way that pleases you most.

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