Sunday, December 18, 2022

This Pattern Is More than 400 Years Old... with a Few Changes


 It all starts with a 1626 portrait of John Erskine, 2nd Earl of Mar and Lord High Treasurer of Scotland, painted by Adam de Colone. 


The painting hangs in the National Galleries of Scotland, where researchers have found that the canvas is in fact a linen tablecloth, a practice that was common at the time. The tablecloth was woven on 14 shafts in this Gebrochene pattern.


If you're a frequent reader of this blog, you may recall that I've written about this before -- most recently, on September 18, 2022, in a post that gives you more details on how I altered the pattern but kept the original design line. I learned of it maybe 20 years ago from Marjie Thompson, who calls it "The Earl". 

It was not a stretch to take the threading and create a parallel threading 14 shafts above it, which I did just to see what would happen. I figured it could be woven as Echo or, by adding tabby to the treadling, as Jin (aka Turned Taqueté). The Jin drawdown I designed looks like this.


Here's a detail to give you a better idea of the design.

I really liked the varied geometry of the pattern, so this is what I used for the motifs in the center of the scarf, using two different weft colors, violet and gold. (The gold is in the central section, where the fabric scrunches up into pleats, seen around the neck on the mannikin. That's because the yarn is a combination of silk tram and stainless steel, which has memory.)

The mountain-like motifs at the beginning and end of the scarf -- in purple and orange -- are woven in a doubleweave pattern using what I call a "carved" tieup. (The idea is outlined in Marian Stubenitsky's definitive work, Weaving with Echo and Iris, which provides all number of tieup options for Echo woven as doubleweave.)


When you're weaving four-color doubleweave on an Echo threading, these "carved" variations in the tieup make for lots of color shifts, so that a color first appears on top of the cloth and then shifts to the bottom. This maximizes the potential for color blending.


Adding to the potential for color play: I used a painted warp combined with a black warp for the parallel threading. The technique is quite simple: You wind a two-color warp of natural and black and then paint the entire warp. The natural-colored yarn absorbs the dye and the black does not. 

I love the yarn that I used for the warp, and I doubt I will ever find it again, because I got it at one of those wonderful guild sales. It's a 24/3 unmercerized cotton, so I really didn't have to worry about threads breaking and selvages fraying. For the doubleweave weft, I used 16/2 bamboo in blue, orange, and burgundy, and for the Jin wefts, I used 60/2 silk in deep violet and, as I mentioned, tram-silk/stainless-steel in gold, purchased from Lunatic Fringe, which pleats and bends in the center section.

To me, the motifs look like mountains and the colors remind me of a western sunset. So I've named the piece "Colorado", which means "ruddy" in Spanish. It reminds me of the sunsets over the Sangre de Cristo range, near where my daughter and her family live. The Earl is well traveled indeed.

Thanks for reading!
















8 comments:

Pam said...

Another stunning work. You always give me food for thought. I'm going to have to figure out how to be immortal just so I can weave everything I want to try.

Denise Kovnat said...

You and me both! I still want to do more cloqué and that isn't going to happen for a while....

Sara said...

This is fabulous! The first time I have ever seen an echo draft that created a fabric I liked... Followed you here from FB. I frankly don't understand a word of the drafting, nor how the painted warp interleaves to make this, but color me impressed!

Linda said...

I'm in awe. What an incredible design and execution.

Anonymous said...

Denise, your work is stunning. I could weep looking at this one. It moves me so much. You must have felt this too when you first cut it from the loom and saw what you had created. Let us all be immortals so we can continue to create more and more beautiful weaving.

Denise Kovnat said...

Sara, this is especially uplifting coming from you! I so admire your work. The funny thing is, I did not aim for a tribal look, but there it is and I'm happy with it. Have you ever noticed as you're making something: it somehow becomes what it wants to be? I do love primitive patterns and styles, but to think this is based on a European diaper design.... How did that happen?

Denise Kovnat said...

Linda, thank you. We just keep following that carrot, right? And it's ORANGE, which is such a great color ;o)

Anonymous said...

What amazing colours and the patterns!!!!

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