It’s taken me a long time to write this post, simply because the project never seemed to be quite done. It still isn’t – but now it’s on hold until I make it round to that end of the circle.

I went on an exploration of colour palettes, solids mixed with subtle textures and fabrics that go together in a group (which is an endless exercise I can reveal to you). I meant to include the drafts in this post, but along the way I must have stopped taking notes, so I couldn’t find all of them despite “always” saving all of my variations. In fact my notebook says I meant to use a crepe pattern for the red but it doesn’t remotely look like that. Must go look for my brain some day.

I started out with the monks’ robes I mentioned, moving into paler tones before meaning to add more autumnal tones. Our talks that time immediately gave me the idea to use some of my palette test on a small scale, weaving bands which can be used as cuffs or as panels to widen clothes that no longer fit or just need to be spruced up. That is something I’ll be getting back to, but right now I’ve taken out my small loom for more painting space and weaving goes even slower than before.

I’d love to incorporate silk and other shiny yarns mixed in with textured thread, but until I find a product or service that sells, I work off my own shelves, no shopping. These are mostly 16/2 cotton with some linen (light blue) and 1-ply silk noil (red) thrown in.

The project was somewhat related to another idea I had, inspired by Japanese indigo / ikat, but without having to dye my threads. A lot of planning went into that, but the work went too slow to ever expand beyond the drawing board. Unless you weave as a full-time job I find it hard to finish up large projects before they become obsolete in my mind. I’ve been meaning to make a pair of loose trousers from this, but waiting to see if/where my weight settled so as to not waste my hard work by not being able to enjoy it myself. In fact I haven’t even dared check whether I have enough fabric!!

30/2 mercericed cotton on 4 shafts. I ended up adding too many white warp threads for how I originally intended the fabric to look, so if I did another version I’d use maybe 2/3 this amount or bundle them together for bigger “blobs. It’s not always possible to be certain when you look at the draft compared to the actual fabric, especially when you are weaving with cobweb.

Btw I loooove the fabric quality and drape from 30/2 but it takes forever and ever to set up the loom, not to mention if you do complex patterns, the weaving as well. All part of the process I usually say, but it does make me fantasize a little bit about “staff”.

Upcoming post: I must, must, must finish my wool yoga mat to put under my neoprene one, since my new exercises requires more padding between bones and floor!

13 thoughts on “Monk

  1. Gorgeous selection! My favorites are the sky blue and moss green combinations. Subtle, but the two colors blend without getting lost or muddy, and the textures look like they’d be comfortable to wear.

    1. Thanks! There’s actually only one blue/green fabric, it’s just very different front and back. Something I’ll ponder in the future to perhaps feature both sides in a garment?

      1. Oh, and here I think of myself as a pretty experienced weaver, but it didn’t occur to me that it might have different appearances on each side! It’s a beautiful piece.

    1. Thanks – I hope I don’t ruin them with my crummy sewing. As usual I had (and have) not thought through exactly how they’d be used before jumping in, I always think I can wing it!

  2. Wow! More than I can handle there with the loom! Beautiful fabric! While I probably could not make any of my own fabric- I love looking at all the beautiful Japanese fabric here. When we move I hope to have more sewing time. I come across so many pieces of old fabric, kimono etc…I have used some of what I have found to make some nice bags for my family. Right now everything is such a mess here with slowly packing and preparing for our upcoming move….hopefully in October.

    Anyway, sorry I rambled- lovely fabric!

    1. Thanks! I’d LOVE to go kimono scrap shopping in Japan some time. There’s also quite the custom for reusing fabric as patches or woven strips etc, isn’t there?

      1. Yes, there is a custom of using patches- especially with indigos.
        Actually I’m crazy about Japanese patchwork. I’ve been so busy with things here that I haven’t had the chance to have any “patchwork” in my life and blog about it recently but I fully intend to. I had an idea- maybe when we get settled here ( hopefully at least before winter) maybe you and I could do a trade- a few pieces of paper for kimono scraps? That might be fun. A swap!
        I’ve also used pieces of obi and sewed them into small bags for my granddaughter. I’ll look around for a photo. Obi are the belt-like things wrapped around the middle of the kimono.

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