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02/17/2014 / accfiber

To warp a plaiden wab

Beth here again.  I’m in my first semester of thesis, and I’ll be honest, I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing. But that’s a blog post for another time.  In the meanwhile, I want to show you what I recently finished weaving.

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This is where it started.  Well, no, technically it started with my family’s genealogical research and tracking one line back to Scotland in the 1800s.  But even though my however-many-greats grandfather came from Scotland we apparently aren’t Scottish because we don’t have a clan affiliation.  This idea started brewing when I had to write a research paper in Weaving II and chose tartans as my subject, reading about how they were woven and how they were important to Scottish history.  I wanted to create a tartan for my family.  However, as I read more about it, I realized that it would difficult to register a surname tartan (with The Scottish Register of Tartans), so I decided to create a personal tartan instead.

ImageMan, it’s really hard to get all the colors to show up correctly in the same image because purple throws everything off.

I chose my favorite colors and then spent hours playing with the tartan designer at ScotWeb.  While someone who knew me well might think that I’d use orange as the main color, given my love for it, I picked the purple and blue instead, knowing that orange doesn’t go well with my complexion. 

Using a much smaller yarn and a much higher epi/ppi (measurements akin to thread count, if you aren’t familiar with weaving lingo) than I’m used to, as well as wrangling four colors at once, it seemed to take forever.  But I was constantly amazed that I was creating something so fine.  I often stopped just to touch it and look at the angle of the twill.

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But finish it I did, and when I showed it to one of my friends with the declaration, “look what I made,” her response was, “this looks like fabric.”  Yes.  Yes, it does.  Because that’s what it is.  She couldn’t comprehend that I’d made the fabric itself, even though she knew I was a weaver, and she herself is a knitter.  I was pleased.

But now I have about five and a half yards of my own personal tartan and plans to turn it into an Aboyne skirt, which is the skirt worn by women in Highland dance.  It’s different than a kilt in that it’s gathered instead of pleated and you can see them in this image from aboynegames.com.

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Let’s hope I do just as well with the sewing.

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