A couple weeks ago, I wrote about my thrums dilemma and eventual inspiration to weave a bench pad in rosepath boundweave. On Friday, I pulled the pad off the loom and yesterday, finished the hemming.
The bed covering in the painting “Lallah Rookh” is my source for inspiration. It has, as one of its motifs, an elongated flame shape on a solid ground. Because I had a limited supply of thrums for patterning, I focused on that shape rather than trying to duplicate the entire covering. I supplemented the thrums with other wools from my stash for additional colors. From this image, I went to past magazine issues for specifics.
I have seen different tie-up methods for boundweave. Tom Knisely threads boundweave in the typical rosepath arrangement and treadles the colors in blocks which float two ends up, two down. (see “A Boundweave Rug” p. 34 November/December 2010 Handwoven). This results in a reversible fabric.
However, I chose the tie-up from “Rugs in the Scandinavian Way” in the May/June 1987 Handwoven Magazine for no other reason than I just wanted to see how it would work. Here, Phyllis Waggoner uses a boundweave tie-up that lifts three ends against one. With this set-up, the backside is definitely a backside. Her rug shows several design bands in varying colors, one of which was a distinctive flame motif. Sometime, that would be a fun rug to weave in its entirety, using the block treadling to produce a more reversible fabric, but for now, I needed to focus on that flame pattern and maybe a smaller diamond.
Weaving progressed slowly, not just because boundweave is a slow weave, but because I was working with weft in one-yard lengths. Lots of loose ends! Every end had to be overlapped and tucked to the back of the web while weaving. Here is where I made a decision based on expediency: because the back side would not be seen, indeed would be tied down to my loom bench, I decided not to worry about all those loose ends. If this had been a piece on which both sides would be seen, I would have used a needle to weave those ends in after taking the piece off the loom.
Because I didn’t know how long the flame motif would end up, after weaving the hem and header, I started the border just a couple inches in from the beginning. As it turned out, one repeat was going to be too short, and if I wove a second one, the pad wouldn’t fit on my bench. An added smaller diamond on one end resulted in a more useable length, even though it does bother my “symmetry” sensibilities a bit.
This was definitely an exercise in problem-solving that resulted in something useful—which is what I wanted from my thrums.
What challenges are you working on this week? Share your discoveries!