Monday, October 12, 2015

Another Queen's Shawl

My latest large weaving project was another spinner's guild queen's shawl.  I've posted about this in the past but for those of you new to the program, I am a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, a medieval recreation group.  In my kingdom, Atlantia, we have a spinners guild (the Company of the Silver Spindle) of which I am a part.  Every time we have a new, first-time queen, the guild spins wool to weave a shawl for that queen.  This is the third such shawl project for which I have done the weaving.

I have done a shocking lack of research for this particular shawl (I got a bad case of I'm-a-peer-now-I don't-have-to), rather I chose a structure that looked pretty and interesting (M's and W's).  As it turns out, M's and W's is a period threading, but the reason I don't have sources is that most of them are in German or Danish or some other language I do not speak.  Also I only have a 4-shaft loom and many of the extant textiles are done on 8 or more shafts.  There is a good article on one such pattern in this issue of Medieval Textiles.

Molly the Wonder Pup "helping" me warp the loom
She "helps" with the weaving and spinning
as well.
The most interesting thing (to me anyway) about the M's and W's threading is the huge range of complex looking patterns you can get from just one threading.  I chose a fairly simple treadling pattern for the shawl, but one which I think turned out well.

The warp is two-ply handspun superwash wool and the weft is a light grey Jaggerspun Heather.  The current queen's colors are blue and white.  In heraldry, white is technically silver so I elected to use the grey which I think provides lovely contract but also more depth than a flat white would have done.  The warp was set at 16 EPI.

The finished piece has very nice drape and an amazing sheen.  Overall I am pleased though I am still hoping to do at least one shawl project that is closer in structure to a period textile (singles throughout, documentable two-color wool weave).  It would be really amazing to do one on the warp weighted loom with appropriate headers and everything.  I'm not quite there yet with the WW loom but it's good to have goals.

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