Navajo Weaving Progress

13 Inches To Go

TGH update 9

I have made it to the top third part of my weaving.  I have about 13 inches to weave before it’s finished.  I have enjoyed this weaving quite a bit.  As far as design goes; I wish I had made the pattern a bit more complicated, but I still like the clean lines and bold pattern.  It has not been without its challenges.  I shorted the warp by one pair, causing the center motifs to be off by one pair and narrowing the center inch by 1/4″.  I “Under-designed” the center and realized that it needed more only after I was in the middle of my weaving.  This caused me to back peddle and redesign the entire center area.  I also have a habit of adding too much weft.  While this can cause all sorts of maladies, I generally discover it when I develop a ripple and am able to straighten it out.  I did have one spot on my weaving that seemed to be climbing higher than the rest.  I couldn’t figure out why it kept happening in this one spot.  Eventually, I realized that it must have to do with the warp and not the weft.  I took a better look at it and noticed that my warp spacing was narrower in this spot than every where else.  So I spread them apart and packed my weft in each pick to keep them properly spaced, problem solved.  Keeping my design centered took a bit of measuring and planning once I hit the large central design.  I wanted the center to be in the center and not a bit above or below.  Since the top half of my weaving is a mirror image of the bottom, I need it to be centered and keep my stripes even.

Now that I’m at the top portion I still have a grocery list of things to keep an eye on and some personal weaving challenges to face.  For one thing, I still need to keep an eye on my measurements.  I don’t want to get to the top stripe only to find that its going to be an inch thicker than the bottom, or less for that matter.  I have to deal with filling in any valleys in my weaving and keep those horizontal lines as straight as I can.  A lot of people get bored with horizontal lines, but they are a real challenge.  They look like hell if they’re not straight, and while mine are not perfect, I like to think they look good.  Adding the correct amount of weft is always on my mind and sometimes a challenge, especially when I get into a zone.  My fell line is right at my line of sight, much easier than when it was well below it.  The challenge in that is the fact that it looks different and I want the weaving to have a consistent appearance.  At this phase of any weaving is my tendency to start thinking about my next weaving.  It’s a real challenge to stay focused on my current project and give it the attention it deserves.

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My future challenges will always be adding correct amount of weft, fill ins, keeping design even, and selvages.  The tippy top, will have to be treated special.  Navajo weaving uses a closed warp, so at the top my warp will not want to separate and I will eventually not be able to fit my batten in my shed.  I will need to take out my shed stick and my heddle and use a needle to weave with.  A lot of people stress over this aspect of weaving, but I look at it as an opportunity to get even  more “hands on” with my weaving.  I am taking the same time with the end that I took at the beginning when I warped it.  To see it finished properly is to show the world that I take pride in something that I spent countless hours creating.  It’s a time for contemplation and to think about the labor, challenges, lessons learned and enjoyment that it will give.

Through this weaving I have learned a lot more about adding the proper amount of weft.  It’s my intention to start weaving with finer weft and a higher warp sett so I can get get more detail and complexity to my weavings.  I have a color problem with my grey weft.  There are two shades of grey.  When I have this off the loom, I plan to go in with a needle and add some short pieces of weft and needle weave a couple picks here and there to “fade’ these colors together a little better so the eye isn’t immediately drawn to the harsh line that it currently has.  Stay tuned, there’s more to come.

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A website devoted to learning, sharing and teaching a wide range of fiber arts. Inkle, Tablet and Navajo style weaving, Spinning, Knitting, Crochet, Sewing and Lace Making. Silver Work, Beading and Tool Making grace my bench as well.

2 comments on “Navajo Weaving Progress
  1. Mark Johnson says:

    Some of your best work yet! Love the bold colors and overall presentation.

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