Thursday, March 29, 2007

Easy Ikat

One of the workshops I took in Visalia was a one day affair on Easy Ikat by Bonnie Tarses. I've never done 'real' ikat so 'easy' ikat seemed just fine to me. Here is a picture of my easy ikat scarf on my loom being woven. It's a 3/2 cotton warp ; sett at 16 epi with 20/2 cotton weft.

Apparently in 'real' ikat, one plans a complex design often on a cartoon, lays out the warp onto the cartoon then carefully ties and dyes the warp in specific ways to get the design desired. At that point - untie, warp and weave.

Easy ikat avoids all that 'nasty' planning. One still ties and dyes...but you just design with what you already have. She does a demo for every class she teaches and just keeps the result for future pieces. Bonnie prefers virtual dyeing to actually dyeing herself...but will do the real thing - usually only in black. Here's a reference to her blog showing the yarn she dyed for our workshop. You can read more about easy ikat there. [If you hate to read she also did a podcast you can listen to - just google her name.]

Since it was only a day class, Bonnie had already done some dyeing and what we got to do was to 'spontaneously' create a warp using some of her dyed yarn. Our workshop fee only covered enough dyed yarn to do about half a scarf so we added some solid strips to make a nice pattern. It was all planned and created on the warping board. I shifted the yarns to get a pattern I liked and tied it up for latter warping onto the loom. Unfortunately it slipped a bit in the warping process but I still like the result. Even my DOH commented approvingly.

I wove the piece in about an hour or was a plain weave using only two shafts on my eight shaft loom. It would have taken less but I ripped [does one frog on a loom?] out about a foot or two at the beginning since I didn't like the warp color. I started out with white...and then changed to navy blue weft. The darker color looks better.

This workshop was fun and quite lively. It was my fifth day in Visalia and the perfect workshop for my last workshop of the conference. After that - it was onto shopping and finding the perfect silk...oh and perhaps some linen....tapestry bobbins...tapestry needles...loom accessories...

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

Hi Nicki,
I am duly impressed! Your scarf is wonderful, your blog delightful, your words inspiring, and your speed in completion awesome! I haven't gotten my ikat post done yet. I am now working on day 4 "Woven Words". I will be sure to link to your blog when I get to the ikat part, in addition to sending the link to the rest of the class. I will be curious to see if "Easy Ikat" becomes part of your bag of tricks for future weaving.