My desk is covered with a few weaving books, samples I wove in a workshop on color, graph paper and my laptop as I work on a new design. A weave structure called bumberet has been on and off my mind for several years and the time has come to give it a go.
The information I have at hand has given me a basic grasp of this 3-thread weave structure. I understand the logic of how to thread the loom, how one treadling sequence creates chevrons while another creates chain-like ribs.
But as I consider colors and how I want to design the stripes, I feel stumped.
Weaving is structure and color. The same two colors look different in plain weave than in twills and different again in lace weaves. Although I’ve analyzed the samples from the workshop and noticed that the two sides of the cloth can look different, that some stripes pop and others don’t, I’m not sure yet how to put on my spin on this information.
Start somewhere, a voice in my head says and something loosens inside me.
The best way for me to understand a weave structure is by weaving. I need the hands-on experience as much as, if not more than, the heads-on analysis. I cut myself some slack and remember that my understanding of how color works in bumberet will develop over time, just as it has with plain weave and twills.
I decide to give myself plenty of permission: If, after I weave this warp of 10 towels, I like bumberet, I can explore it further. If I don’t, I can let it go and do something different.
Starting moves the energy.
I remember some towels I wove years ago and hunt around for the sample. Since I already know I like these autumnal reds, oranges, yellows and greens together, this feels like a comfortable starting place.
Sure enough, as I weave bumberet comes to life.
I watch the chevrons form in one towel. I observe which colors pop in another. I notice a different sequence of stripes on one side of a towel than on the other.
As bumberet starts to make sense, questions arise: What does the cloth look like if I alternate chevrons with chain-like ribs? What if I organize the colors this way?
These questions become the starting point for my next bumberet design. No doubt these next towels will deepen my understanding of bumberet and inspire new questions and ideas.
Pick a place and start.
P.S. Speaking of starting, thank you for your response to Whimsy-watch, a subscriber-only email with information about what’s hot off the loom and/or new in the online store. I’m honored that so many of you have signed up for this new offering.