A Peacock Project

Also an accountability post.

First off, what do I mean by ‘peacock project’? A peacock project is a project with no right to exist other than showing off. Much like a male peacock’s tail. There’s no reason for it to be that pretty or complex. It just is. And so here we are.

I’ve decided to weave myself (mundanely) a scarf and (SCA purposes) a veil.  I am weaving it entirely out of silk in three colors (red, blue, and silver). When I am done it is going to be iridescent in three directions depending on how you look at it. I am weaving it out of a complex looking point twill. On top of that I’m going to do lampas work.

I’m doing it in 2 months. I need to weave 1 yard per month of it to get it done. This is…not a small order. I’m starting the warp today.

The plan is to warp it in red. Then where the center patterning is add my silver warp for the lampas hedgehogs (my badge in the SCA and the animal most people associate with me). As I only have a 4 harness table loom I have to do the lampas as pick up work.

How this will need to get warped:

540 strands of red silk warp. 40 of the twill edging + floating tabby edge, followed by 460 strands in the regular diamond twill pattern, then another 40 of the twill edging plus floating tabby edge. In the middle of that nonsense there are 21 groups of 14 strands of silver for the lampas hedgehogs. Originally I’d wanted to do them in sterling, then looked at my reserves of sterling silver and realized I’d need to order more. That’s a no go, I’m not spending additional money for this. So silver silk it is.

How this is going to weave up (note the multiple steps per pick here):

  1. Lift heddles per twill pattern.
  2. Throw silver threads until running into the hedgehogs.
  3. Lower heddle.
  4. Pick out hedgehog pattern and that twill row center pattern using pick up sticks.
  5. Throw silver weft through shed created.
  6. Remove pick up stick
  7. Raise heddle for twill pattern
  8. Throw silver weft through remaining length of warp.
  9. Beat into place
  10. Throw blue weft through shed, careful not to cross the silver weft AND go over all the silver warp threads.
  11. Beat into place.

Yes. 11 individual motions per pick with the requirement that I do two different pick up patterns across 460 threads without fucking it up. For 2 yards. Admittedly there is about an inch in the beginning that is just “Lift shed, throw two wefts, beat” and an inch at the end of the same. And 4 picks per repeat of that. And the ground cloth under the hedgehogs will only be red/blue iridescent rather than red/blue/silver but this was the only way I could figure out to do it that wouldn’t require a 4th color of silk (which I do not have, again not buying things) or muddy the hedgehog by having the silver under it.

I have no reason to own a cloth like this. None. But fuck it I want something pretty. Super pretty. Stupidly complex and pretty. So I’m going to do it damnit.

too.

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