Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Next Thing

I feel a new series coming on. I know they are imminent when I'm making something very fun, and have lots of ideas I can't incorporate into the existing project.

Here's the first:


A silk cut pile hat. Looking down at the top:

hat top

Cool, huh? It has been fun to weave, despite fear and trepidation. At several points in the process of weaving this, I had doubts. It was, as you may have guessed, math related. First. how do you find the diameter of a circle to which you know the circumference (I have an in-house consultant who helped here)? Then, how do you make pieces fit that area, especially with something as fluid and variable as weaving? Will the weaving depth remain constant as the number of knots decreases (the answer turned out to be: no)? To reassure myself, I stopped and made mockups:

hat mockups

A small paper hat top, a larger paper hat top, with details of the patterning, a full real size paper hat, and a full size fabric hat (rough sewn). I kept getting the reassurance I needed, so I forged onward.

The inspiration for this hat came from my friend Kathryn. She knits hats, inspired by Peruvian pile hats (on her website, click on *teaching schedule* and you'll see a picture of her, wearing one of her hats!). A few summers ago, she asked me to teach her knotted pile, so she could weave a pile hat. I have thought about just how to do that ever since.

Her hats are inspired by ones like this:

Peruvian hat

This photo is from the book Peruvian Textiles:

Peruvian Textiles

But Kathryn saw the Real Things (tm) in the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco, many years ago. I have not seen them, just photos in books, and Kathryn's interpretations.

The Peruvian hats have a square aspect, and I have thought about how to weave that. I think it would be slightly easier than the star-shaped top I eventually wove, but then, I haven't tried it yet. It will probably show up as part of the series-to-come.

My direct inspiration came from this book:

Afghan book2

which I saw at Convergence in Denver. The Afghani hats have round tops, some divided into sections, four or five or even six. I chose five sections, and then fussed my way through the weaving.

The tops of the five sections do not *quite* meet: so there is a bit of knotless netting to bring the top closed. Fitting, that knotless netting: the original Peruvian hats are not knitted or woven: they are netting, with pile inserted into the loops (this information I gleaned from Raoul d'Harcourt).

So this hat comes full circle (a pun! and unintentional!), from the Peruvian inspiration, through Kathryn's fertile executions in knitting, to my first fumblings in pile weaving, and then the circle closes with netting.

Fitting I think. Except the hat. It doesn't fit. (It's a teensy tiny bit too small). So, on to the next hat.


Blogger Sheila said...

Simply fascinating and your hat should be in a museum some day. It is a work of art, for certain.

9:31 AM  
Blogger Katherine said...

I have a very small head and I will volunteer to take that hat off your hands!

12:02 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Your weaving is just amazing. That's one beautiful hat!

1:01 PM  
Blogger cindy said...

Your colors and weaving are so beautiful. I can only imagine what it looks like in person....

1:45 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

Afghan huh. Fits right in with what I told you Anne and I immediately thought of at EP. Does look fun even to those of us who are weaving impaired.

2:02 PM  
Blogger Spindlers2 said...

That is gorgeous! without anything for scale, I at first thought it was a pouffe, which would also be gorgeous but a lot more work. Still, if the next hat turns out to be too big.......

2:19 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

Truly gorgeous, and I would think massively saleable, which could be a comfort when you have too many ideas. I can't wait to see them.

Nor should you omit the matching hat-and-bag set, if it wouldn't get too boring.

By the way, I am enjoying the Marla Mallett book. You and that arm-twisting!
Except now I want to make a rug.

8:13 AM  
Blogger Spinweave said...

Lovely, as usual. You continue to be an inspiration. When does your Color by Number part II come out? I have the Basic book and love it.

-Kate in VT

8:02 AM  
Blogger Lisa S said...

I am gobsmacked.
Yeah, I want part II as well...

4:18 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

I have no interest in cut pile - or THOUGHT I had no interest in cut pile until now. That is just the type of finicky detailed project that would totally float my boat. I might have to come for a visit and see you make another one of those.

3:33 PM  

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