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Grid Top: Project Notes
At the Gather studio we always seem to have some type of new project on the go. For our projects, we usually start at the very beginning and design our work from scratch: from thread, to cloth, to garment. We are starting to document our projects more carefully so we can share them with you! We won't promise they'll always be perfect (don't zoom in on those selvedges) but hopefully they'll inspire you to start some projects of your own. Let us know what you think and share your ideas of what you would like to see for future projects.
For our first project we wanted to create a simple top that would transition well through the seasons. We wanted the top to look good with mid-high rise jeans and work for layering. Kim has been obsessing over the painter Agnes Martin and recently got to see her exhibition at the Esker Foundation in Calgary. Agnes Martin's prints below inspired the gridded form of this top.
While Kim was thinking about the best yarns to use for this project, Angela was making a pattern prototype out of a cream Ethiopian blanket with a gridded pattern. We decided to re-create the look but in a lighter fabric that was less transparent.
We decided to use a combination of our 2 ply an 4 ply silk noil yarns to create the subtle grid. Kim made a 35 inch wide warp at 18 epi for the mighty wolf loom. The warp was made with 16 2 ply ends, then 2 4 ply ends repeated. Straight threading was used for the plain weave plan.
Kim sampled using several different materials in the weft. We had success using the Safari cotton and some vintage silk fibres. Our favorite option was to keep things simple and use the same silk noil in the weft that we did in the warp. Kim wove 3.5 meters. Enough for 2 tops.
The cloth was wet finished in the washing machine and dried in the dryer on a low heat setting. The 35 inch width shrunk to about 31 inches which was just wide enough. Angela was working on drafting a pattern for a simple short sleeved version of her previously designed Cambric top which has a 2 piece construction and a slight high/low profile. (sits higher in the front and lower on the back). The neckline was reinforced with store bought linen scraps from another project.
The top turned out great! It has survived many wears and is a wardrobe staple. The little details make this top really work. The neckline sits well, the side slits make it comfortable to wear and easy to get on an off.
Angela & Kim