Pueblo Inspiration

Inspired by that famous shirt, found near the Tonto Ruins in Arizona (check out http://www.statemuseum.arizona.edu/coll/photographic/tonto_shirt.shtml), I’ve created a shawl. The material was ‘sock yarn’ hand dyed by Glenna Dean of Abiquiu Dye Studios. It began as an extra long hang of yarn, eight ft in circumference. I asked Glenna to do a special ‘rainbow dye’, that is, to dye in sections, creating a multicoloured warp.

The warp, set on my frame.

The warp, set on my frame.

I set the warp in circular warp fashion, a bit longer than the eight foot length from the dye vats. This off-set the color pattern a bit, creating diagonal stripes. The cloth grows outward from a central starting line.

The first foot or so, forming around that central starting line.

The first foot or so, forming around that central starting line.

Right off the frame, yes, it did want to curl. A wash, and then drying flat took care of that tendency.

Right off the frame, yes, it did want to curl. A wash, and then drying flat took care of that tendency.

Here’s the finished shawl. I knotted the ends to form a fringe.

The colours agreed with the pattern

The colours agreed with the pattern

.... on both ends of the shawl

…. on both ends of the shawl

Now I’m working on a proper replica of that Tonto Shirt. I’m collaborating with the Arizona State Museum, who permitted me to photograph details of the shirt, and Louie Garcia, who will hand-spin the required amount of cotton (no small feat).

Not wanting to mis-calculate the yardage required, as well as verifying my pattern-writing skills, I’m presently working on a ‘practice piece’.

The first several inches of that practice shirt.

The first several inches of that practice shirt.

Looking at details of the original, I noted that the loops from front and back, where they meet at the shoulder line, are looped around a common thread. This made me think of Peter Collingwood’s ‘false circular warp’ setup. That’s the way I set up this shirt. It means I need a frame that is only half as long.

Now, re-examining photos I have of the front and back, I see that the back was turned over before being attached to the front. I’ll not be able to use this common starting line as the shoulder seam. I’ll have to separate front from back, flip one over, and then attach at the shoulder.

And, in other news, a St Boniface businessman challenged me to make a ‘ceinture fléchée necktie’. Never one to shrink in the face of a challenge, I had to try.

It's a fair bit of work, making this a very pricy neck tie ... but stunning.

It’s a fair bit of work, making this a very pricy neck tie … but stunning.

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