Commission: Creating a Bespoke Plaid for Gretchen

Gretchen has a beautiful account on Instagram. Her imagery conjures a nostalgic mood of motherhood and her home in France. She takes time to enjoy small moments filled with exquisite details that whisk us away to the world she enjoys.

To begin the process I asked Gretchen to tell me about a place, time, mood or feeling. Photos are a great starting point and she shared the most wonderful images of winter in Burgundy.

Plaid for Gretchen: How Gretchen described her inspiration…

I was thinking something inspired by winter in Burgundy. It’s my favorite season here, with walks through ruined medieval castles and the cloisters of my favorite nearby abbey. Rosehips growing everywhere, pomegranates, bare grapevines, frost, moss, and lots of red wine and candlelight. I always keep a bouquet of pink roses on our mantle through the season to remind us of blooming things in the midst of winter, and my daughter gets a pomegranate for special occasions. I tend to only have beeswax candles lit in the dark mornings and evenings. 

With a plaid design the warp threads (think vertical) will be mirrored in the warp threads (think horizontal). The pattern is a criss-cross of colours. The colours are selected to blend and feel harmonious but with bands that accent the cloth and draw the eye. The joy of having a plaid bespoke woven means that each thread can be individually selected.

First I use an IT programme to create Gretchen’s plaid design. This demonstrates the colour order and over all pattern. From there we were able to work on the best combination for Gretchen’s plaid. Next I created yarn examples, blending threads together on a card to show how they might work together.

Next time see the design on the loom. Follow Gretchen and I as we turn her ideas into a hand woven plaid, telling a story of winter in Burgundy, France.

Do you like the idea of your own hand woven plaid?

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