Now we’re into 2022 Gretchen’s story plaid has finally been hand woven. There was a small delay as I finished an earlier commission. It was important to dedicate the time needed to make this plaid personal and a high quality textile to be loved for many years.
Here’s a few of Gretchen’s inspiration images
I have connected with Gretchen on Instagram for over a year, we share a love of nature and a romantic nostalgic feeling in our accounts. Working together on Gretchen’s story plaid was a lot of fun. I hope you’ll enjoy the following behind the scenes images and thoughts. If you’d like to catch up on the beginning of this journey check out the first blog post HERE.
Gretchen’s Story Plaid
Gretchen had let me know she wanted a shawl that would be cosy and soft. We decided on a thicker sett than I normally weave. It meant that I had to adjust the number of threads in the weft (where I throw the shuttle), creating an unbalanced plaid that still looked balanced. Having a textile woven by hand means that these small details can be manipulated to suit the individual. Gretchen’s plaid will not only look unique but its qualities are designed to suit her needs. This shawl is made with 100% Merino Lambswool using a British yarn.
The details – telling a story
The plaids I weave are called ‘story plaids’ for the detailing added. The colours chosen are specific to the client but the decorative details create a truly unique piece. In Scotland the spinning and weaving of textiles were historically centered around story telling. It feels natural to weave story telling throughout these shawls. In a world where fast fashion gets centre stage I want to create something that is truly personal. They are created with slow traditional and artisan methods using natural materials. One off, heirloom pieces.
Gretchen’s Story Plaid – the details
Gretchen has two children that we wanted to represent in the story plaid. We discussed a few ideas but landed on including two small glass beads within the weaving. They are ‘hidden’ amongst the criss-crossed pattern. They may go unnoticed at first but add a tactile element. Not big enough to make wearing uncomfortable but a secret part to the story that means something to Gretchen.
A beautifully illustrated version of Snow White was part of Gretchen’s inspiration. The story has a part where the mother sits at the window waiting for her husband, she is stitching pearls and thinking of potential future children. We decided on a simple stitched symbol that would represent mother and child/motherhood and to include fresh water pearls along the design.
The final story detail to this plaid was a set of three hand blended and hand spun yarn inlays. The number three is important to Gretchen. The colours of deep red merino wool with wisps of light and deep pink nettle and hemp fibres represented the pomegranates shared in front of the fire and the roses on the mantle piece in the cold months.
I hope you enjoyed seeing how a story plaid might come together. I will create more story plaids during 2022. If you’d like to know more about the hand woven textiles and Feather & Hay’s inspiration – Join my mailing list below. I will never send spam and you can unsubscribe whenever you feel it is time to say goodbye!