The Moon Phases Story Plaids are my second set. A Story Plaid is a based on a traditional plaid pattern designed from scratch – selecting colours that reflect a wild aspect of Scotland’s landscape. I hand weave each piece in my studio on the outskirts of the Angus Glens, skirting the Cairngorm National Park. All Feather & Hay textiles are made using 100% natural fibre yarns from British mills. If you’d like to read more about what Story Plaids are – click here.
Moon Phases Story Plaids
You cannot wander far before confronting a body of water in Scotland. From powerful rivers to the glass like surface of a still loch: the experience is magical. This set of three story plaids combine colours of a deep and rich body of water. The design mixes a very dark blue with hints of charcoal grey and warm earthy browns.
As daylight fades and the wind drops the surface of a loch becomes calm and still. The high hills are outlines of deep charcoal and blue and the silvery light of a moon strikes out against the quiet waters. This is the time of a dozen moons and a million strands of light. Of power and fragility. It is stillness and movement. The three shawls share the phases of the moon and the power of light reflected many times without losing its beauty. Each piece is connected to the other but also stands alone.
I knew this time I wanted the pieces to work together AND work as individual pieces. The story started with the pull towards Scotland’s waters. How they can change from soft greys to deep charcoals and rich blues. Whether it is the sea, a river or a loch the surface of the water’s appearance is impacted by light. From here I decided the moon phases would work perfectly across the hand woven textiles.
Hand weaving the plaid
Hand weaving fabric provides control over the quality and sustainability of the textile. There is a magic that comes from handling each thread multiple times. The Story Plaids have at least 1080 threads to create the warp. I need to measure, thread and tie them onto the loom before even the throwing of the shuttle begins.
The Story Plaids unite multiple textile artistry skills. The embellishments that share the finer details of each story are a mix of hand stitching and felting. The loom provides tension for me to work on. This set of Moon Phases Story Plaids needed careful planning. It was important to plan where the moons would sit. I wanted them to arc over the three pieces as a moon’s reflection would across the water’s surface during its monthly journey. As each piece is woven one at a time I measured where the moon embellishment should go and how this would interact with the plaid design. Each moon needed to sit inside a block within the criss-cross pattern.
The design also includes inlays of ‘light’ from the moon. This was a combination of hand spun yarn and finer doubled up yarn.
The three Moon Phases Story Plaids
At this point (third week in May) I am weaving the second piece of the three. I will be back to show how the designs work together. I’m slightly on tender hooks of it all coming together – so keep all you fingers and toes crossed!