For this next batch of cloth, I've decided to expand my comfort zone again. I've gotten into a rhythm with my bookmatched cloth that's dark in the center and light at the edges. That design is beautiful, but I want to try something new.
This next batch of cloth will be dark in the center and at the edges, fading through light and back to dark as it travels toward the edges.
There are a few major challenges with this:
1. I've never wound the edges, which require less tension, before winding the sections next to them. I'm just praying it works out OK.
2. The gradations need to happen twice as fast. I'm going to do my best to keep them from looking too abrupt and "stripey".
3. I need to make sure the bookmatching is correct.
This last part kind of scrambled my brain for a while, until I found a way to describe the direction that each section lies and make sure the sections all lie correctly.
I created a system a couple of beams back that helps make sure my bookmatching is right, that the sewing is easy, and that the bookmatched pattern is eye-catching as a design element. I put one obviously different thread near, but not on one of the edges. In this case, it's the reddish thread.
Going from there, my coding is pretty easy. I draw an arrow pointing at the edge with the red thread. Every other section coming from the center should have the red thread on the right.
I want an even number of sections on each side so that my bookmatched sections appear in pairs. This means that I wound an "extra" set of sections in the center of the beam, leaving 14 sections, 7 pairs, on each side.
I used my coding system to follow the direction that each section should point, ultimately verifying my mental calculation: the outside section should have the red thread pointing toward the selvedge.
With that puzzle behind me, I'm ready to start tomorrow by tackling the next problem: changing threads to give a smooth but rapid gradient.