I have just published a new lace shawl design – Gujarati Diamond shawl:
It was designed in collaboration with Lindsay Roberts – The Border Tart (not a real Border Tart, we both live in the Scottish Borders, where the tart originates). Lindsay developed her range of natural hand-dyed indigo yarns, Blue Moon, after participating in a textile residency/exchange in India. The shawl was designed specifically for Lindsay’s indigo dyed lace weight yarn, and it seemed only right that the design should be inspired by India.
These are Lindsay’s Blue Moon yarns:
The different shades of blue are created as the indigo becomes weaker during the dying process. Unlike acid dyes where the yarn sucks all the dye out of the water; indigo slowly fades, so the strongest, deepest blues emerge first, and subsequent dye batches gradually end up pale blue. Indigo has to be oxidised to bring out the blue, a process I explained in my blog post – Natural Dye workshop.
A semi-solid colour is achieved by immersing the yarn in the dye and not stirring, so the dye is absorbed unevenly, which creates a lovely soft ripple effect when knitted:
These are her lace weight yarns:
She uses dip-dyeing and tie-dyeing techniques on her 4ply sock yarns to create different kinds of variegated effects:
Lindsay also dyes heavier weights of yarns with indigo. The most time-consuming part of the process is rinsing, it takes many rinses to get all that loose blue out.
Lindsay showed me the beautiful textiles she brought back from India, some stunning embroidery:
This is a purse:
The free-form shapes and the added buttons are fun on this one, a bodice of a child’s dress:
I love how unplanned the designs are – the embroiderer clearly ran out of space at the end of the central panel and had to squish down the size of the squares to fit the space:
This is a block print sampler piece:
Here is some exquisite finely tie-dyed fabric:
I love the run-off at the end, which almost looks like bobbing shore lights reflected in water.
Here come the diamonds – a woven geometric design:
This was a piece given to Lindsay as a leaving present, and is a good example of typical motifs used in Kutch, Gujarat:
These are also Kutch motifs:
You can tell which motifs inspired my shawl design:
Even the triangles from the textile border appear on my edging:
Lindsay and I had a fun time on the photoshoot for the shawl; I chose to go the Monteath Mausoleum, in the Borders, as it has quite an Indian feel to it:
As it turns out, it is deliberately Indian style, as General Sir Thomas Monteath, who lies here, was an army officer in the Bengal Infantry.
It was quite an endeavor getting up the hill in a long white dress, and lovely to see the stone lions when we got there. Awake lion:
We particularly liked sleepy lion, so we had to include him in the photos:
There is a spectacular view over the Borders countryside:
The shawl is a shallow semi-circle, correctly a semi-oval, nearly a crescent, and it’s very wide:
Perfect to cover your head:
Or for elegantly draping around your neck to dress up a pair of jeans:
Or for talking to lions: