Editor's Note: Still in the mode of thinking about shadow weave because of the two recently released video courses featuring Jannie Taylor, Introduction to Shadow Weave and Designing Shadow Weave, we found a beautiful shawl project by Jannie in the January/February 2012 issue of Handwoven that combines shadow weave with spaces in the warp and weft. Those spaces add mystery to the patterning in the fabric and a lightness to the shawl overall. Two drafts for the shawl are included in the project, one for a 4-shaft version and one for the original 8-shaft version.
Inspiration from Designer Jannie Taylor
Shadow weave has played a major role in my weaving life for over twenty years. These “Windows and Shadows” shawls take advantage of shadow weave’s alternating colors and optical effects.
In 1981, I had been weaving for about five years and was looking for something new to weave on my 4-shaft loom. Someone suggested I try shadow weave. I had no idea that this suggestion would lead me to take the first step in an exploration that continues to this day. Just about every project I designed for the next several years ended up being in shadow weave. Every time I thought about a project, it somehow had to be in shadow weave—from scarves and jackets to placemats and napkins—in colors both high and low in contrast.
I did finally move on to other weaves, but every once in a while I just have to design something new in shadow weave. The Windows and Shadows shawls are the end result of a problem that I had been thinking about for some time: How to combine lightness and warmth with an interplay of color in something fun to wear. With the shawls, I consider the problem solved!