I wanted to design a tartan that would honour the Boxer dog, and especially my own darling Chummy.
Chummy modelling her tartan
Boxers can be 'flashy', which means they show a lot of white (some are all-white, too). There are 'fawn' Boxers, so the blonde and warm ginger colours I chose reflect that. But some have brindle coats, and they ALL have black noses -- so I needed black, as well.
Boxer Beauty tartan, computer version
I played with many designs, on paper with coloured pencils, until I found a composition I liked. This is it -- though at half-scale, since the sett I registered is suitable for long yardage such as they use in making kilts.
This was officially registered as a new tartan by the Scottish Register of Tartans in October 2013.
Boxer Beauty, woven
The scarf, at top, is woven of worsted wool. The cushion cover below is woven with cotton. The different materials give a slightly different effect. The weaver is Molly Manaugh of Alaska. She does a beautiful job!
Sketch for Lands of Liberty
I had ideas about a freedom tartan and got my coloured pencils out....
This design was pretty, but I rejected it.
Lands Of Liberty, computer version
My other tartan design is also about love, but this time, love of freedom. It represents the free countries of my three citizenships: the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States. I wanted a sort of delft blue instead of a very dark blue to represent the UK and American flags (Canada is of course represented by the red and white, but literally and figuratively there is 'overlap' of colours!). I wanted a less somber and more vibrant, even electric, effect. Registered October 2013.
Lands Of Liberty, woven
This shows very well an interpretation of the design, in consultation with the weaver, who chose yarns that she thought best approached the colours I had specified.
Yarn choices for each tartan
The weaver sent these suggested colours for each of the patterns, and I chose the ones I thought best. One or two of the selections were obvious; the others I really had to compare and think about.
My two tartans
I think the key colour in both of these is the white. It lets the designs 'breathe', making the eternal interlock of stripes and squares a playful thing, not a bore. The white seems to glow, too, in natural light.
My tartan patterns (or 'setts') woven into cushion covers ('pillows', Americans call them) and displayed on the weaver's website. If you are interested in having a tartan pattern woven, please visit A Tartan Weaver. As these are hand-produced goods (the weaving and the sewing, depending on the product) wait times can be long. But the results are worth it!