Monday, July 9, 2007

Crackle tieups

Last time I talked about 2 tie-ups that I used for the crackle sampling. Here they are in diagram form:

The first tie-up (on the left) is a typical (but not only) tie-up for 8 shaft crackle. On it you can weave 8 blocks.

The second tie-up (on the right) is a tie-up which turns an 8-shaft threading into the equivalent of a 4-shaft sampler. On it you can weave 4 blocks.

Note that in both tie-ups, the last 2 treadles are for plain weave. Pay no attention to them; they do not matter for this discussion.

Looking closely at this second tie-up closely shows how this happens. Think of shafts 1-4 as one group of shafts. And think of shafts 5-8 as a second group of shafts. Every time 2 shafts in the first group (1-4) are tied up, the equivalent shafts of the second group (5-8) are also tied up. For example, when shafts 1 and 2 are tied up, so are shafts 5 and 6.

Next, notice that tie-ups in rows 5-8 simply duplicate the tie-ups in rows 1-4. I might have actually treadled only treadles 1-4 when I had the treadles tied up in this way. In fact, I did actually treadle all 8; doing that just seemed easier.

Question: why would I even consider weaving a 4-shaft crackle on an 8-shaft loom, when weaving an 8-shaft crackle gives me twice as many blocks? OK, I cannot really answer this right now except to say that for what I am doing I like the 4-shaft blocks better. Not a very helpful answer? I agree. Let's see if I can do better.

8-shaft crackle creates block designs, things like crosses, flowers, waves. You do not get blocks across the entire width. Here is an example of some crawdowns resulting from treadling variations of the 8-shaft crackle I wove for the Complex Weaver's crackle exchange:

The blocks are broken up by areas of plain weave.

Compare this with this 4-shaft drawdown. Here there are no plain weave areas setting off blocks of either weft emphasis or warp emphasis structures. So with this kind of structure the focus can be on color play instead of on the design revealed in the structure.

These kinds of blocks can be done with 6-shaft threadings as well. However I have not figured out how they might be possible with 8-shaft threadings. Perhaps they cannot be. Perhaps I have yet to discover that they can be.


Leigh said...

So it's color versus pattern (??) I'm still trying to understand 8 shaft anything so I will have chew on this for awhile. Like most other things, understanding will probably reveal itself in the doing. I did go back and read your "8 Shaft Crackle" post after reading this and I understood that one better. It's like fitting pieces of a puzzle together.

Peg in South Carolina said...

And I am still fitting the pieces together, Leigh!

Dorothy said...

Hi Peg, I can only see one tie up diagram, the one equivalent to 4 shafts.

I'm interested by your thoughts about 4 and 8 shaft patterns. I think if you always use maximum shafts you rule out many possibilities. Yes, you can do all sorts of things with 8 shafts, but always the question is does using 8 improve the design as a whole?

There's more to interesting in design than just the complexity.

If you like the 4 shaft effect better, this must come down to the different interactions between the design elements.

It seems to me (this is something I'm thinking about a lot at the moment) that design comes from the yarn(s) used and colours and textures as well as weave pattern. I think a design that we like gets some sort of harmony right between these elements. Yes, it is difficult to define what makes something look and feel balanced and "right", but many people feel they know it when they see it.