Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Treadling Conundrum

Woven Yesterday: 2.5"
Total Woven To Date: 31"

The whole time I have been weaving this piece, I have not liked the way the first treadle works. The upper part of the shed was really cockeyed; some warp ends were raised significantly higher than others. And those higher warp ends were as a result stretched much more tightly than the others. On the other hand the lower part was fine. Since there was enough room for the shuttle to go through without catching, I didn't worry about it too much. But it did niggle at me a bit. I worried about those overly stretched warp ends. Still, after the first day or two of weaving, the only warp ends that broke were the floating selvedges. I didn't feel any pressure to try to figure out what was wrong.

This piece is a 4-shaft crackle threading but it is threaded on 8-shafts. Even so, it is still a 4-shaft crackle threading, just spread out. With this 4-shaft crackle, I need to tie up only 4 pattern treadles. For ease of treadling, however, I tied up 8 treadles. Treadles 4 though 8 simply repeat the tie-up of treadles 1 through 4.

On this part of the weaving I have been treadling 1, 7 followed by 2, 8. This is equivalent to treadling 1,3 followed by 2,4. Treadling the first way simply lets me use two feet more easily.

Today I discovered that there is a difference in the way the treadles 1 and 5 raise the shafts. Perhaps I noticed this because I have finally started working to develop the habit of watching what shafts go up and down when I push down on a treadle. On treadles 1 and 5 the tie-up is identical. But when I treadle on 1, the first set of raised shafts rise higher than the second set of raised shafts. When I press on treadle 5, the same shafts, of course, rise, but this time all 4 rising shafts rise up the same distant. The result is that the top of the shed is even. No overly stretched warp ends.

I got down and looked at how I had put on the tie up cords. They were placed identically on both treadles. I smooshed around with my hand so that I could clearly see the cords themselves. Everything the same. I stepped on the treadles again. The rising shafts on treadle 1 now rose up to the same height............... All I can figure is that somehow the cords had gotten twisted and when I smoothed/smooshed at them with my hands to see them better, they got untwisted.

I am glad I have figured this out because today I have been treadling 5 and 7 instead of 1 and 7. I started doing that to ease the excess tension on some of the warp ends that was happening when I treadled 1 and 7. Buy treadling 1 and 7 is much easier.

And I am glad I figured this out because this is not the first time I have had this kind of problem with a particular treadle.

1 comment:

Leigh said...

I love it when problem solving is successful, even when we aren't sure how we did it! The treadles are sometimes a mystery to me and often occupy much of my mental activity during weaving. I only wish I had a more mechanical mind!