Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Alice wrote a post especially for me recently. The post resulted from my comment on an earlier post of hers on shaft envy. Here Alice posted a very interesting draft. Go here to see it. The first two versions of her draft are for a 9-shaft loom, one a floor loom, the other a table loom. the third version is a 16-shaft version. This version is a straight twill threading and all the designing is done in the tieup/treadling. This is important because it means that there is lots and lots you can do with a straight twill threading with no need to change anything but the tieup and threading. And that was the real point of her post.

Well, I have an 8-shaft loom.

I certainly can't do the 16 shaft threading. Schlein challenge

But I thought I would try the original threading on 8 shafts. And here it is. And doesn't it look nice? I thought so.

And then I checked the floats.

This draft doesn't work because there are some very long warp floats on the reverse. And they are right there in that lovely weft-float design area. I haven't analyzed Alice's draft, but I feel sure that that 9th shaft enables tie downs that eliminate those particular floats while still maintaining the design.

Shaft envy..........sigh........

Of course, just because I could do things with 16 (or 12) shafts that I can't with 8 shafts does not mean that I actually would do them. I mean really--how long have I been working with and been fascinated by this 8-block crackle on 4 shafts?! And the dish towels which come next are going to be threaded and treadled straight twill. I will use 8 shafts for them, not because I need them but because it keeps the heddles just a tiny bit farther apart from each other.

"Shaft Envy" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 16, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Taueret said...

Peg, I have what may be a dumb question. If you were weaving for say upholstery, would it matter if you had long weft floats on the reverse? Is it just the risk of snagging that makes them a bad idea, on the wrong side of the fabric?

Peg in South Carolina said...

Not a dumb question. On the face of it, yes, floats on the back don't matter for things like upholstery, cushions. Perhaps someone more experienced than I will see your question and answer it.

Jane said...

Good morning, Miss Peg.

On occasion, I also suffer from shaft envy. Then I begin to think about all of the combinations that I can do with 8 shafts, and then even more combos that I can do with my 8 shaft table loom and my brain cramps thus leading me back into a world of contentment. Until the next time that green eyed monster taps me on the shoulder. . . :-)


Peg in South Carolina said...

Jane, you are very wise.