Friday, October 31, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The loom is empty, the loom and the floor are clean. I even washed the Empty loomclear lucite containers I keep on top of the loom for miscellaneous tools.  My little corner is missing only the next warp.

But first there is work to be done.  The length of the samples is off Off the loom the loom and hanging over a door.  Now the samples need to be separated.  Edges need to be zigzagged.  Washing needs to be done.  Hard pressing will finish it all off. 

And then there is the paperwork to finish…….

What I cannot yet do is cut apart the length I wove for the Complex Weavers Crackle Exchange.  For that I am waiting to learn how many plan to participate.  Then I can cut that length into the requisite number of samples and edge finish them.

The best thing for me to do right now would probably be to get all that work done that I have just described.  Then put on the new warp.  But waiting to put on the new warp would drive me crazy.  So activity will happen next week in both arenas….hopefully!  

"Empty Loom" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 31, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Starting out with a chuckle:
Studio Assistants -- The Weaving Studio

This time I find that I have not one but two favorite posts: 
Two Years of Weaving -- Tien's Blog
Looms are Made of Wood... -- Dot's Fibre to Fabric

Welcome a new blogging weaver – Dust Bunnies Under My Loom: 
My Debut  
Finally I'm Weaving  

Another new weaver (but not a new blogger!):
Well, the Loom is All Set Up -- Knitting in August

Laura talks about weaving in a series:
Next Shawl -- Weaving a Life (Laura Fry)

Cally plunges on with her Summer&Winter and skeleton tie-ups:
Organizing My Feet  
Giving my Feet a Hand  

More weaving posts:
Tie on a Warp -- Shirley Treasure
Weaving and Thinking -- Doni's Deli
Working on Overdrive -- The Deep End of the Loom
Summer and Winter: Treadling -- Leigh's Fiber Journal
Mug Rugs -- Seabreeze Spinners
Flowers and Lace: The Finale -- Thrums
Patterning, or Why You Should Measure Your Samples -- Tien's Blog
Rigid Heddle Loom Review Updated -- River City Weaves
WOW! Group - Part I - World Traveler Returns -- Fiber Investments
French Vanilla -- Constance Rose Textile Design
Arbutus Scarf -- Weaving a Life (Salt Spring Weaving)
The Start of a New Project -- Weaverly
So What Have I Woven Lately -- Weaving Spirit
Painted Warp Drying -- Sandra's Loom Blog
Rhinebeck and Studio -- Fun with Fiber
Does Good Weaving Have to Hurt?  Part 2: Background -- Unravelling
This Project Needs a Time Out       Honeysuckle Loom
How to Use An Autodenter -- Tangled Threads
Letters -- (Work) ShopUrsula 
She's weaving LOTS of towels!
Towels -- Sharing the Fiber Fever

Two good posts by Funny Farm on weaving rag rugs:
Rag Rug Prep  
More on Rag Rug Weft   

Weaving with handspun from The Weaving Studio:
Alien Mist Scarf, Part II   
Malachite and Redwood Scarf  

Some lovely Swedish towels.  go to Google Translate to read if you don't read Swedish:
Handduksväven -- KDes InspirationsBlogg

Four Non-weaving Blog Posts

What is Good Taste, Good Design, and How to be Creative -- Fashion Incubator

I'm not sure I could do this, but maybe it's worth a try?
One Week on the Low Information Diet -- Tools for Thought

Making Money as an Artist -- Painting Blog

A Graphic History of the Color Pink -- Colour Lovers Blog

"Recent Posts from other Blogs" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 30, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have always been the kind of person who likes to explore lots of different things.  I found the beginning of semesters at college very energizing because I was going to be able to learn lots of new and different things.  I was excited by each new hobby I picked up, by each new topic I decided I wanted to explore in my reading.  In high school, the principal told me I would never amount to anything unless I settled down to one thing. At heart, I was a dabbler.

Well, ultimately I did.  I did get a PhD and that required six years of focusing on increasingly small bits of English literature.  The hardest thing about writing my dissertation was looking for books in the library.  My eyes were always wandering to books that had nothing to do with what I was writing about.  Each time I would resist the temptation to explore something else.  And I was successful. 

I used the degree for only a few years. Then I settled down into the very comfortable role of wife and mother.

Flash forward to today.

For the first time, of my own free will, I find myself exploring in depth not just weaving, but a specific weaving structure. Crackle.  And at the moment I am highly involved with a very specific variant of crackle.  Yes, I do find myself occasionally tempted to study a different structure, but that has not been hard to resist.  Perhaps that has not been hard to resist because I do take “vacations” from crackle when I weave something else.  Our daughter’s Christmas towels which I will weave next is an example of such a “vacation.”  Yet, even as I look forward to weaving those, I resent just a tiny bit the fact that I cannot immediately start to work on the next crackle warp.  I really really want to!

So why do I find myself in this very unusual (for me) situation?  Part of this is that my training as a so-called research “scholar” opened for me new ways of being and gave me tools of patience that I did not have before.  But these tools and these new ways of being were shunted aside for many years as I did all the varied things a wife, mother, and person does.  It was a lovely life.

But then I stumbled onto weaving.  I loved it from the beginning. It was the yarn, the color;  it was the working with my hands. I had always enjoyed working with my hands:  sewing, embroidery, knitting, crocheting, even a bit of woodworking.  And in my heart I knew what was wrong with my earlier chosen profession:  it did not involve working with my hands.  Even when I wrote essays, I generally wrote the last draft by hand instead of at the typewriter.  Somehow that intimate relationship between, mind, eyes, and hand felt really good.

Once I had the very basics down enough so that I could weave with a little bit of confidence, I longed for four years of structured courses so that I could learn “properly.”  That had been my mode of learning for so long that I had forgotten how much I had learned in grade school and high school by exploring library books.  Non-fiction, generally how-to-do-it books.

Structured weaving courses, of course, did not happen.  I learned a bit here and a bit there, as workshops appeared, as interesting HGA Learning Exchanges were offered,  and as the need to learn new things arose.  I began to enjoy this rather slapdash way of learning. My early ways of learning had been revived, along with the great pleasure those ways had given me.

Always in the back of my mind in these early weaving days was that bit of crackle I had explored a tiny bit in the first weaving workshop I took. And finally the day arrived.  I was ready to start exploring crackle. I was also ready to start blogging.  An utterly fortuitous coincidence but one of great importance.

I had thought that blogging would take too much time from my weaving.  Well, sometimes it does.  But the process of blogging has reinforced my crackle explorations more profoundly than I had ever dreamed possible.

In all of this has arisen an intense desire to know and understand, to control and use this crackle structure to create something very personal, to create something that is mine. 

In Asheville last weekend, I purchased a book.  The book reflected my still very lively desire to try totally new things.  It is written by Kim Thittichai and is called Hot Textiles: Inspiration and Techniques with Heat Tools. Both the title and the gorgeous cover were enough to make me buy it.  It is also a Batsford publication and I know how wonderful those publications are.  I know that I will probably never use these heat tools;  it will be enough to look at the book and dream.  There was, however, one paragraph that really stood out when I read it.  It is actually a quotation from a piece by Jae Maries called “The Butterfly Approach to Embroidery,” which appeared in The World of Embroidery magazine in July 1999.

All of us need time to master and develop a technique for our own use and make it work for us. It should become a tool to help us externalise our ideas and say something personal.  We may dabble forever and never get focused, like the butterfly fluttering from one seductive flower to another.  (page 13)

I just went to the Batsford site and discovered a book on machine embroidery that they have just released…………sigh………….

Related Posts:
Why Crackle?


"Why I Weave as I Do" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 28, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I wove until I just couldn’t get a pirn through the shed anymore. I kept trying to weave more and more; I just didn’t want to stop; I had fallen Last sampling in love. I now have visions of weaving a shawl using the ideas from this last group of sampling, but using black silk instead of blue.

The part of the warp shown here that I am referring to, by the say, is the fabric that starts about the relatively solid blue rectangle at the bottom. Following that is 17 groups of different treadlings. All treadlings are still polychrome treadlings. In other words, I treadle one pedal after the other with no tabby treadles in between.

Sorry, there really are not 17 groups of different treadlings, just 17 groups of treadlings. Near the top I inadvertently repeated two treadlings. But this “mistake” is not, in the end, a mistake, for it shows me possibilities for creating repeatable patterns.

Also, in real life the colors do not blur together in such a lovely way as the photo shows! The individual wefts and warps stand out quite distinctly. I imagine, though, that at a distance they might blur together in a similarly impressionistic way; that would be nice as well. And I suspect that Last sampling close up clicking on the photo to blow it up will also show those individual threads. In any case, here is a close-up shot I took to show it. The close-up shot also shows clearly a warp end near the left side at the top that somehow slipped away in my desperation to weave for as long as I possibly could.

Throughout I used only two colors: a yellow-gold and a darkish blue. The yellow-gold was the primary color; the blue was the secondary. In real life that gold does read quite a bit as orange because of the way it crosses the dark red warp. But in real life, the gold shows up quite a bit more as gold rather than as orange. The interaction of the two colors in so many different ways is too much for my camera to handle and more complicated than I have the ability to deal with in my image software.

With each treadling group I changed where I put the blue thread. Sometimes I put it on only one treadle, but putting it through that shed twice. Sometimes I put it on two treadles. And occasionally on three. But each time I varied the choice of treadles to weave with the blue threads.

This sample does not reveal all the possibilities. But I think I understand a bit more about what is happening and why in order to design with more thought the next crackle weaving. And I think I understand enough so that I can, on occasion, be a bit impulsive with the treadling.

Ready to cut off back view Finally, I think it is quite clear that I must now cut off the warp. First, a view from the back. Then a view from the front.

Ready to cut off front view

"I Think I’m in Love" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 28, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, October 27, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have been listening to the first of two weaving podcasts featuring Bhakti Ziek.  It is called “From the Heart: A Weaver’s Journey” and was recorded in 2007.  It is produced by Maiwa Productions and can be downloaded here.

Partway into her lecture she mentions that before she went to graduate school she sold all her weavings. In graduate school she had worked with many new and innovative techniques.  After graduate school her weavings never sold.

Later in the lecture she continues by explaining that since all her weavings just ended up being rolled up and put away, she might just as well do weaving explorations that satisfied her own needs.  She still doesn’t sell much, but what she does sell now sells for thousands of dollars.

To see some of her work, go here.  She is co-author with Alice Schlein of The Woven Pixel, a book about designing woven cloth with the help of Photoship.  You can learn about that book here.

"Selling Your Weaving…or Not" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 27, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, October 24, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Rod at back heddles

This is a view from the back of the loom. Actually, at this point I can still weave another inch or two. But using a shuttle would be impossible….
"How Much More Can I Weave?" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 23, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have been reading Connie Rose’s post on this art-every-day-month concept.  You can read it here.  The concept of creating a piece of art work each day has left me at once curious and perhaps a bit troubled.  I know of a tapestry artist who has done this.  She put on a long narrow warp and wove a very small picture each day.  But I am not a tapestry artist. 

Also I am wondering about the value of doing such a thing. One value is simply to create a habit of working.  I think that is very important.  But for those of us who are in the habit of working daily, why should we try to create a little work of art daily?  Does this really help to build up our skills in any significant way?  And even if it is of value, how can it apply to ordinary weavers? 

Is there some way we weavers could reinterpret this to enhance our regular practice of weaving?

I have also been reading a post from Fashion Incubator about creativity and technique.  It is called  “What is Good Taste, Good Design, and How to be Creative.” The piece is written by a fashion designer.  I think it is a marvelous piece and encourage you strongly to go here to read it. The heart of the post can be found in these two sentences: 

If someone is creative, it is because they are skilled. Becoming skilled was a lot of hard work, study and dedication and it is annoying when people confuse skill with creativity.

So, in the light of this statement, let me ask the question again.  Is there some way we weavers could reinterpret the art-every-day month to enhance our regular practice of weaving?

One way is to weave a sample a day.  If I had a second loom, I could warp it for a structure I was interested in exploring and weave one sample a day on it.  Then on my other loom I could continue weaving on regular projects.  Anything to justify getting a second loom…………

Since I do not have two looms, what I can do is to make sure when I put a warp on that I include extra for sampling, not only at the beginning for the particular project, but at the end where I might use the last of the warp for trying out ideas.

In a sense, those little art pieces I wove could fall under the art-every-day-month phenomenon. Go here to see one of them.  It did, however, take me more than one day to weave them. It is true that I could have woven each of them in a day.  But sometimes letting a day go by while I am still weaving results in a new idea that is valuable or results in the solution to a problem I have been working with.  Still, I think the principle applies here as well.

So now I am curious what other weavers might think?  How could we rethink the concept of art-every-day month?

Related Posts: 
A New Fiber Book Filled with Ideas
Small Pieces

"Art-Every-Day Month" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 22, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Now I have been playing with violet and orange. I’m still treadling that Orange and violet wefts kind of strange 1,3,2,4,3,5,4,6…………… thing that I showed in the last post. Still not the "ridiculous” that I promised….

One thing I do not like about this treadling is that all the so-called blocks are going to be the same height. No possibility for flexibility there.

On the other hand, I do like the subtle color effects. The two wefts are orange and violet. Each is closely related to the warp color. The orange is on the warm side of the red warp. The violet is on the cool side of the red warp. Clicking on the photo to blow it up will show the effects more clearly.

I can envision possibilities for doing very subtle things with color both with changing colors and with changing color orders and amounts of each. This might be interesting to experiment with on a painted warp. But in that case I wonder if I would want the warp to be more dominant? To achieve that I could make the sett tighter, though that could give me problems with sheds. Or I could use a smaller sized weft yarn.

I also wonder what might happen if I turned the draft? This would include, of course, turning the weft color placement as well.

The purple blob you see in the middle of the warp is a knot in the warp. Since I am almost at the end (it does seem to me that I’ve been “almost to the end” for a long time now….) I’m just going to leave it in. I am just too lazy to cut and attach I new warp yarn and then to add a weight to the warp end next to it.

I would have to do the latter because the back of the warp is held by its loops inserted through the metal back rod. That means that every warp end is secured to the back bar with its neighboring end. So cutting one releases the other. I would have to weight it as well. I’m just too lazy.

"Still not Ridiculous" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 21, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, October 20, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have been slowly weaving away on the last of this crackle warp.  I had said in an earlier post that I was going to do something quite different.  I decided to use golden yellow as the background weft and reds and blues as the pattern Gold and blue wefts wefts. 

In that earlier post the word I used was “ridiculous.”  I thought this was going to be, but it didn’t quite turn out that way.

The results have actually turned out to be quite striking. And, much to my surprise, these experiments have proved to have a great deal of promise.

I had worked hard to get the photo to show the color accurately. I thought I had it, but when I brought it into my blog writer, things changed.


The right side appears brighter than the left.  That is because there are windows to the right.  And I do not know how to correct that kind of an issue with my software.

The bottom half of the photo reads fairly accurately.  Where the problems begin is on the other side of the middle, just after the two blocks with first pretty solid purple in the middle and then on the sides. Then the photo just shows either red (totally wrong) or a rather washed-out violet for the areas treadled with blue. What it did not want to do was to show the rather deep violet that occurred when the blue crossed the red. 


At the bottom I have continued to weave in the style of the earlier experiments.  Of the 6 treadles, I have selected one for the pattern color and thrown that shot twice.

In the first group at the bottom, I have used red, thrown twice, for the pattern.  Immediately above I have reversed the order of the pattern treadles and used blue thrown twice on the pattern treadle.


Where the more solid color dark blue is visible across the web at about the middle of the woven part of the warp, I have begun something different. I began treadling 3 through 8 but this time alternating gold and blue on each treadle.  First I did a set where I began with gold;  then I did a set where I began with blue.  Then I moved to two treadles with gold followed by one treadle of blue and woven that for a bit and then the two variants.  Then I moved to 3 golds followed by 3 blues, doing that in various treadle sequences. 

Near the end of all this, I ran out of the gorgeous golden yarn and had to use a simple, though bright yellow.  It is clearly much cooler and creates a very different effect.


At the very top is a very different kind of treadling.  Instead of treadling pedals 3 through 8, I did an alternation thing: 

1,3; 2,4; 3,6; 5,7;
6,8; 7,3;  6,4.  

I alternated yellow and blue: yellow on 1, blue on 3 and so on.

When I envisioned this, I was thinking that I was just changing the order of the treadling.  What I did not realize was that I was also repeating treadles.  So much for my vision. Still, it did work. 


What I still need to do is to try the first set of treadlings but treadling the pedals in a different order.  That is not going to happen on this warp, however.  There is not enough left and there are some other ideas crying to be tried first.  And I still have to do something “ridiculous.”


One thing I know now:  my next crackle warp will have to have a yard at the beginning allotted for sampling.  I have already started designing the warp and have included this in my figuring.  But I have towels and a shawl to weave first.

"Golden Yellows, Reds, and Dark Blues" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 20, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, October 17, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

We Have Lost a Giant - Weaverly

OK, I've got another favorite this week.   Stephanie Ablett, who, by the way is only 25, has done a remarkable 4-shaft weave.  What is amazing is that she both knows that it is remarkable and knows that there are problems with her execution.  I see the possibility of a brilliant future for her and look forward to following her work. 

Bubbles, Bobbles and Bright Beautiful Colors – Weavermania Productions

Laura's done it again--a series of top-notch posts simply not to be missed. Some are on technical issues, but scattered in there are important musings on weaving for profit.  Go to her blog and read them all.

Weaving a Life (Laura Fry)  

When Things Go Wrong -- The Weaving Studio
But here things have definitely gone right! + an interesting idea for hanging yardage for photography
Amethyst Ombre Scarf Part II -- The Weaving Studio 
Lessons from my Early Warps -- The Straight of the Goods
Autumn -- Shuttle Pilot
New Weaver -- Weave Geek 
Wet-finished Sample -- Tien's Blog
Crackle pop! – Centerweave
A 2nd Little Space Dyed Blanket -- Leigh's Fiber Journal

All about a hat from Cyber Fiber Scriber

Mondrian Over Easy  
The Story of the Hat  

Winding with Spider -- Curiousweaver
Here's What's Next -- Sandra's Loom Blog
Blink of the Eye -- Sampling
Woven Texture    Shirley Treasure

Another new loom ready to weave on
"Spring"-ing into Action -- Thrums

Here is the beginning of a new, and lovely, project on t’katch.  This is going to be a very ineresting one to follow, especially it follows along with Leigh's posts on Summer and Winter.

Impromptu Greens 
Itty Bitty Gaps
There's No Such Thing as Coincidence  

And here are Leigh's latest posts on Summer and Winter from her blog Leigh’s Fiber Journal 

Summer & Winter: A Basic Definition    
Summer and Winter Threading  
Profile Drafts   
Summer & Winter: Tie-up 
Skeleton Tie-ups  

The Question Is...... -- Grandma's Flower Garden 
Intellectual Property -- Constance Rose Textile Design
To Block or Not to Block -- Unravelling 
them that can’t, organize – Taueret
Ideas Come from the Strangest Places – Weaverly

Perhaps a Sara Lamb workshop at SOAR has produced a new weaver?
Dead Tired...with a Cold -- Three Sheeps to the Wind

Weaving Spirit is back at work and I am delighted!
Invention is the Mother of Necessity -- Weaving Spirit

The Guru Syndrome -- The Painter's Keys

"Recent Posts from other Blogs" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 17, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, October 16, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Leigh has been doing a marvelous job explicating the Summer&Winter weaving structure for us. It’s an important structure and interesting. It is especially useful for 4-shaft weavers. Go to her blog to read all her recent posts on the subject.

I find especially intriguing the fact that S&W treadling can be used on other threading structures as well. Overshot is one. And…..crackle (did I surprise you?!) is another. Indeed, S&W is one of my favorite treadlings for normal 4-shaft crackle. I like it better, for example, than the more usual overshot treadling (apologies to Susan).

S&W treadling is also lovely on this maddening yet delightful 8-blocks-on-4-shafts crackle (anybody got a short and useful acronym for this?).

There is just one problem with treadling crackle as S&W: it requires plain-weave(tabby picks). You can easily do this with standard 4-shaft crackle. But since there is no tabby with 8-blocks-on………crackle, one has to compromise by picking for the tabby equivalent, that treadle which produces the opposite shed to the pattern shed. But that too is impossible. Maddening?! But you can come close enough to make it work.

I really really do not like to deal with tabby picks or opposite-shed picks when I am already working with a bunch of colors and therefore with a bunch of shuttles. Adding another shuttle into the mix does not make me happy, especially when I am working with 60/2 silk.

Treadling polychrome style is for me the answer. No tabby (or opposite shed) is required. Wheww.

Still, I do like the S&W treadling…….

Related Posts:
Crackle Treadled as Summer and Winter
Crackle Treadled as Summer and Winter Continued

"Summer and Winter and…Crackle Of Course)" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 16, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night. I had done something wrong in the last post. What was it?


I should not have referred to those treadles tied up on shafts 1 and 3 and shafts 2 and 4 as tabby tie-ups or tabby treadlings. In other structures those are the shafts that are tied up for tabby treadlings, but NOT in this particular structure.

Here is what happens if I take that 8-block-on-4-shafts crackle, tie up Only so-called tabbies tied uponly the so-called “tabbies”, and then treadle polychrome style. Kind of interesting but the structure is NOT plain weave!

"Polychrome 8-blocks-on-4-shafts Treadling Once Again" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 15, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Dear reader:  if you make it to the end of this piece without your eyes glazing over, you are a better person than I.

On Friday I had written about a float issue with the 8-blocks-on-4-shafts crackle structure when treadling it polychrome.  This issue was that some of the blocks have floats in two successive treadlings when treadling polychrome.  Go here to see more specifically what I had to say.  And the question I left off with was:

Now I am wondering if I can change the threading of blocks with two consecutive weft floats so that there is a weft float on only one treadle?

Yesterday I did just that.  And I discovered that it is impossible to change the threading on any of the blocks, whether or not it has two neighboring floats.


Here are the eight threading blocks in this structure.  Technically they are really units rather than blocks because they do not act independently of each other.  So even though I visualize the design in terms of blocks, I will call them units.  The number in parentheses for each unit is the incidental/accidental thread that must occur when you move on to the next unit. When a unit is repeated six times, for example, each time only the first four numbers are threaded.  But on the last repeat, just before moving to the next unit, the number in parentheses must be inserted in order to maintain the underlying tabby structure.

Unit 1: 1,4,2,4 (1)   
Unit 2: 4,2,1,2 (4)   compare 1,2,1,4 in standard 4-shaft crackle
Unit 3: 2,1,3,1 (2)   
Unit 4: 1,3,2,3 (1)   compare 1,2,3,2 in standard 4 shaft crackle
Unit 5: 3,2,4,2 (3)   
Unit 6: 2,4,3,4 (2)   compare 2,3,4,3 in standard 4-shaft crackle 
Unit 7: 4,3,1,3 (4)   compare 1,4,3,4 in standard 4-shaft crackle
Unit 8: 3,1,4,1 (3)      

The basis of each crackle unit is a mini-point twill.  Zielinski, however, has stretched those limits in units 1, 3, 5, and 8 in order to get the extra four blocks.  What he does retain, however, in those blocks is the 3 end limit for weft floats. The second limit he maintains is the limit to only one incidental thread between each different unit unit. Bearing in mind these limits, I quickly discovered that the 8 units here use up all the possibilities. 

But I had jumped the gun a bit.  I looked at the threading for the 4 units of regular 4-shaft crackle.  Those units are in the right-hand column above.  Each of those is very close one of the units in the 8-blocks-on-4-4 shaft crackle and 8-blocks-on-4-shafts crackle shafts structure.  But the little point twill is inverted.  So I added these normal 4-shaft crackle units (each one repeated twice) to the left side of the draft to see what happened.



What happens is that those four blocks on the left do not really look like crackle.  Why?  The tie-up is the same.  Whoops, no they are not.  Not exactly. The same treadles are tied up but the order is tie-up and treadling for 8-blocks on 4 shaftsdifferent from the order I would use for traditional four shaft crackle.

To the left is the tie-up I have been using on my current crackle project and is the tie-up for the draft directly above.

But the tie up for the usual 4 shafts crackle is different.  This tie-up would be 1,2;  2,3;  3,4, 4,1;  followed by the tabby tie-ups of 1,3 and 2,4. 

The next question, then, is what would happen if I changed the tie-up to the 4-shaft crackle tie up in order to change the treadling order?new tieup

The results are the draft on the right.  On the left iof that draft is the traditional crackle line that happens with 4-shaft crackle treadled polychrome.  But something quite different is happening to the rest of the fabric.

All this suggests to me that trying to swap out a non-traditional crackle unit on the left for the one to its right would result in a very confusing fabric, no matter which tie-up I used. Besides, swapping out units would not solve the original float issue.

So I went back to Zielinski and I found something strange.  Sometimes he uses this second tie-up.  Sometimes he uses the first tie-up.  Apparently it does not matter?  I looked at the draft with the traditional tie-up more carefully.  The double floats on consecutive treadles do not appear.

Case closed.

I will change the tie-up order, which, in effect, simply changes the treadling order.

My brain is dead.

I am so ready to weave.

"Much Ado About Not a Whole Lot" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 14, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, October 13, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Susan has been working on a crackle piece. After a bit of a rocky start, she is now off and weaving an interesting and lovely piece. Go here to see what she is doing.

What especially intrigues me about her piece is her use of closely related colors. Instead of the structure hitting you in the face with the fact that it is crackle, it is the interplay of closely related colors, with the bright pink dominating, that gets my attention.

This got me thinking.

I am weaving a more complex kind of crackle. I am using much finer yarns than Susan is. But I wanted to try more closely related colors to see what would happen.

I have tried two approaches.

In the first approach I decided to have the background weft be the same Using closely related colors yarn as the warp and the pattern wefts, doubled, be red, but brighter than the reds of the warp and background wefts. I threw the pattern wefts two times. Actually, what I did was to throw two different reds or oranges. That is what you see at the bottom. The effect is very subtle, though more subtle in the photo than in the actual weaving!

One of the things that distracts here is the fact that the warp is slightly different colors as it moves across. Too much busyness, in other words. But, with a solid color warp I think this has possibilities.

In the second approach, I first used a bright dark blue for the background weft and two greens for the pattern. Yes, you cannot see the greens in the photo. I can’t particularly see them in the actual fabric either…

So I continued to use the bright dark blue for the background, and then two reds for the pattern wefts. One red was a bright red, the other one of the warp yarns. The duller red had some effect on the bright red, but not a whole lot. Why? Because the dull red was a 60/2 bombyx silk and the bright red was the much shinier silk organzine. The blue background weft is also the shinier silk organzine.

So, thank you, Susan! I haven’t quite got what I want yet, but it is a beginning! Indeed, I may have to turn to traditional four-shaft crackle to develop these ideas.

I don’t have much warp left to weave with. As you can see here, the Over the back beam back rod has come over the back beam and is moving relentless towards the heddles. I’m not quite done with the red and blue and then I want to try something quite ridiculous. Then off the loom she comes!

Related Post: Threading 4-shaft Crackle

"Inspired by Susan of Centerweave" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 13, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, October 10, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

To make it a bit easier to see End of warp samplingannotated watermarked_thumb[1] what is going on, I have included a photo with blocks and some of the pattern treadles labeled. At the top I have numbered the blocks (omitting even numbered ones for clarity).  On the side I have labeled the pattern shaft used for the color in each group of blocks.The colors on the photo on yesterday’s blog post are better, but this photo might help with understanding. 

Also, forget the Snagit watermark in the lower right hand corner.  I was fiddling with watermarks in that program and accidentally incorporated their watermark onto my image.

The second time I used blue on pattern shaft 5 I doubled it and it is a bit clearer.  Actually it is clearer in the photo than it is in real time.  Just beneath it where I treadled blue on pattern shaft 8, the blue is clearly visible in blocks 7. Huh?

Curious as to why using blue on pattern shaft 5 does not result in a clear effect of blue whereas it does on other pattern shafts, I decided to look at the drawdown.  And here is what I found.

Block 8 pattern treadle 5

blocks 6 and 7 - pattern treadle 8


The lime represents the pattern color.  Look at the drawdown for block 8 on the left.  Here I am treadling treadles 3,4, and 6-8 with blue.  Treadle 5 is the pattern treadle; and I threw a shot of lime weft on that treadle. The lime float over 3 threads.  This is as it should be.  But looking at the shot immediately above the lime (treadle 4), shows a blue weft float of 3.  It is not directly over, true, but still…. That blue weft float has an effect, seen only in the actual woven fabric, on the pattern float beneath it.

Look at the drawdown on the right for block 7. Here the background treadles are 3-7;  the pattern treadle is 8. When treadle 8 is woven with the lime it shows the 3-thread floats thread in the lime.  But the blue 3-thread float that happens in the drawdown on the left where treadle 5 is the pattern treadle,does not happen here, either directly above or directly below the lime.  Look again at the the drawdown on the right, but look at block 6 instead of 7.  Unlike block 7, block 6 does have a blue weft float immediately preceding the pattern lime float.  And, looking at the fabric, when the background weft is red and the pattern weft is dark blue, that pattern weft is virtually invisible.

So I conclude that the background weft threads contiguous to the pattern threads can, if the pattern threads are not bright enough, have a dulling effect on the pattern threads because of the tiny bit of slippage that happens between neighboring weft threads.  I have always been aware of this slippage when weaving this fabric because I can clearly see that weft ends do not pack down levelly. 

This irregular packing down is dramatically visible when I use Polychrome treadling closeuprug weft to separate samples as I did on the left. There the desire of wefts to move a bit over previous wefts is clear. When I first did this I thought, what the…….?  But because the slippage changes with each treadle, everything evens out after all 6 treadles have been treadled. And the appearance is of an evenly beaten fabric.

Now I am wondering if I can change the threading of blocks with two consecutive weft floats so that there is a weft float on only one treadle?


"More on End of Warp Sampling" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 10, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, October 9, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have finished weaving the samples for the Complex Weavers’ Fall Crackle Exchange. I still had a bit more warp left. As I posted earlier, I had planned on using any extra warp to weave End of warp sampling one more art piece. But surprise, I changed my mind. Instead I started doing some sampling.


The bottom half of the warp, the part with the blue for background wefts, is a continuation of the crackle exchange sample. But instead of treadling only treadle 5 for the pattern blocks, I treadled all of them. Starting at the bottom, I treadled first a group of with the pattern color on treadle 4, then a group with the pattern color on treadle 3, and then a group with the pattern color on treadle 8, then on treadle 7, then 6, and then 5.


These treadles, 3 through 8, were all the treadles for this design. Why did I choose to tie up these treadles, rather than treadles 1 through 6? Even when I write about what I am doing, I frequently want to write treadle 1 when I mean treadle 3. I tied up these treadles because that keeps my feet closer to the center instead of angling them out, in the case of 1 and 2 especially, to the left. Easier on the body. More comfortable to treadle.


I had not intended on treadling with a pattern color on treadle 5 because that was what my crackle exchange sampling was. But knowing the two would get separated, I decided that for the record I needed to have a sample of using treadle 5 as a pattern treadle.

Also, as in the Crackle Exchange fabric, I used the light pinks and greens and yellows for the pattern color. This part of the sampling was not about color; it was about pattern. I designed it to provide a clear reference as to what happens for each treadle when used as the pattern treadle. This way I will be able to plan designs if and when I decide to use this particular technique again.


The top half of the warp was different. Here I was playing with color.

What I specifically wanted to see was what would happen if I used the warp yarn (a dulled darkish red) for the background weft and dark blue for the pattern wefts. The first thing that surprised me when I was weaving this is how bright the red became! I don’t know how it happened, but the somewhat dulled red warp threads, when crossed with the same dulled red, yielded a fabric that was a brighter, or at least a richer, red.

Once I was able to forget that and concentrate on the design, I saw that the dark blue pattern wefts did not stand out against the red background nearly as much as I had thought they would. But what really surprised me is that when I treadled blue with only one shot on pattern shaft 5, I could barely see it. Clicking on the photo to blow it up will show this "invisibility" quite clearly. Compare this with the yellow on treadle 5 just above, where the yellow stands out quite distinctly. And even when a treadled two shots of blue on pattern shaft 5, the color did not stand out clearly.

More to come.

Related Post:
Art Piece 5: Last Section Woven
Weaving Begins on Crackle Exchange Sampler

"End of Warp Sampling" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 9, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Tien recently blogged how she combined her graphics program and her weaving program in order to get an idea of what the final woven product would look like. In her post, Some Color Mixing Surprises, she shows the latest of her experiments. In her post Photoshop Tricks, she gives some of the details of how she did it using Photoshop and Fiberworks PCW.

My graphics program is Paint Shop Pro XI. My weaving program is PixeLoom. Could I do the same thing? The answer is, yes, but not in quite the same way. That is to be expected considering Tien and I are using different programs.

First I opened PixeLoom and created a simple pointed twill, tromped as writ. original drawdown in PixeLoom

Here it is reduced in scale. The white is the warp; the black is the weft.

I then used my SnagIt screen capture program to copy and paste it as a new image into first step Paint Shop Pro. You can see that this image is not reduced in scale as much as the first image. I tried to find the size that would best create a good final image.

Like Photoshop, Paint Shop Pro has a magic wand selection tool. I used that to select the black areas (the weft). I copied the resulting image to the clipboard.

I then created a new image in Paint Shop Pro and filled it with a gradient. Gradient on twill I pasted the image I had copied into this new gradient-filled image; I copied it specifically as a transparent selection. And here is what I got. Pretty cool!

I could do the same thing using only PixeLoom. But that would mean painstakingly selecting colors warp end by warp end. This is much faster. It is also much easier to play with the gradient, changing it till you get what you like.

I could use this same procedure for warp stripes. Instead of using the gradient feature of the program I would create stripes the color I wanted and the width I wanted. Again, these would be easy to change and play with until I got the effect I wanted.

Where, however, I think this process would really shine is with warp horizontal gradient painting and even ikat. If I wanted to do a gradated warp, for example, I would create the gradient as a horizontal gradient instead of a vertical one.

If I wanted to do this with a painted warp rather than with a gradated warp cross wise, you can just make my gradation horizontal instead of vertical. Here I have created a horizontal gradient but have not copied the drawdown onto it.

I could also design a painted warp or ikat warp, by using a (computer) paintbrush to paint that image just the way I wanted it before I copied the drawdown on it. And I could also just play with all the design/color effects the graphics program offers me. In which case I might never get anything else done!

I can also change the color(s) of the weft yarns.

Would this work in the complicated kind of weaving I am doing? I’m skeptical. To make it work at all would, I suspect, require a lot more work. At some point, now that I now what I am doing, I will try it just to see.


These graphics programs cost money, thought Paint Shop Pro is much less expensive than Photoshop. But there is a nifty free graphics program with all the power of these two programs. It’s called The Gimp. Like the other two programs, it takes awhile to learn. But there are books, online tutorials, forums and email lists for support.

The program is open source software. I am all for open source and so have been tempted to download it. Perhaps the next time Paint Shop Pro has an upgrade I will consider moving to the Gimp.

Also, you can use your free Print Screen on your keyboard to copy what is on the screen. But I find Snagit so useful for all sorts of things that I think it is worth the money to have.

Related Post: Colors for Silk Crackle Warp

"PixeLoom, Paint Shop Pro and Gradated Warps" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 7, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

If you are interested in learning something about Obama’s and McCain’s position on the arts, take a look at the Textile Arts Resource Guide published here.

"Presidential Candidates and the Arts" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 6, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, October 6, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I don't ordinarily make a statement about my favorite blog post in the list I present, largely because so many of them are favorites! But this week, the following post from Spinninglizzy's Weblog was, for my money, simply outstanding. Perhaps it is the last paragraph that got to me. But in reality, it was her building up to that last paragraph--it was the whole story.

Weaving on a Budget of Practically Nothing and Feeling My Mortality
And as long as you're there, be sure to read these:
Raddle Me This
To Meddle with Treadles and Heddles

Lots of samplers being woven
Double Weave Sampler -- Fibres of Being
Weaving: The First Sampler -- The Weaving Studio
Woven Shibori Sample – Renee Weaves
Two posts from Dot’s Fibre to Fabric
Notes From Weaving My New Colour Sampler
Cloth of Many Colors
Two posts from Sharing the Fiber Fever
Stadium Blanket

More weaving posts
Aloo Aloo? -- Taueret
The Canvas Separator -- The Weaving Studio
Becoming a Weaver -- Weaving a Life (Laura Fry)
A Visit to Bhakti and Mark – Weaverly (Bhakti is one of the authors (Alice Schlein of Weaverly being the other) of "The Woven Pixel" )
For Crying Out Loud -- Weave-4-fun
Scarves -- Fun with Fiber
An Old Loom and a New Loom -- Renee Weaves
Space Dyed Yarn and Plain Weave -- Leigh's Fiber Journal
The Looms Keep on Coming -- Hey Dawn, how's the studio coming?
Warping Wheel Information -- Sandra's Loom Blog

Meg's playing with color-and-weave. Read about it in these posts from Unravelling:
Sewing Seeds
This and That
Making Shapes, Thinking Out Loud
Color and Weave

Weave Geek has been VERY busy with looms……. Read on
Baby Wolf Renovation
Baby Dobby Install
Some Assembly Required
Progress....and Questions

Follow Tien's Blog to read about design process for her latest piece.
Rosepath and Eye Candy
More Eye Candy
Some Color-Mixing Surprises
Photoshop Tricks

Some interesting non-fiber blog posts
Back to Basics -- Painters Keys
To Restore Silence::Open Thread -- Edward_ Winkleman
Creativity Myths: The Lies We Tell Ourselves (and Others) -- Creative Liberty

"Recent Posts from Other Blogs" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 6, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, October 3, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

A few months ago I discovered that many years of carrying very heavy purses draped over my right shoulder had resulted in shoulder and upper arm pains.  I purchased a very small, very light purse, carrying it in my hand rather than on my shoulder, and started self massage and exercise.  A few months later I find myself not totally cured, but well enough and not stupid enough to go back to the heavy purses.

Strangely, this problem had not impacted my weaving.  Until about a week ago.  My right shoulder started giving me trouble, especially when I received the shuttle with my right hand.  So I did some analysis.  I learned that the bench height vis-a-vis the front beam height was just fine.  I learned that I am a shoulder raiser. Or at least I am a right shoulder raiser!

I suspect it was the shoulder raising that added insult to injury when I carried those heavy purses.  I know I did raise my shoulder when my purse was on it because I have sloping shoulders and it was the only way to keep a purse on my shoulder.

So now, when I weave, I have to consciously think of that right shoulder as being heavily weighted down in order to relax it. As long as do that, I am fine. It now will probably always be natural for me to hike up that shoulder.  I will have to be always watchful.

Related Posts
Resting Shuttles

"Shoulder Issues" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 3, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Robert Genn of the twice-weekly newsletter called Painter’s Keys wrote a letter in response to a woman who wanted to know what to do because her small art group had broken up. Here is a part of that letter. When he talks about artists, think weavers.

The main reasons artists congregate into groups are friendship, education and opportunity. Groups ebb and flow with the increase or diminishment of any of these. I've noticed that many artists actually bloom when they abandon clubs....Artists thrive when they learn to stand on their own two feet. They often find it easier to access their own inner creativity, build a unique style, and activate the latent ego-force that's necessary for growth.

This was the part of the letter I responded most to because it described so accurately what has happened to me.

Like the woman who wrote Genn, I felt lost and adrift when we moved to an area with no weaving guilds within a relatively close distance. (By close, I mean within an hour-and-a-half drive, which is about how far the Atlanta guild was from me). I looked at two relatively large guilds in this general area. But their distance was such that I felt I would have to arrive the day before and stay overnight, in the case of the one, or arrive the day of the meeting and stay overnight before returning home. That was disappointing.

So I tried a small guild that was two hours away. After a year I realized that the two-hour drive was not worth it for me. That guild offered little to enrich my own education. Moreover, it was too far away from me to work with members on helping the guild to grow

I then spent a few months feeling guilty about dropping out of the guild and also looking into once again guilds at a greater distance. This second look at those larger guilds showed me that they just didn’t have much to offer me. And the distance was just too great for any real guild involvement. Maybe, just maybe, I began to think, I had outgrown the need for a guild.

I started reflecting on the weaving I was doing here, isolated as I was from other weavers. I began to realize how content I had become with my weaving life. And finally, finally I realized that this move so far away from the guild that had helped to grow me as a weaver, was really a good thing. I was beginning to grow and flourish in ways that probably would never have happened had we remain in Georgia. Indeed, remaining in Georgia would probably have been a true road block in my weaving life. At the same time, , however, had it not been for the Georgia experience, I would not be the weaver I am today.

I have no weaving friends now. But I have friends and enjoyable non-weaving activities. And the weaving friends I have retained from the past are not really weaving friends at all; they are friends.

Perhaps this is the healthy way to be? Perhaps I have simply been able to turn a situation I was unhappy with into a situation I am happy with. If this is the case, I am very grateful.

To read Genn’s whole piece, go here.

Related Posts:
Carter Smith and Road Blocks
Solitude: Finding One's Own Way

"Weaving Groups" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 2, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 1, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Susan has posted on her blog that when she started her current crackle project, she knew she was getting in over her head. My response was that I find that with each new warp I am always getting in over my head in some way or another. Actually, I prefer to state this in terms of challenges. Each new warp brings new challenges.

I have already had the very large challenge of designing the warp. Go here to read something about that. And even that challenge was not done until I did the final slight redesign when I wound my first bout which you can find here.

The process of winding the warp has also revealed another challenge. A small one, mind you, but a nuisance none the less.


Whenever I use a paddle, I seem to put it on the right side of the warping board. Why? Because that is where I begin winding the warp.

Occasionally, however, I end up starting on the left. That is what Warping paddle on left happened with this warp. And so I put the paddle on the left.

The paddle on the left has really proved awkward when it comes time to make the cross at the top of the warping board.

I have since moved it more towards the center which didn’t really help. It was not until I was winding the fourth bout that my hands finally taught me what I had been doing wrong. And it was my hands that taught me, not my head. The memory of the body.


Using the paddle on the left side is not going to be the only challenge with this warp. So far I know of three more:

  1. Get the bouts on the loom in the right order and facing the right way. I’ve worked on some solutions before for meeting this challenge, but I had better not let my guard down.
  2. Work out the weft stripes so that the squares are perfect squares. Do I count? Do I measure? Do I do both?
  3. Beating the twill to get a perfect 45-degree diagonal. I have done this before but it doesn’t come naturally and I am out of practice. So I will have to make a cardboard template for checking.

Doubtless there will be other challenges as well, as yet unknown to me. Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Sometimes not.


Well, again the barrel distortion is evident from the white cone of yarn leaning slightly to the right instead of standing straight up. I shall have to remember to take my close ups standing farther away and zooming in. That easily solves the barrel distortion.

Related Posts:

Warping Paddle
Baby Blanket

"Getting In Over My Head" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 1, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina