Thursday, January 29, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

At least one person caught the second clue:  the label at the bottom.  Yes, four-shaft crackle.  I am weaving it with two colors.  This means three shuttles, since the tabby is required.  I weave the blocks by alternating first treadles 1 and 2, then 2 and 3, then 3 and 4, and finally 4 and 1.  This obviously gives a twill order to the blocks---a diagonal line.

4 shaft crackle from side on loom Forgetting the weird thing my camera did with the fine red tabby threads in the photo, I don’t particularly like what I see on the loom.  I used the red for tabby on purpose because one of my questions is what would happen if I used a contrasting weft for tabby.  Right now I don’t like it but I don’t know what will happen when I wash and full it.  I am trusting that I will like it enough to send off to the Complex Weavers’ Crackle Study Group exchange in March.  Yes, I have decided to weave this for the rest of the warp.  That should give me enough length for the samples I will need.

So far, washing and fulling wool samples has in general produced results I quite liked.  If I hate the results I may still send the samples in as the results of a “learning experience……..”

Will I return to weaving crackle with wool?  Will I return to weaving crackle with thick yarns?  I do not know.  But when I am done with this, I will have a base from which to start if and when I decide to try some more.  But I would first have to answer the question:  why?

Why would I move from fine silk to heavy wool?

One answer would be the desire to weave crackle in a much larger format.  But that simply brings up another question:  why would I want to do that?  I am very happy weaving crackle with 60/2 silk.  It is the difference between painting with a very fine water oil brush and painting with a large one.  Painting with a large brush needs a large canvas;  a small brush needs a small canvas.  Large brushes are bold;  small brushes are more subtle.  Not that there can’t be boldness or subtlety in both approaches;  it is the basic approach that is different.  I like the intimacy of a small canvas.

On the other hand, I do like the softness, the fuzziness of wool.  This is one reason I miss living in the north.  This is probably why most of what I spin is wool, despite the fact that I live in South Carolina. So the chances are that I might turn to wool, but it would probably be fine wool.

Related Post:  A New Threading: More Sampling

"Four-Shaft Crackle" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 29, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Janet said...

I've been considering weaving some big 2ply wool blankets in crackle - all that colour without great long floats. The slowness of the two shuttles is giving me pause at the moment and I can't turn the draft as my blanket loom is only 4S, but I'm still giving it a good hard think. Will have to see how I like my own samples with a single shuttle - that might be just the ticket.

Peg in South Carolina said...

It would make a lovely warm blanket!