Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Beginning Central Pattern

Two weaving temptations have recently assailed me.

1. I was tempted not to unweave something that was just plain wrong.

2. I was tempted to let the second blue dyeing of the silk stand even though it still had more of a yellow cast than I was happy with.


The first temptation centered on a treadling error.  First I treadled 2x with pattern weft on treadle 4.  Those are the first two lines of gold weft visible in the photo above.  Now, for a moment, forget about the rest of the golds.

I was then to treadle 3x with pattern weft on treadle 8.  When I had finished what I supposed was the second treadling group, which was to be treadled 3x,  I discovered I had treadled it only 2x.  So I treadled one more group.  It did not look right. 

It did not look right because it was not right. After I treadled the first group 2x, I treadled 1x the next/correct pattern treadle.  But for the next 2 pattern treadles I went to a new treadle.

Hmm.  It wasn’t right but it did look kind of interesting. Could l I turn this “mistake” into a pattern?  Between every group of blocks I could treadle one group with the pattern weft thrown on a treadle different from what I had just treadled and what was to follow.  I would determine, at the moment of change which treadle to use for that pattern treadle on the single group of 8 treadles.

So, with this thought in mind, I continued.  It was not very long before reality set in. This was an interesting idea.  For another piece.

The problem was that it destroyed the clarity of the pattern, a clarity which characterized the patterns of the first two pattern stripes.  Looking at the photo above, which is correctly woven, shows that pattern clarity very well.

So I unwove.  Not fun, but not difficult and, since I had woven only about 1 inch (probably had thrown 60 shots), it did not take all that long.

Should I just have unwoven when I first saw the problem?  Doing this would have saved some time.  Oh the other hand, by weaving this new idea I learned, not just that it wouldn’t work for this piece, but also that it was nonetheless an interesting idea. And it working on this led me to understanding a bit more about the qualities of this piece I am weaving.  So, no, I should not have just unwoven without giving the new idea a chance.  

The selvedge ends looked a little frayed, but I didn’t worry.  I could always replace them if they broke (they didn’t break.).


Unlike the first temptation, the second temptation haunted me for days.  I had dyed the second dulled blue, but when I compared its to the first dulled blue and to the bright blue against which it would be woven, I just wasn’t really happy.

Back and forth I went.  The color will do. No, it won’t do; it has too much of a yellow color cast.  Yes, it will do; it is clearly better than the first dye lot.  No, it won’t do; I can’t live with that yellow cast.  And so on.

At the loom, I wasn’t ready for the dulled blue yet; I still had some more weaving with the reds to go.  So I continued to go back and forth in my head, resisting what I knew I was going to have to do.

I finally broke down.  I wound the white silk weft.  I redid the formula. I dyed.  And now it sits in the dye pot, soaking the very last bits of dye molecules that it can, waiting for the morning when I can rinse and dry.

Related Posts: 
   Resisting Doing the Work
   Improvising at the Loom
   Weaving as Exploration


Temptation” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 16, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Delighted Hands said...

I am glad you unwove the mistreadling! It wouldv'e haunted you and most likely ruined the whole piece for you. I have enjoyed the lessons you are sharing-thank you.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Delighted Hands, you are quite right. And thank you also for sharing that you are enjoying my posts.