Friday, July 31, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Handspun cardigan begun

I had spun and plied about 1200 yards of the yarn you see here.  I had intended it for weaving but then decided that it would look much better knitted up.  So I designed a top-down raglan cardigan with the top starting about 2” below the normal top for a cardigan and with a slightly scooped neck in the front.  I did this partly because I knew I really didn’t have enough yarn and I was working out ways of knitting that might allow me to use this yarn.  I intended to crop both the body and the sleeves, for example.

And I do like the way the yarn looks knitted up.

But the problem is that the yarn is very fine and that it is a 2-ply.  Because it is very fine, I am knitting it on size 3 needles, but I think size 2 needles might have been a very slightly better choice.  And because it is a 2-ply, the yarn doesn’t really fill out the stitches, which is probably why I think a smaller needle might have worked better. 

I was OK with the idea that it might take the rest of my life to knit a cardigan on these size needles (VBG!).  But I finally decided that I was not OK with the fabric that was being created.  It was also becoming clear that because the yarn was so fine I really didn’t have nearly enough yarn.

The size of this yarn, by the way, is really my default yarn when I spin with my electric spinner.  It is a nice size and consistency for weaving, but to knit with it, I would have to spin enough to make a 3-ply yarn.  Unless I plan to knit lace for which 2-ply yarns seem to work very nicely.

And then a thought came to me.  I could use it in shadow weave with the same size silk in one of the greens.  I might even consider painting the silk warp in two of the greens and then paint the silk weft in those same two greens.

Related Post:   Spinning Weaving Yarn with an Electric Spinner

Not About Knitting” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 31, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


Thursday, July 30, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

From time to time I purge blogs from my blog reader.  Some of the blogs I have purged are tapestry blogs.  But fortunately not all of them.

Today I found a wonderful fiber treat on one of the tapestry blogs I did not purge. It was a link to this post from Desert Song Studio.  There I found a wonderful slide show covering a workshop given by tapestry artist Silvia Heyden.  There are wonderful  photos of the workshop, of the participants (and Silvia), and of the area surrounding the studio.  I didn’t have time for this today.  But I found I just had to watch that slide show.  Despite the fact that I am not a tapestry weaver.

Thank you, Tommye Scanlin.

Related Post:  One Tapestry Weaver’s Design Process

Fiber Treat” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 30, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Overshot treadling

The photo shows two sets of treadlings.  In the first I have used red 60/2 silk for the pattern weft and yellow 120/2 silk for the tabby weft.  The warp is 60/2 silk. 

Yes, the pattern weft does look orange.  That is the yellow influence on the red.

I have treadled the pattern treadles in order.  The first pattern block is treadle 3 repeated 15 times (with shots of 120/2 after each pattern weft, the second is treadle 4, and so on through treadle 8.

In the second I have used the yellow silk tram for the pattern weft.  The silk tram is slightly heavier than the 60/2 silk and much shinier.

The black arrow points to a treadling error.  You can figure out the error for yourself, if you like. If you look at the other  blocks, it is clear that the yellow shows the same in the second-last block as it does there.  That is treadle 5.  It should have been treadle 6.

I am not overly fond of overshot treadlings in crackle.  I do not like the vertical warp break-ups of the individual pattern threads. I find those vertical warp lines distracting;  they disrupt the pattern being created by the pattern shots.  Perhaps if the warp were closer in color to the pattrn weft color, this would not be so relevant.

This is not to say that I do not like overshot.  I simply do not like the results on a crackle threading of overshot treadling. If find

But overshot treadling has a definite use;  it shows with great clarity where the blocks are.  I usually include an overshot treadling in my software when I am working with this crackle for that very purpose.  And I think it is probably a good idea to try it out in my next project, not just in the software but in the introductory sampling to help in finalizing the design.

Related Post:  Silk Tram

Treadled as Overshot” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 28, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
Leigh, in one of her comments, has called attention to my prolific blog writing. Or at least to her it seems prolific now that her time is being taken by moving house.

My snap answer was that I love to write. Well, I do!

But it is much more than the love of the writing that keeps me writing. It is how my writing and weaving have become almost indissolubly linked. Blog writing is (mostly!) a pleasure in itself, but it also moves my weaving forward.

On those days when I cannot blog, which, fortunately, are few and far between, I am dreadfully frustrated, just as I am dreadfully frustrated on a day I cannot weave.

This week is going to be low blogging and low weaving and, although it is because of another activity I dearly love going on this week, still I am frustrated. But, much as I love weaving, I also love music and will not sacrifice this week’s activities for the sake of weaving and blogging.
More days in a week would be lovely. But there would still be choices.

Related Post:  Blog Anniversary!

Blog Writing” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 28, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have been neglecting my E-sketchbook as of late. The reason? I have become focused on my next crackle project. This means that weaving ideas that jump into my head during those odd moments are all about this current project. They are not free-floating someday ideas or inspirations that I like and might someday find a way to use. Or not.

When I focus on a project, all my thoughts, ideas, go into Word Perfect documents, into WIF files, and into images I keep in My Pictures folder. Except for this last, I keep these together in a folder in my Crackle folder. Sometimes I copy images into these documents.

But then Nigel’s latest blog post appeared. He is using his blog to record in great depth his experiences in his first year of intensive study in Woven Textile Design. I love his posts because they are all so exciting to read. They are not only informative but they capture something of the essence of what it is like to be doing this course. He brings all the excitement and agony of it very much alive.

But this particular post has a bit about sketchbooks. Nigel is keeping a “real” sketchbook for the course he is doing. As he talked about ways of doing this, I found myself thinking, this is exactly what I need to do!

My ideas about this next crackle project are still fuzzy and fluid. I am doing a lot of grappling and looking and thinking. Much of this does not really belong in a Work Perfect document at all. Indeed, it is hard to read it there and sort it all out. It belongs in a………drum roll here…………an E-Sketchbook dedicated to this particular project.

And so I have begun. The first two pages:


There is a downside to this focus on my next project. When I cut this warp off the loom, I am going to want to work with analyzing the samples. I have already forgot about the scarf I wove. So it is going to be hard for me to go back to it in order to fix errors, wet-finish, braid fringes………..

Related Post: E-Sketchbook

Starting A New E-Sketchbook” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 27, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I have had a bit of trouble with floating shafts on this current warp.  I sent an email to LeClerc asking about purchasing weights for the shafts.  Their return email said that this particular loom does not need weights but can be adjusted to deal with this problem with the treadle springs.  Here is a photo.

Treadle Springs

Clearly the cords are adjustable, but what effect does adjusting them have on the shafts?  Maybe I will have to figure out a way to step on a treadle and sometime lean waaaay down to see what is going on back here.  Actually, harnessing my husband’s foot is probably a better idea.

LeClerc also suggested loosening the tension.  A funny thing that they should suggest this…….

As I have been weaving these end-of-the-warp samples,  I noticed that occasionally I had no trouble with shafts floating.   Well, maybe the tiniest tiniest bit.  But really, not trouble.  Why not?  Because I did not have the tension ramped up quite so high.

But there is a consequence.  On the first lift, many warp ends that lie at the bottom are just loose enough to cause problems with a clean shed.  The other five lifts seem to be fine.  So on the first lift, I try to remember to clear the shed by hand.

I am still curious about this.  If the warp were imperfect, this looseness should show up on all the treadles (i.e., shaft combinations). Or so it would seem to me.  This is not a draft like Summer and Winter where an exorbitant proportion of threads are on two shafts. 

A possibility.  The shafts that stay down on the first lift are shafts 3 and 4.  These are the rear two shafts of the four shafts I am using.  Perhaps a solution is to raise the warp ends at the back.  One way to do this is to leave the raddle in when I weave.  And I have done this.  But for no particular reason other than a New Mexico weaver of rugs once said to me, when asked about it, why bother removing it?

But there is another way.  I learned this on the WeaveTech list.

Here is a photo of the back of my loom from the side.

Rear of loom sidie view

The back can be let out or in.  I do this by raising the two back bars out of their slots and move the back of the loom forward into the slot of choice.  Up till now, I have used only two slots.  I have the back fully open for weaving, as the picture shows it.  Or I have removed the lowest bar from its slot and then removed the upper bar and moved the back of the loom forward until I could  get the loom back close enough to the castle that it could fit into the slot slot closest to the back of the loom would fit into the bolt on the castle. Doing this folds the loom up tight for moving or storing. 

But, as was pointed out on the WeaveTech list, there are more slots (three to be precise) in that upper bar where the back of the loom can be placed. I had never thought of moving the back to those positions.  I had never thought to ask why those slots are even there.  But from reading the WeaveTech email list, I have learned that there are weavers who actually do not weave with their LeClerc loom all the way back in the rear.  They freely use any of the slots. Doing this gives them cleaner sheds.

What happens when you bring your loom up towards the castle and slip it into one of those three slots?

1. You shorten the length of the warp.  The closer in you bring the back beam, the shorter the warp becomes. This makes really tight tension a little more problematic as there is less warp length to take that kind of stress.

2. You raise the height of the back beam.  The closer in the back beam goes, the higher the back beam goes.

3. You cause a downward slant in the warp as it travels from the back beam to the heddles.  The closer in the back beam goes, the sharper the slant. Is it this downward slant that might be the solution?

I am not a mechanic so I don’t understand any of this in terms of its impact on weaving.  And I don’t understand the mechanics of tightening or loosening the treadle springs. I shall just have to experiment.

More on Floating Shafts” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 24, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


Where’s The Juice? – In this piece, Robert Genn addresses what I might call, “artistic mid-life crisis.” The piece is about artists’ losing faith in themselves in the course of their careers, something many people do in the course of their lives. Genn doesn’t tell the reader how to fix it, something I appreciate. But he does give snippets of how other artists have dealt with the problem. As for myself, I am not at that point yet. But as I continue to pursue weaving, I know I am pushing myself closer and closer to just such a crisis and hope only that I have the strength to weather it.


I just happened upon a piece called “10 Qualities of Slow Cloth.” Go here to check it out.

For my take on slow weaving, go to this old but still relevant post.


Bonnie has an interesting post on color sampling. I find her unique use of color windings fascinating. Go here to read about it.

Dyeing 101: Know Your Dyes -- this is an excellent post from The Roving Gnome on the differences between acid dyes, reactive dyes and direct eyes. If you are a chemist or know anything about chemistry, you will appreciate the detail with which he goes into the chemistry of these dyes. And if you are not a chemist, this is a must-read post for any dyer or future dyer. The Gnome knows his stuff.

Kindred Threads has created the most amazing shadow weave bag. Go here to see it and learn how she did it.


For an inside look at what she calls her “sketch book/record book/project notebook,” go to this post from Daryl’s Blog. It is beautifully done.

Reading” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 23, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Alternating treadles 120.2 tabbies

Alternating treadles, heavvy gold tabby 

Here I have juxtaposed the two versions of alternating treadles that I think will be of use in my next project.  Think of the reds and blues as dark grays and browns.  Think of the yellows as a rich lime green.  The lime green at the top would be 120/2 silk.  The lime green at the bottom would be the heavier shiny silk.

This sampling does not represent what will be the ultimate threading block order, nor the order of the treadling blocks, nor the height of the treadling blocks.  It simply gives me a direction of what I can do to accomplish the project I am planning.

All this means that the tabbies will play an important role in the design.  3 shuttles going…….


And one more thing.  I have my new camera and I’m loving it.  It’s an advanced digital camera but not a digital SLR.  Two of the things I like about it: 

1. I get much better close-ups.

2. I only have to do the tiniest bit of tweaking to color in the software.

Related Posts: 
   Color and Neutrals
   End of Warp Sampling: Treadlings with Tabbies
   Weaving with Multiple Shuttles

Alternating Treadles, Different Tabbies” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 22, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

End of Warp Sampling

The white weft shots mark the division between treadling (polychrome-the bottom half in the photo) which requires no tabby shots and treadling which does require tabby shots (above the white weft shots).


The first group of treadlings are those with the dulled reds and blues and the yellow blocks. This is treadled Summer-and-Winter style. This is basically treadling shafts 3,4,4,3, repeating, then shafts 5,6,6,5, repeating, and so on. The first treadle in each group is blue 60/2 silk, the second is the heavier lustrous yellow silk, and the tabbies are red 60/2 silk. A tabby is treadled after each pattern shafts. The tabbies are treadled with the treadles not used for the pattern threads in the current group, and they are treadled in order. Here is an example using the first block:

3,pattern blue, 5 tabby
4,pattern yellow, 6 tabby
4, pattern yellow, 7 tabby
3, pattern blue, 8 tabby

My choice of yarns, I decided, are quite misleading. The yellows and blues in S&W treadling should turn out to be equally clear. The heavier yellow, combined with its strength of color, diminishes the blue. To be effective, I would probably use both colors in that heavier thread and I would have used 120 silk for the tabbies. Still, what is happening is clear enough to me that this is not what I want for my next project.


Where you see the brighter reds, I have stopped treadling S&W and simply alternated blocks, still including the tabbies in the same manner. This, time, however, I have used 120/2 silk in orange for the tabby. That fine orange has a definite effect on the not-quite-so-fine reds of the pattern wefts.

After the first three blocks is this group, I changed to a yellow 120/2 silk tabby. Wanting to minimize the yellow, in the next 3 blocks, I used both the orange and the yellow silks, sometimes alternating, sometimes using the yellow for only one treadle in a treadling group.

Finally, in the last block you see here, I used the heavier silk for 3 and blue for 4. And the result there resembles somewhat the earlier polychrome treadlings.


As I weave these samples, I am trying to imagine these treadlings in a totally different color scheme:

Basic Color Scheme

Not a typical Peg in South Carolina color scheme…….. But I am very very excited about it. I even have a working title for the piece!

Related Post:
Crackle Treadled As Summer and Winter
Crackle Treadled as Summer and Winter Continued
Summer and Winter and…….Crackle (Of Course)

End of Warp Sampling: Treadlings with Tabbies” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 21, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Shawl blog post

I am so angry with myself.  I  have started taking pictures of the shawl I have planned to submit to the fiber show sponsored by the Atlanta weaving guild.  Today I checked the deadline.  July 1.  I had remembered July 31.  And for some really stupid reason I never put it on my calendar.

Usually I put in this kind of deadline on my calendar and I add a warning for two weeks before the deadline and then I put in a mail-by date on my calendar.  I didn’t do any of that.

Lesson learned.

I had started working on the photography yesterday.  This was the first halfway decent one I came up with but I didn’t like it.  I had then done some more re-arranging and photography and was getting to something I liked better.  Planned to go find paper today that was some kind of light gray.

Here is the direction I was moving toward, but with a change of background, of course……….



Related Post: 
   Handspun Shawl Done….Almost
   Spinning for Weaving

Missed Deadline” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 20, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.



Friday, July 17, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Weaving software is wonderful for spotting errors. I enter the threading and treadling and the drawdown magically appears.

One kind of error that the software shows up on its own is a check for floats. When I click on the check-for-floats menu, the software not only will show me the number of floats that are more than I want (say no greater than 3), but it will also highlight exactly where those floats are. It will do this for both warp threads and weft threads.

But for most of the errors I have to rely on my own eyes. And sometimes my eyes do not see. This was the case with a current drawdown I have been working with, a drawdown intended to be the beginnings of the final design for my next crackle project. Here it is.

floats of 4 treadled S&Wblog post

I have labeled the threading blocks at the top of the draft.

As I was in the process of labeling them, an interesting thing happened. I got to block H and saw that there were two more threading blocks. Wait a minute, I thought, isn’t H the same as block 8? Being arithmetic challenged, I had to work this out on my fingers. Yes, block H is the 8th block.

I knew the last block was supposed to be an A block. I wanted to make sure that I had the join right at the repeat. But what about this extra block between H and A?

I scrutinized the drawdown. There I found that the drawdown of threading block D was the same as the mysterious second-to-last threading block. Not absolutely precise because the threading is oh-so-slightly different. But the same, none the less. So for purposes of easy recognition I labeled it D-1 and saved it.

Yes, I saved the darn thing. I did not want to forget. Precisely, I did not want to forgot that I am made in such a way that to find problems I have to do something more active than just looking. I have to do something that will force me to see. Getting the drawdown into another form which allowed me to label blocks was the thing I needed to do.

Then I went back to the software and redid the drawdown. I had to redo it three times before I got it right. Why? Because I got confused as to which way the threading went as I deleted warp threads, left or right. I learned that the easiest way to start again is just to do a close without saving, then bring it up again. Finally I got it right.

Well, not totally right. The join between threading block H and threading block A needs some attention….

Floats of 4 treadled S&W corrected blog post

I wonder if others have this problem of seeing, of really seeing.

Related Post:
Crackle with Floats of Four (or More)
I Need a Proofreader

Weaving Software and Finding Errors” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 17, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

End of Warp Sampling Begins

I have begun this sampling with more polychrome treadling. These are not the colors I will be working with in my next project. It seems at this point that my next project will be in grays and browns with greens.

I do not want to do a separate set of samples with those colors. First of all, I still have to do a lot of dye sampling. Then there will be the dyeing of all the yarn I will need. And threading and weaving 60/2 silk is not a fast project.

I have a deadline sometime in January.

So I am going to risk putting on a very long warp which will give me lots of room to sample. Doing that, however, will have the further advantage of getting the warp used to the loom so that it will behave. I have found on every silk warp that I have woven is that it takes nearly a yard of weaving before the warp finally bows down to my demands.

So as I weave this I must mentally erase all the sharp color contrasts in this current warp. Instead, I try to imagine the grays, the browns and the greens. The next project will involve much more subtle use of color. The colors will continue to be rich, but the effects will be far more subtle. That is my hope.

This desire for subtlety means that my threading blocks are going to be designed differently from what it was for this warp. On the right side of the sample, there are these wide rectangles of color—blue, gold, red, depending on how I have used the colors. If you look at the gold treadlings at the top, you can see that those threadings do represent three different blocks. But much of the time, the treadlings do not let those blocks read as three separate entities. That will have to change.

I do have an image in my head. I even have a working title. I can see that I can use these colors in ways that will make for an interesting piece if I use the treadlings I have just done here as the basis for the next project.

I have a bit more playing to do with the polychrome treadling and then I am going to move to some treadlings which will require tabby. Not my favorite way to go in terms of pure weaving. But based on what I have seen in the computer drawdowns, I am thinking that is going to be what I will want to do. On the other hand, I know that computer drawdowns do not tell the whole truth. So I will sample.

Backk Rod Coming Off Beam

The back rod is beginning to come off the beam but the warp is still behaving. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!

Related Post:
8 Crackle Blocks on 4 Shafts
Treadling with Floats of 4: 8 Crackle Blocks on 4 Shafts

End of Warp Sampling Begun” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 16, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I found the most fascinating color search engine during my “time away.”  It is called Multicolr Search Lab.  You put in anywhere from one to ten colors (ten is the maximum) and it will bring up pages and pages of images from Flickr with those colors.  Go here to play.

I found it from the blog called Quiltantics.  And I found that blog via a link on dyeing from an email list.

I’m not going to tell you how much time I have wasted…I mean spent….  In truth, playing on this site has led me to some interesting color ideas for my next weaving project.

Related Post: 
   Playing with Color
   Painting a Mock-up – with Paint or Computer Software

Time to Play with Color” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 15, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


But not off the loom, not mended, fringes not twisted, not wet finished, not pressed.  And it’s staying on the loom for a bit.

I have made preparations for doing a bit of sampling on the last of this warp.

Between scarf and end of warp sampling

After securing the closing shots of the scarf with junk yarn, I inserted a number of sticks into the different sheds until I had enough to do a fringe on the scarf.  These are the same sticks I use to separate warp layers when beaming on. Then I threw a few shots of heavy rug yarn and then a few shots of 10/2 cotton.

Now I am ready to sample.

But I don’t have a whole lot of room left for the sampling.

Back Rod at Beam Bottom

The back rod is at the bottom of the back beam.  That means it won’t be long before it lifts off the beam and starts rising to the back of the loom.  When that happens, how much I can continue to weave is based on the quality of the warp tied on to that back rod.  It’s not actually tied on to the back rod;  the rod was inserted through loops.  That makes the chances pretty good that it will be fine.  But I never know and don’t count on anything.

Those extra little warp ends going round and round the beam are the extra warp ends I hadn’t needed when I was done threading.  I had just thrown them to the back, cutting them as short as I could.

Also visible is one of the intarsia bobbins I use to wind the selvedge weft on to.  I then attach weights to it with shoe laces.

Related Post:  Beaming On

Finished” Written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 14, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Close to the End

I’m coming close to the finish line.  I’m trying not to rush.  Trying to take it slow and steady.  This is not easy for me.

Related Post:  Rush to Finish or Slow Down?

Rush to Finish or Slow Down?” Written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 13, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, July 6, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have decided to withdraw from blog writing, blog reading, and, to some extent, weaving for the week.  Chuck and I will be away for part of that time,  and I decided that it was a good time just to take personal time for the rest of the week as well. 

I am fine.  Just taking care of myself.

Taking a Break was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 6, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Friday, July 3, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

On reflection, I have discovered that I have come a long way technically in my ability to weave 60/2 silk.

First, this has been a wonderful warp.  By far the best I have ever woven on in this silk.  This warp is a big jump over my last warp and I attribute it to gritting my teeth and winding on approximately 1-inch bouts and then gritting my teeth again and lashing on to the front rod in 3/4-inch bouts.

Previously I had made my bouts about 2 inches wide when I made them at the warping board.  And when I lashed on to the front rod, I had tied on in 1 1/2-inch to 1-inch groups. Changing these two things has made a big difference in the overall evenness of tension in the warp. 

The major result of this reduction is size is that so far I have seen on the wrong side only one weft throw where a couple of a couple of warp ends were missed.  And I am almost done!  This is a record for me and will motivate me to continue to beam on this silk in narrow bouts.

Also as a result I have had very few problems with loops of weft yarn getting caught in the warp.  But they are still there, primarily close to the selvedges.  I have figured two things I need to do to solve the last of this problem:

1. WEFT YARN TENSION: I have not tensioned my yarn in the shuttles tightly enough.  I bumped the tension up one notch and doing that had a decided effect.  I need to be able to bump it up just a bit more and I think that will mean using a temple. Otherwise the pull of the weft yarn against the selvedge edge will start to draw the selvedge in too much. When I start the next warp I will test this out.

2. LIGHT: I need better light.  I am getting more precise in what I look at as I weave and I have discovered that often I can actually see the beginnings of what will be a loop after I throw and beat the next shot.  It is an easy thing, before I do that, to pull at the end just enough to straighten it out so it won’t loop.  Better light should make it easier for me to see this sort of thing, so I am looking at miner head lights.

There is, however, something I still need to figure out.  Well, actually, it is probably a matter of practice pure and simple. There is an issue with the pirns themselves.  I talked earlier of the knots.  These definitely interfered with my ability to get even tension on each weft thread.  But there is another issue.  Even without the knots, the weft yarn still gets stuck from time to time.  That means I have not wound the pirn at that point exactly correctly.

The next time I wind pirns I shall have to be observant and careful.

Related Posts:  
   Winding the Silk Warp
   Pirn Winding

Reflections on Weaving Technique was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 3, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

First gold design section on blue

I’m beginning to see the end of this.  One more blue section, another gold section, then the final blue section and short gold section.

I have all kinds of mixed feelings right now.

First, I want to rush headlong into the weaving and get it over and done with.  But at the same time I want to slow down and not finish it so quickly.

I want to finish it quickly because I can barely stand the suspense of what it is going to look like off the loom.  Right now I am feeling pretty awful about what it is going to look like so the sooner I get it off the loom the sooner I can find out just how bad it is.

On the other hand, slowing down postpones the reality and also prolongs the agony. 

On May 19th, I posted this tidbit from The Hidden Order of Art.


Today, and recently, that passage really speaks to me.  I am doing my best to drown out the voice that would make me “sweep the whole mess into the wastepaper basket.”

So, should I rush to finish?  Or should I slow down. The answer seems to be to do neither.  Just keep up my usual rhythm. The rhythm will drown out the negative voices.

Rush to Finish or Slow Down?” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 2, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Here are some drawdowns for treadlings.


I have kept the images small in order to give a better feel of what the fabric might look like woven.


I have taken the threading drawdown I designed earlier for getting 4-thread floats instead of 3-thread floats. The basic threading I worked with was a threading that allows me to get 8 blocks on 4 shafts.

The warp is all one color, blue. The block on the very left, however, has green warps. This is the same block as the block on the far right. It is there to test the join between first and last block. It is green so that I don’t forget that this block is a repeat.

Using that drawdown, I tried some treadling variations I am particularly fond of. Well, the first one I am not particularly fond of, but I use it because it shows the block structure so clearly.


Treadling #1 is overshot- style treadling. I have used red throughout. *Tabby is required but not indicated in the draft.

Treadling #2 is treadling on opposites. In each block I have used green for the first weft color, and rose pink for the second. I repeated the sequence twice. In the repeat, it is the rose that appears as the first weft color and green for the second. The result is the appearance of more blocks than there actually are. Theoretically this should not require *tabby, but I’m not sure.

Note: there are no such things as genuine opposites on this threading, despite the fact that the tie-up makes it look like there is. One result of this is that there are no genuine tabbies.

Treadling #3 is a kind of pseudo summer&winter treadling. For one block I alternate treadles 1 and 2, then I move on to alternate treadles 2and 3 and so forth. As in #2, I have alternated green and red weft threads. Like #1, the long blue warp floats clearly visible in the draft mean that weaving this requires *tabby.

Treadling #4 is polychrome treadling---i.e., treadling the six treadles and repeating. I used green for the one treadle in a given group and red for the others. Tabby is not required.


My favorite of these, at least on paper, is #3. I had not realized how much interplay of weft and warp there is in this treadling. The interplay is there in my current weaving, but it is not nearly as vibrant and demanding in its attention. The idea of weaving *tabby does not, however, please me, for I would be adding yet another shuttle into the mix, and I would probably use 120/2 silk to make it as little obvious as possible.

On the other hand, I really like what I did here. That is the same treadling as #4. The same treadling as my current piece. Hard to believe! It was just a different way I used the colors as I treadled.


Extending the weft pattern floats from 3 to 4 seems to have no impact on the drawdown. Had I done this with the 3-float drafts I have been using, I am sure no one would have noticed any real difference. This leaves two questions in my mind:

1. Why bother with this?
2. Why not jump to 5- or even 10-float drafts to see what happens?


In this structure there is no true tabby (unlike ordinary 4-shaft crackle). So one has to think in terms of binder threads and get creative. Zielinski is of enormous help here in suggesting some possible solutions.


Those of you who have clicked on the above images to see them larger will have learned that there are not four images but only one. What I did was to copy and paste these images into a page of my E-sketchbook (kept in Microsoft Publisher) and once pasted, to arrange them as I wanted them. Then I locked them into position. I then copied the locked group and pasted it into this blog post. On my E-sketchbook page I can unlock the group any time I want. I assume that any of the publishing programs would allow you to do this.

Related Posts:
Crackle with Floats of Four (or More)
Summer and Winter and…….Crackle (of course)
Crackle Treadled as Overshot

Treadling with Floats of 4: 8 Crackle Blocks on 4 Shafts” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 1, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.