Monday, August 31, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

May I say how surprised I was when I opened my blog this morning to find that, despite my best attempts, the preceding two blog posts were still not in order the order I wanted them……………..  Guess I’ll just have to live with it.

Related Post:  Still a Problem with the Draft

Blog Post Ordering” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 31, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
In the earlier overshot treadling, just one treadle was pressed for each block. It was repeated until it was as high as the original draft demanded.
Here, however, instead of overshot treadling, I have alternated pattern treadles. But like the overshot treadling, I have used the same color weft, green, throughout.
For a feel of how the two treadlings compare, here is once again the overshot treadling.
There are two main differences in the two drafts:
1. The first (top) draft is about twice as long as the second draft.
2. The blocks in the second (bottom) draft have greater clarity than the blocks in the first draft.
The first drawdown is longer for the simple reason that there are twice as many treadles per treadled block as there are in the second draft.
In the second draft, the draft with overshot treadling, I have treadled each block with 6 treadles. The exception is the point twill section where I used 2 treadles per treadling block. That treadling section is clearly visible across the length of the draft at its very center where the treadled blocks get much shorter.
The greater clarity of the second draft is simply a function of the treadling.
Here is a second version of treadling with alternating treadles. This time I have used two colors for the pattern wefts, green and brown, alternating the colors as I alternate the treadles. The empty spaces between blocks and groups of blocks is still there.
This is becoming more interesting to me. Something I can play with both in terms of the threading blocks and the treadling blocks.
One thing I must point out is that in no case has either of these drafts been treadled literally tromp as writ.
Treadling tromp as writ means to treadle the treadles in the order of the threading. That has happened. But if you look at the threading blocks, you see gradations in the width of the blocks in the non-point twill sections (groups 2 and 3 and 5 and 6) in the drawdowns. This gradation is not mirrored in the treadling.
Related Post: Tromp as Writ

Alternating Treadles for Blooming Leaf” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 27, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
(Note: I removed this post because I had intended to post something else first.  Without that other post, this post made not too much sense.  I have now posted the correct post and am about to post this.  They should now be in the correct order.  Overshot and crackle can muddle a brain……)
And I’m not sure it is a treadling or a threading problem, or both.  Actually, I’m not even sure that the problem is a problem, for a rather like what is happening.  Still, I do need to figure out what is going on.
The version with the all green pattern wefts shows the problem up most clearly.
These are the two point twill sections.  They are clearly different.  It is not that one is the reverse of the other.  That is part of the design.  But the warp blocks (the dark blocks in the image)and the weft blocks (the green blocks) are reversed. 
Here is the version of these two block groups when alternating colors with the alternating treadles.
New difficulties shows up here.  The first difficulty shows itself on the horizontal plane in both design groups.
At the very center, in both design groups, there is a very narrow horizontal block.  Everything above that block should be mirrored in everything below that block.  But there are two ways in which this does not in fact happen.
1. The immediate block on either side of center are themselves different heights.
2. The immediate block on either side of center are also either treadled differently or the colors are thrown differently.
The results of these two problems means the bottom of the draft does not mirror the top. 
The second difficulty shows itself only in the second design group, the one on the right.  There the problem is on the vertical axis. 
There is a narrow center going up and down.  Like the center going back and forth, one side should mirror the other.  In this case there is an error to the right of the center.  Something is interrupting the first block to the right of center.
Back to the drawing board………

Still a Problem with the Draft” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 28, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
After working out the crackle threading for the Blooming Leaf overshot draft, I decided it was time to do a profile draft of the threading.  Had I done this to begin with, I would have saved myself some grief.
A profile threading draft indicates what and where the threading blocks are going to be.  Here is the profile threading for the original draft of this version of Blooming Leaf.
Blooming Leaf Profile Threading 4 blocks
This is a profile threading draft for an 8-shaft overshot draft.  There are only four horizontal spaces instead of 8 because there are only four blocks.  The blocks are labeled A-D.  Each separate block unit consists of one threading unit.
The next thing I did was to transpose this to an eight block sequence, since I will be weaving 8-block crackle, even though only four shafts.  Here is what I came up with.
Blooming Leaf Adaptation Profile Threading 8 blocks
The draft is read  from right to left, beginning at the top and ending at the left on the bottom.  Since there are 8 blocks, the letters go from A to H and there are eight horizontal spaces.
There were a couple of ways I could have gone with this transposition.  The way I chose to go this time was move from 2 to 5 repetitions of a block unit every other block. 
But I did something different with the two point twills sections.  I wasn’t sure how 1 crackle unit would stand up on its own, so I used 2 crackle units for each of those blocks. 
The problems with the earlier threading had to do with the fact that I had not always gotten the number of block repetitions correct.  Had I worked out the blocks first, I would have probably gotten the threading right the first time around.
Here is the corrected draft, treadled as overshot.
Blooming Leaf Adaptation.corrected threadingjpg
I have large spaces between each large group of blocks and I have left one space between each individual block group.  I did this simply because it made it much easier for me to get the threading right.  It is kind of like pulling out the heddles for one block group on the loom, threading those, and then double-checking them.
Now what I need to do is to try some different (non-overshot) treadlings.
Related Post:  Overshot and Crackle

I’ve Been Doing Things Backwards” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 26, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
I have read/heard any number of times how crackle can make use of overshot drafts.  Not the overshot threading, but the overshot block design.  Not one who is particularly in love with overshot (not even with overshot treadling in crackle!), I have paid no attention to this observation.
Until I started trying to draft curves.
At some point I began to realize that there were a lot of overshot drafts with curves in them.  So I got out my books and decided to give it a go.  I picked out a Blooming Leaf variant overshot draft.  I got it from Helene Bress’s The Weaving Book, p. 339. If you want to see the overshot threading, check it out there.*
Here is the first part of Blooming Leaf using the equivalent crackle threading, more specifically the first part of 8-blocks-on-4-shafts crackle threading.
To read the draft, start at the right hand of the top group, read to the left, come back down to the right hand side of the second group and read to the left.  The whole draft consists of a whopping 774 ends.
This translation of an overshot threading to a crackle thread was done at lightening speed at the expense of accuracy.  All I wanted at this point was to see what would happen.  I wanted to find out if it would be worth my time to start playing seriously with this draft or a similar overshot draft.  Here is the result, with all its flaws, some of which are painfully obvious even to someone who has never worked with crackle:
Blooming Leaf Adaptation
My conclusion?  Despite the errors, I think this promises to be an interesting approach.  But, since I have no interest in using overshot treadling, which is what I have used in this drawdown, I have to try other treadlings to see how they stack up.

*Another version of Blooming Leaf can be found in Davison’s A Handweaver’s Pattern Book, p. 162.  It is called Blooming Leaf of Mexico.  A similar pattern, but simply called “Leaves” can be found on page 118 of Discon’s The Handweaver’s Pattern Directory.  You can also check out Bonnie Innouye’s recent piece for Weavezine, called “Flowing Curves: Overshot and Weaving as Overshot.” It was probably this last piece, lingering loosely somewhere in the depths of my memory, that resulted in curves and overshot being brought to the surface of mind here.

Overshot and Crackle” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 25, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


I have been fiddling around trying a different threading, a threading in which I skip threading blocks.  More specifically, I have been doing threadings which move from threading blocks A to C, to E to G, and then back to B then to D, F, and H.  These threadings would result in blocks half the size of the blocks in the current draft.  My ultimate goal was to be able to combine these two threadings into a single draft.  But I have decided it won’t work.  Better, if I want this kind of effect, to use the same threadings but just halve or quarter the threading block length.


To facilitate these experiments, I had printed out the threading and labeled the blocks.  And that is when I discovered two threading errors.  In one block I was missing a warp end;  I had not finished with the beginning threading of the block.  In the other, I had added one unnecessary warp end. 

These changes seem to make no visible alterations to the drafts I have saved as JPEG’s (some of which have appeared on this blog) and so I have not changed the JPEG’s.  But I have gone back through each of the actual WIF drafts and made the changes because I know doing this will make a difference in the appearance of the fabric.  I can tell because the draft at those two points looks better.

So again, a secret to spotting errors, at least for me, is to look at the draft from a different perspective, or in a different environment.  In the recent case, the error had shown itself when I saw the draft in a draft of my blog post.  In this case, the error showed itself when I printed out the threading.

Of course there is then the problem of making errors when actually threading the heddles.  At least it helps to start with a correct threading draft!

Finding Drafting Errors” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 24, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

And what does a book like this have to do with weaving?

Bonnie Tarses recently made the following statement in a recent blog post:

Winding small amounts of yarn at frequent intervals forces me to take lots of weaving breaks. Next year I will celebrate 50 years of weaving. I owe my weaving longevity to this "slow" method.

Go here to read the whole post.

There is no way I will be able to celebrate 50 years of weaving since I didn’t start weaving until I was in my late 50’s.  But I do want to weave for as long as I am able and to do this I have to take care of my body.  One way Bonnie takes care of her body is taking lots of breaks.  That is really important.

Back to the book. Which is really about more ways to take care of your body so that in your 80’s and even 90’s you can still live an active and productive life.

This book is by Chris Crowley and Henry S. Lodge, one of whom is a practicing physician.  I found the book in an Atlanta bookstore last week.  Or did it find me?

I learned from the book that my current exercise program is pretty good. But I already know that from how my body feels and from the things I can do. More important, the book told me that I wasn’t doing enough and why what I was doing was not enough.  And the authors explain this in ways I can understand and in ways that truly make me want to do more.

Basically, according to these men, beginning about age 40 our bodies are going to start going downhill.  And with each decade that downhill slope increases. But we have a choice;  we can choose to go uphill.  Exercise, primarily aerobic exercise, but also weight-lifting, is the magic ticket. 

I knew this before I read the book.  But what I didn’t know was why exercise works.  What I did not know was how much of what kind of exercise works.  And I had never read anything presented in such a vivid way that it burned into my brain.

Also important are food, a sense of purpose, and being connected to others. But for me, the real thrust of the book is exercise. Not specific exercises.  There are trainers and gyms and books for that. The real thrust of the book is telling us how, why, and what kind of exercise works. Being convinced and remaining convinced is what can keep me weaving for the rest of my life.

Yes, there are times when I truly resent the fact that I cannot simply jump out of bed, shower, dress, eat, and be to work by 8:00.  It seems so unfair.  After all, I used to be able to do this…….

Still, I really have gotten to the point where I enjoy my morning yoga so much I cannot not do it. I doubt that I will ever get to that point with riding my stationary bicycle. Which I now know I must do for 45 minutes a day six days a week.   I am just waiting for the South Carolina heat to dissipate to the point where it is humanly possible to walk outside.  Oh, and for ragweed season to disappear as well………….

And then I need to find or replace my heart-rate monitor……..

Younger Next Year for Women” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 21, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
Different curves
This draft to the left is very long because the curves go on and on and on and on…………..   The first time it progresses through 3 threading blocks and back again.  Then through 4 theading blocks and back.  Then through 5 threading blocks and back.  And so on.  And with each consecutive curve the size of the blocks grow.
But what does fox up the design is the presence of “incidental” blocks.
The design itself begins at the upper left-hand corner of imagethe draft and gradually moves towards the bottom right-hand corner of the draft. But from time to time an “extra” or “incidental” block will appear. They are marked in the top part of the draft to the right.
In earlier pieces I have either been able to incorporate these incidental blocks into the design, or the design was such that they had no effect.  Go here to see one recent example.  And here for another.  to see something quite different, go here and here. So, I am not sure if this will work. I think the simpler draft of yesterday stands a better chance of working. The only real way to find out is to sample.
Meanwhile I am working on other ideas.

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

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
Graduated Curves
This image shows how I transformed the straight drawdown of the previous post into a curved straight drawdown. I did this by gradually increasing the number of treadles in each block in order to produce the semblance of a curve.
I now see an error that I had not seen when I was working in the software. I am missing a block between the first and second blocks. Looking at the drawdown shows just what block I need to insert: the fifth block from the top.
It is interesting how seeing an image in a new context (and after several days!) can point out things seemingly not there before.
Graduated Curves Reducing the size of the image, as I have done on the left, gives a better feel for what this curve might look like in the actual weaving. I have not only resized it overall; I have also squished it a bit from top to bottom.

Below is a corrected version of the above draft:
Graduated Curves corrrected
Comparing the two versions shows that I have made some changes in the treadling, as well as getting the treadling blocks right. Instead of each time adding two treadles to each consecutive group, I began adding more treadles.
Before I could use this in my actual weaving, I would have to do two things:
1. I would need to compute my approximate picks per inch and so figure out what the actual height these treadled blocks might be and then make any needed re-calculations.
2. I would need to sample. I am going to allow plenty of room for sampling!

Designing Curves” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 18, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
Alternating Treadles annotated
The clearest diagonals here are in the green weft shots, in this case, the second shot thrown in each block.  But the diagonals are not all that simple.  In the top two blocks, the diagonal begins near the left and proceeds to the right for three blocks.  But in that third treadled block, a new diagonal picks up and moves to the right for a total of five treadled blocks, at which point it moves to the left for two more treadled blocks.
And here is the same draft with the green weft shots being the first shots, with the brown shots following:
Alternating Treadles A 1.annotated
The treadling here is exactly the same as in the first draft.  Only the colors have been reversed.  Here the green diagonal starts at the upper left-hand corner and proceeds for five blocks, but is then interrupted.
So I changed the treadling order:
Alternating Treadles A 1 revisesd treadling order annotated
And of course two treadling blocks were removed.  Anybody want to figure out which two?  I am bleary eyed from staring at the computer screen for far too long….

And So I Begin Designing in Earnest” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 18, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

A while back when discussing E-sketchbooks, I mentioned that once I had finished one and was done with it, I could print it out.  At the time, what I envisioned was printing it out from within my software so that it would be kind of like a newsletter format, then taking it to a printer’s to have it spiral-bound.

One issue is that I do not have a color printer.  My husband does, but he doesn’t have the software.  The software being by Microsoft probably will not load on his computer.  The only other alternative would be to network our printers. 

A couple of years ago, a professional computer guru did just that for us when he came to our home to deal with some more important computer issues.  It was nice for both of us.  He could print black-and-white and I could print color.

But then it stopped working.

But then I discovered a particular concept of self-publishing, thanks to a piece in the Wall Street Journal (August 6, 2009).  The Journal had written an article on having one’s own cookbook put out in a form comparable to a published cookbook.  Not to sell.  Just to have a copy for one’s self, maybe a couple more for friends and family.

Most of the sites just do cookbooks.  But two of the sites will take on any kind of publication.  The two websites are Blurb and Bookemon.  

On my own, I also found Lulu. But this site seems geared more to persons wanting to sell their product.

And I found an interesting blog post on self-publishing by Gojko Adzic, whose blog focuses on computer software.

Related Post:  Sketchbooks for Weavers

Printing Out E-Sketchbooks” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 17, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I was beginning to have some doubts about this whole 8-blocks-of-crackle-on-4-shafts thing, so I decided to try regular 6-shaft crackle. This simply uses normal crackle threading and keeps it going onto two more shafts.

I knew normal 8-shaft crackle wouldn’t work for what I am trying to do.

I want 8 visible blocks across the width of the fabric without a lot of plain weave or incidental weave blocks in between them. As much as possible, I want all blocks to be warp dominant or weft dominant.

With 8-shaft crackle, the only way I can get regular blocks across the width of the fabric is to tie up the treadles so that the to quadrant of the tie-up is really just an imitation of the bottom. Then what happens is really just 4-shaft crackle tied up on 8 shafts.

So, still using alternating treadles, here is what I came up with for a normal 6-shaft crackle.


Here I get a lovely red weft diagonal line. I also get a lovely blue weft diagonal line. And a lovely warp-dominant diagonal line.

The difference between the top draft and the bottom draft is simply the placement of the blue weft. Or, to put it another way,the choice of treadles to place the blue weft.

The choice of placement for the blue weft does not affect the red weft diagonal at all. Where I start the blue weft affects only where it will be seen relatively to the red weft and also where the warp-dominant blocks will appear. In any case, here are clear blocks that I could do all sorts of things with in terms of treadling order and threading order.

For a short while I was indeed tempted.

Now look again at the fabric created by 8-blocks-on-4-shafts crackle.


The diagonal lines here are not nearly so clear. And the blocks with red wefts dominating are different from time to time because the warp and weft interlacements sometimes change just a bit. I really do like this better.

But still not sold, I tried designing 12-crackle-blocks on 6 shafts. Here is a view with two overshot treadlings.


In the second treadling I tried to find a treadling which would give me a diagonal line in the red weft blocks. In vain. I really do want that diagonal line, but a diagonal line I can choose to emphasize or obscure.

Sooo…….for what I am trying to do, normal 6-shaft crackle is too regular, 12-blocks-on-6-shafts crackle is too irregular, and 8-blocks-on-4-shafts crackle seems just right for the color play I am engaging in.

Alternating Treadles on 6-Shaft Crackle” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 13, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Stranded Yarns recently led me to an interesting piece. It is called Peddles a False Feminist Fantasy. It can be found here.

The title, I suspect, was composed as an attention-getter. I love the alliteration! I think there is more to the piece than the title, at least for me.

One of the things it did make me think about was this. What if, some 35 years ago, I had been weaving. We had two small children. My husband provided the income. I had no need to work outside the home. And what if there had been an I think I might have thought seriously about selling.

Why? Because Etsy. com appears to offer an easy way to test the waters. No talking to retailers. No going to craft fairs. No having to deal face-to-face with strangers. I am bashful now. Then I was very very bashful.

Perhaps even more important, it appears to test a weaver’s ability to enter into production weaving on a small scale. I’m almost sure I would have failed that test.

But even though I have no plans for selling my weaving, posts like the one called The First 4 Steps toward Selling Your Art pull me in. This particular post deals only with step one: Devote Yourself Completely to a Studio Practice. What an important step this is! She does a really good job of explaining what she means. The hardest one for me to deal with, though I try very hard (despite the fact that I have no plans to sell my weaving…….) is stated this way:

It’s also important to be able to turn down requests and invitations that would take you away from your studio time.

So why do I read this stuff? Why do I take this stuff very seriously if I have no plans to sell my weaving? Because the more I weave the more I get drawn into the wonder of thread/color interlacements. Because crackle has sucked me in. Because I am ambitious and driven but not to sell or even to show.

40 years ago I would have been ambitious and driven to show.

Related Post:
Weaving for a Living…….or Not
Designing Issues and Weaving Shows
Weaving for a Living…or Not (about weaver and fiber artist Anita Luvera Mayer)

Selling My Weaving…Not” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 12, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

End of warp sampling off loom

The samples at the top, the polychrome treadlings, are all woven with no beinder wefts.

The remaining samples are all woven with binder threads.

The binder threads are all 120/2 silk in various colors.  The pattern threads, with a couple of exceptions, are all 60/2 silk. The exceptions are the yellow pattern threads in the overshot treadlings:  these are the silk tram which is at once a bit heavier and much shinier than the 60/2 silk.

To view the sample hanging on the door that this new one replaced, go to this post.

The treadlings that interest me for the next warp are the alternating treadles with binder wefts.  It is time to begin working in the weaving software with colors closer to what I will be actually using.

To read more about the treadlings that interest me, go to this  post and also to this post.

Something New Hanging on the Door” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 11, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

8blockson4shaftsalternatingtreadlesall possibles

Here is a capture of the various treadlings I have tried. The first thing you will see if you look down to the overshot treadling, is that I have used the original tie-up—the tie-up that did not result in easy treadling of one treadle after another. Right now my concern is not ease of treadling, but simply the appearance of the fabric.


The treadling at the top I talked about on this post. This is the treadling where the only basis for choosing the second (blue) blocks was how each one looked in relation to the first (red) block.


With treadling 2 (the second from the top), I have decided to create the blue treadles in the same pattern as the the red blocks.

To do this I chose the treadle for the first blue block. The remaining blue block treadles were then chosen so that they would parallel the red treadles. The result is consistency in the placement of the blue blocks in the fabric.

I continued this with treadlings 3 and 4 where I have simply chosen different beginning points for the shadowing blue treadling. How would I decide which treadling to use? I would choose the one where the blue blocks appeared in the places I wanted them to appear.


Would there be anything wrong with changing the beginning point of those blue blocks? Not having done it in actual threads, I don’t know. Might it create a bit of a mess in the design? Or might it create some liveliness in the design? Something to think about and experiment with.

The treadling at the bottom is simply an overshot treadling to show clearly where the blocks appear.

Related Posts:
Re-arranging the Tie-ups for Alternating Treadling
Design Preparations Continue

Alternate Treadles Round-up” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 10, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Pleased with my foray into re-arranging the treadles for overshot treadling, I decided to try the same thing with with treadling alternating treadles. Using a different color on first (red) and second (blue) treadles, I came up with this drawdown:


Again, the treadling is much easier because the first treadle in each block (always the red weft shots) runs at a diagonal. It may not be immediately obvious. When you get to the fourth treadled blocks it looks at a casual glance like the first shot has moved the other way. Looking closely reveals that that shot is the second shot and shows up blue. It is just to the left of the first shot instead of to the right, something which makes the treadling less simple than it might be.

Also the second treadle in each block is not always equally spaced from the first treadle of the block. That, too adds to the difficulty of the treadling. There is nothing wrong with that if this is what I actually want to do. But should I choose the second treadles in each block to reflect the line of the first treadles, then the two treadles would always be the same distance apart. However, some of the second block treadles would still be to the right and some to the left of the first block treadles.

Related Post: Design Preparations Continue

Re-arranging Tie-Ups for Alternating Treadling” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 7, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Remember the overshot treadling?  The treadles were all over the place with no particular pattern.  I realized I could fix that.  All I had to do was to move the tie-up around.  Here is what happens to the draft with the warp blocks treadled in a diagonal line when I mess with the tie up.  (The original tie-up is to the right):


Diagonal warp blocks easy treadling tieup

The fabric has not changed  because of the re-arranging of the tie-up. All that has happened is that the treadles follow a nice logical sequence, reflecting, in fact, what is actually going on in the fabric. This would be very easy to treadle.

But this new tie up will not work for the weft blocks treadled in a diagonal line.  Those treadles were also helter-skelter, but they were differently helter-skelter than those for the warp blocks.  Messing with the tie-up once again results in this:

Diagonal weft blocks easy treadling tieup

No change in the fabric. Same easy treadling. Only the tie up has changed by re-arranging them.

I have known about the concept of re-arranging tie-ups to get easier treadling.  Indeed, there have been times as I was weaving that I had thought about actually doing this.  But this is the first time I have actually fiddled with the software to accomplish easier treadling.

To this novice, it seems like a minor miracle!  Weaving software may not be so good for things like color or texture, but for the actual drafting, it really does make miracles possible, or at least much easier.

Related Post:  
Preparing to Design Next Crackle Piece
Weaving Software and Finding Errors

Re-arranging Tie-ups for Overshot Treadlings” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 6, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Off loom and on me 


This has been sitting on the loom for days waiting to be cut off.  Finally I could procrastinate no longer.  I had to find out.  I had to cut it off.

I was so totally surprised that I simply threw it over my shoulders (sampling and pre-piece weaving are still attached at the bottom), grabbed my camera and started shooting. 

I am one happy camper.

Related Post:  Designing the Scarf

Hot Off the Loom and On To My Shoulders” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 6, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


Now I am working with the kind of drawdown that might eventually become the basis of my designing: alternating blocks.

In the past, when I alternated blocks I simply went from the first two treadles, to the second two treadles, the third two, and so on. This time I decided to try something different.

I decided to use the set of treadles that would result in a diagonal line of blocks with red weft. I entered these into the draft, leaving spaces in between to accommodate the alternate shot.

Then I proceeded block by block to chooses the treadles for the second treadle that would carry the blue weft. My basis for choice was simply what looked best for each block.

Except for the one problem with the doubled treadle, not bad.

Treadling, however, would be extraordinarily difficult to keep track of because of the required binder threads. For each block group I would treadle for the binder those treadles which are not used for pattern wefts in the block group.

For example, here is how the first group would be treadled:

5 3 7 4 5 6 7 8 5 3 7 4

Bold represents pattern wefts, italic represents binder. Using two colors for pattern wefts means that three shuttles would be in play. Should I be insane enough to use two colors for the binder wefts………..

Related Posts:
Alternating Treadles, Different Tabbies
Preparing to Design Next Crackle Piece

Design Preparations Continue” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 5, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


I have not been all that happy with the design of the crackle drafts I have been using.  So I have decided to go back to basics and do some analysis. 


I started by returning to Zielinski’s drawdown of an 8-blocks-on-4-shafts crackle. This drawdown can be found in Volume 8 of The Master Weaver (p.  49).  This is the drawdown at the top of the photo. The threading is an ascending diagonal threading, with each unit repeated three times for each block. The treadling is overshot treadling. Binder threads are not shown but are necessary for the actual weaving.

Using overshot treadling is a good way to prepare for crackle designing because it shows so clearly the blocks, both warp blocks and weft blocks.


Looking at Zielinski’s draft more carefully than I had in the past, I saw that he had a very neat pattern of warp blocks laid on in diagonal twill order.  In the last treadled block, however, the diagonal is slightly disrupted because the warp block does not start in the middle of the preceding warp block, but at the end.  For this very good reason, Zielinski does not include that treadling block.

Continuing to examine the draft, I also saw that to achieve that diagonal line he did not treadle in straight twill order.

I looked at the tie-up.  It was not a straight twill tie-up.  Did he pick out the treadles that, if moved around, would yield a straight twill tie-up?  No, he didn’t.  Even if he had used a straight twill tie-up, he would have had to jump around in the treadling to get the warp blocks laid out in in a diagonal twill order.

Important to note is that even though he does achieve a lovely twill diagonal with the warp blocks, there are warp blocks that do not fall into that pattern.  In the second (from the top) treadling group, there is a second series of warp blocks in the center which is not part of the pattern.  In the fourth group, there is a series of warp blocks at the right that is not a part of the pattern.  There is nothing that can be done about this.


While this treadling creates a nice diagonal line of warp blocks, for me the weft blocks are more important than the warp blocks.  Zielinski’s weft blocks in this treadling are kind of messy in terms of design.  Or at least, they are certainly not laid out in the neat diagonal twill order that the warp blocks are laid out in.

The bottom half of the photo shows what happens when I pick treadles that will yield a diagonal twill order for the weft blocks.  Here is is the third and fifth treadled groups from the top that show extra weft blocks.

One other difference between the two drafts is that in mine I have finished off the bottom with a return to the first treadles to assure myself that the pattern would continue without some kind of break.

Related Post:   Crackle Shawl:  Initial Thoughts on Design

Preparing to Design Next Crackle Piece” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 4, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

End of warp sampling blue and red tabbies

There are two differences between the sampling at the bottom of the photo and the sampling at the top.

1. The order of the pattern blocks is different

2. Instead of the red-orange 120/2 binders in the bottom sampling, I have alternated that red-orange with turquoise 120/2 for the binder shots in the top sample.

It is the second change that makes the most astounding difference between the two samples.

I cannot fathom, however, why the turquoise binder shots look navy blue rather Turquoise binder weft than turquoise. The photo to the left shows the color of the turquoise silk. If I get my nose right up to the fabric, those shots do begin to look turquoise, but they still appear much darker than the yarn appears on the bobbin.

I am taking part in a very small email discussion group on a color phenomenon called simultaneous contrast. This happens when you look at something such as a very strong turquoise for say 15 seconds. Then you look at a white space next to it and you see its complement---red-orange.

In practice, this concept rarely exists in a vacuum which makes talking about it extraordinarily difficult.

I normally feel very much at ease with color—choosing colors, using colors. But reading about simultaneous contrast and listening to what others have to say about it has greatly heightened my awareness of how colors affect one another. And it has made me aware of how little of this is intuitive for me. Taking part in this group and then seeing something like this happen in my own weaving that I cannot explain is making me realize that I need to be thinking more about color and not just relying on my own intuition.


An apology. I have been referring to the non-pattern shots as tabby shots. That is really incorrect terminology for this structure has no tabby and so no tabby shots are possible. What these really need to be called are binders or binder threads. Their function, however, is the same as the tabbies in structures such as overshot and Summer & Winter: they create a stable fabric. I knew I was using an incorrect term but for neither love nor money could I come up with the right one. Now I have it.


None of this is particularly lovely as it stands. Where the value lies is in the possibilities of doing this kind of thing but with other colors. Using, for example, several grays and browns in this fashion could produce an interesting surface to lay pattern wefts such as lime greens on, but the background surface would be much more subtle than is the case here.


What appear as blues and reds in the weft shots separating the two samplings and in the weft shots ending the last sampling are simply throws, in straight twill order, of the 120/2 binder wefts with no pattern weft. In the bit separating the two samples, I have alternated 1x1 red-orange and blue green, beginning first with the one and then with the other. In the final treadling, I have changed colors at will.

Related Post: Treadled as Overshot

Last Sampling: More Overshot Treadling” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 3, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.