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.

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