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.

No comments: