Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Managing 3 shuttles

The two shuttles with red bobbins weave the background.  In this area, where I am weaving the gold motifs, I regularly alternate the two reds.  I pick the front one to weave with, then place it behind the second shuttle, which becomes the front one and so the one I pick  up next.

This may seem like an inordinate amount of work to some.  The reds are so close in value that it hardly seems to matter.  Subtlety matters.  In this case a barely perceived increase in liveliness occurs, a liveliness already there by virtue of the threading. 

I used to weave with the fell very close to the front of the loom.  Then I could not keep the two shuttles this way because there was no room.  So I put a covered board on each side for a place to rest the shuttles.

The shuttle to the right with the gold weft is the pattern shuttle.  I weave it only once in each group of group treadles.  Consequently, I do not need so much yarn so I put it on a regular shuttle.  Not the Bluster Bay end feed shuttles which hold a great deal of yarn.

Still, it is clear that what I am weaving does not require a great deal of yarn, hence those pirns are not even half full (I’ve not woven even 24” yet!).

Also visible is the measuring tape I use pinned onto the cloth.

Related Posts: 
Where is My Fell?
Learning the Hard Way
Shuttle Rests
Managing Multiple Shuttles


Managing 3 Shuttles” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 27, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The Wise Juror -- A post on nurturing your own individual voice in creating art. Listen to your work is the advice. From Robert Genn’s newsletter, “The Painter’s Keys.”

Pretty Sketchy – an interesting point of view on what sketch books are all about, namely, about thinking.  And don’t miss the link to the Flickr group.

Must Read Book: Brain RulesScott Berkun’s review of this book (Brain Rules) has definitely caught my interest.

Build a Self-Development Day – I wouldn’t build mine in the way that Persistence Unlimited does on this blog post, but I would like to play with his ideas in my own way.  I’d be curious if any of you have ideas of how you might plan your own self-development day.

Tips for Survival as an Artist--from Michael Shane Neal: Part 1 – I found this very interesting.  For me personally, the paragraph on setting aside a part of each day for study was most gratifying.  As you might remember, I have decided to do that.  And, if you have been noting my closing quotations on recent posts, you know the book I am currently reading!

Related Post: Weaving Resolutions for the New Year


“To Read” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 26, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, May 25, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Maddened as in tormented! It all began innocently enough. I simply would find my mind wandering, as I wove, to thoughts of my next warp(s). Blues and reds. Narrower threading blocks. Similar to what I am doing, but different. All kinds of ideas floating around.

Then a notice from The Textile Museum in Washington, D.C. arrived. A request for fiber entries focusing on green. I discarded the idea…….but not the request……. I started thinking.

First, however, I rechecked the deadline. Deadline is not till January. I could do something interesting in this crackle. I have not a prayer in the world that I could weave a piece that would get accepted (one of the things you have to submit is your curriculum vitae!!! oh sure!). Still, especially considering how difficult green can be, I thought it would be worthwhile accepting the challenge. And glimmers of possibilities started to float into my brain.

Also occupying my head (I can’t figure out how there can be so much room in the poor thing!) is a knitted lace summer sweater—raglan, top down. All very vague. Except that the lace pattern will be a very easy one. But then my poor head got more and more engaged. I realized it would not take that much yarn so I could use some of my handspun. Realizing that pushed everything else out, including weaving. The result is that now ideas are now coming to a critical mass where I really have to start to the labor of the actual designing. Hard work. And I want to weave!

Then there is the “small” matter of thinking about and looking at some interesting yarns for knitting our son’s annual Christmas sweater. I have always used relatively inexpensive yarns. Partly because I haven’t trusted his washing. But I’ve learned I can trust it, so this year I have decided to splurge. And I am so excited because it will be a splurge for me as well to feel wonderful yarn flowing through my fingers and watch the rich texture developing. We are going to Charleston this week (and then again next week) for Spoleto. Charleston has a simply wonderful yarn store…….

Not to mention that I am following a bra sew-along and learning that I just might be able to make really beautiful mastectomy bras, and so am looking at patterns, fabrics, books………..

And the Marimekko knit that just arrived – destined to become (when?) a nightgown for my daughter…..

Sometimes creativity feels akin to madness. I feel I will burst if I cannot work on all of this at the same time.

This madness tends to happen when I’ve been away on a trip, even a very short trip. On the way back, as I sit in the car and knit, ideas start to flow. Slowly, then more quickly. That night I wake up with more ideas and thoughts. Once. Twice. Sometimes multiple times. I don’t write them down. I know they will still be there when I get up.

In the morning I sit at the computer and go through the process of getting everything written down and roughly organized. The madness begins to dissipate. I can get back to work.

Yes, we were away briefly this weekend………….(grin!)


Related Posts:
Focus: A Postscript
Weaving Art Pieces
Weaving Masterpieces

“Maddened by Ideas” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 25, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

This current silk warp is the best warp I have ever put on. It has been giving me the cleanest sheds I have ever had with 60/2 silk. Only one treadle has been a bit of a problem. A thread or two near the left side sometimes gets hung up; so I try to remember always to stick my hand in that shed.

That shed is also a bit of a problem because the lower half the the warp does not lie flat on the shuttle race. Even loosening the treadle cord a notch doesn’t really help. All that does is make a shed that is really too narrow to weave with. Since the warp is narrow, the fact that the bottom shed does not lie perfectly flat has not been an issue. I am not shooting the shuttle across the race. It’s more akin to passing it from hand to hand.

I was contemplating all of this as I was weaving, when the phrase “floating shafts” entered my head. I checked. On the problem treadle, shafts 1 and 2, the down shafts, float. I checked the other sheds and the shafts that are supposed to be down float there as well, though not to the extent shafts 1 and 2 float when shafts 3 and 4 are up. In fact, if I push the shafts down with my hand, they come right back up! On the other sheds, the shafts stay down when I push them down.

I checked the weaving lists and found possible solutions.

1. Buy a countermarch loom. Well, yes. The shafts that are supposed to go down (and stay down) have no choice in the matter because they are tied up to do that. Jack looms, however, rely on gravity, not on a pulling action. Am I kicking myself for not having bought one because of the difficulty of tying up? Well, yes…….

2. Weave with less tension. Tried it. No matter how loose the tension, the shafts still float.

2. Add weights. Some time ago, when I had been dealing with floating shafts, I had bought some thin steel bars at Home Depot. I never used them. So I got them out and tried to tie them on to the bottom of the shafts. They would not stay tied on. I couldn’t figure out what was happening. The knot was still there, and the loop didn’t appear to be cut, but somehow, the cord was not holding them. So I put the bars away.

3. Push the shafts down with your hand. The weaver who suggested this says it is very easy to incorporate that action into the rhythm of the weaving. I have been doing that on the other treadles and I agree. But this is quite useless on a treadling where the pushed shafts refuse to stay down!

4. Spread the threading over more shafts. The heddles and the threads are so close together that their “stickiness” is keeping the down shafts from going all the way down. I’m pretty sure this “stickiness” has to be the problem as I never have shaft issues weaving anything from 4-30 epi. Threading this particular warp in this way, of course, I cannot do since the loom is already threaded. No, I am not going to cut off and start again. But I will definitely keep this threading technique in mind for the next warp.

Related Post: Jack and Countermarch Looms

“Floating Shafts” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 21, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Motif 1pspimage

Figure and ground is an art concept I have known about for a long time. Taking a photo of a person standing in front of a large shrub, for example, will result in the figure of the person, which stands out, and the ground of the shrub, which recedes into the background.

For most of us, the figure is what matters. The ground matters only insofar as it makes the figure prominent. Artists, however, realize the importance of the ground in its own right.

In studying art, most of us have been encouraged to see the shape of the ground as a positive shape, rather than a shape having been cut out by the figure. That has always been hard for me to do. It has always gone against how I have learned to see.

But as I was weaving the first motif I began to see the ground and how it was shaped as perhaps even more important than the figure. The figure, of course, is the gold pattern blocks, the ground is all the red on which it lies.

But, the gold pattern blocks really do not lie on that red ground. They are surrounded by the red ground. And I see their shapes as every bit as important as the gold figure. In fact, I can easily switch back and forth between viewing gold as figure and red as ground, on the one hand, and red as figure and gold as ground on the other hand.

Isolating the gold figure blocks, the figure (now individual gold lines)is actually almost enmeshed in the ground. As I have tried to design it, my hope is that those blocks read as a whole rather than the alternation of red lines and gold lines. And still, that is exactly what happens.

So even in weaving, the eye shifts in how it sees things.

Taking the red areas as figure rather than ground, it is difficult to see in those areas any clear figure/ground distinction. Everything is constantly changing because I am throwing two different warps in so many different ways. There is a pattern, so it is not really a jumble. There is only a vague sense of pattern because it is not readily identifiable.

I realize, too, that what I am trying to do with the blue shadowing is to integrate the design section (another figure, the eye again changing how it sees things) into the ground area, the ground area from this perspective being the group of dark red blocks which surround the figure or design area.

As I weave, I am learning.


Related Post: Crackle Shawl: The Motifs

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

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

A friend sent me a link to a short piece by the writer, Elizabeth Gilbert. It’s called “Some Thoughts on Writing” and it can be found here. It arrived just before I did some weaving on my latest piece, some weaving that left me momentarily a bit disappointed. Actually, I wanted to cry. Just a little. But I’m too grown up for that. If you believe that I have a bridge I’d like to sell you…….

But this piece was so appropriate for my disappointed state because in it Elizabeth Gilbert says something I needed to hear:

“…all writers think they suck.”

It’s not just writers who think this and need to deal with it; so do weavers. Elizabeth deals with it by……..well, read her piece!

But how do I deal with these disappointments? By seeing, not something awful, but something that is a problem. And problems challenge. This is how I can forget my own ego and “get back to work”.

Some things that getting back to work might mean for me:

  • Taking a break (or walk, or nap—short or long)
  • A little (or a lot) of unweaving
  • Cutting off and starting all over again
  • Continuing to weave with an open and curious mind
  • All of the above

Elizabeth Gilbert talks a bit more about getting back to work:

Always, at the end of the day, the important thing is only and always that: Get back to work. This is a path for the courageous and the faithful. You must find another reason to work, other than the desire for success or recognition. It must come from another place.

Getting back to work, in other words, is not necessarily easy. There must be a reason for letting go of disappointment and getting back to work.

And so, my readers, I have two questions for you:

1. How do you get back to work when you feel that what you are weaving “sucks”?

2. Is there anything in Elizabeth Gilbert’s piece that you find helpful?

image Related Post: Work

Get Back to Work” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 19, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, May 18, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Here is the beginning of the first motif, gold thrown on treadle 3, preceded by its shadow, blue thrown on treadle 3.

Motif 1 startedRight now I am intrigued by what is going on. 

  • First, looking at the expanse of red.  The warp is all the same color and yet the appearance contradicts that fact.  There appear to be lengths where, instead of very dark red warp, there is a brighter warp.  This is especially true if, counting from left to right, you look at blocks 1, 5 and 6.  I looked at the threading and none of those threading units has anything on shaft 4.  All the other threading units have threads on shaft 4.  But I don’t know what to make of that!  I shall have to look at the tie-up and see if that helps explain.
  • I’m also intrigued by the shadowy yellows in (again, counting from left to right) blocks 1, 3, 4, 5 and 7.
  • And I am intrigued by how much darker the shadow blues preceding the golds  look.  That seems to be true primarily for the photo, not for the fabric in real life. Nevertheless, the photo alerts me to the need to be watchful and thoughtful as I continue to weave in relation to that blue. Is it telling I might need to make some changes in how I handle the blue in the design units? 

Under all of this lies a sense of disappointment.  At the same time there also likes a sense of challenge. I will ignore the former and live with the latter.

Photography Notes:

1. Looking at the top of the photo shows the fell line sloping just a bit down.  The reality?  Not true.  Had I not cropped the photo, what would have been visible is that this apparent slope gets greater and greater until, where the shuttles were visible at the top, they looked like they were going to slide right off the loom!  And yet the front beam looks perfectly level…..

2. Photographs do not always tell the real truth. I must always look to the cloth first and last and in between.


First Motif Begun” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 18, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, May 15, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Stacey has a post called Beginnings and Growth on her blog, The Loom Room. She has pulled together in one very well-written essay many of my disparate thoughts about weaving in general: following a path, putting in your apprentice years, jealousy of other weavers. And illuminating all of this is her analogy with music, a profession to which she had once dedicated herself. I am very grateful for this essay.

I ran across an interesting piece called It’s Play Time. It’s about the magic this author believes can happen when workaholics “let go”. In the piece she suggests ways we might learn how to let go a bit.

Creative Lessons from Renee Magritte is an interesting piece on creativity by Scott Berkun. Berkun talks a great deal about creative thinking as it relates to technology and management areas. But much of what he has to say in this area is equally applicable to the arts (including weaving……). I thought this one of his very good posts.


When I looked at the photos Janice Zindel had posted on her blog of her studio here, I gasped. I had found my Paradise! I know it requires lots of dusting, and upkeep. But here in South Carolina, where builders seem to build houses with windows that are permanently closed, I keep the whole house open as much as I can so we get lots of dust as well.

Even better is the fact that her house is in the north woods of Wisconsin. Raised in southern Wisconsin, I have always believed those north woods to be God’s country. And just to tempt you, I just must steal one of her many photos to give you a glimpse. Janice, I hope that you forgive me.


(Quotation courtesy of Resurrection from Robert Genn’s email newsletter, “The Painter’s Keys.”)

Some Recommended Reads” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 15, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Weaving Begun

This time at the beginning I did repeat each motif unit twice, just as I did when I began the first time.  But this second time I did not leave red spaces between each motif unit group of two.  Instead, I moved directly to the next group.


In the background red, I used two different red wefts—one quite bright, the other rather dull.  I created three 4-bit binary sequences which I threaded together to make a 16-bit pattern.  I let 0 stand alternating shots of bright red and dull red.  I let 1 stand for 2 shots of dull red alternating with 2 shots of bright red. This created a design unit 128 shots high.  Woven, this measures just slightly short of one inch.  The red that follows the gold sequencing measures just short of two inches, or two design units.

The result is a bit of surface interest with a vague sense of regularity in th length of the cloth. This is in addition to the clear regularity of the lengthwise stripes of threading groups.  Weaving in this way also keeps the process of weaving interesting.


1. The obvious question now is whether or not I should use this same design unit for each of the red spaces between the gold designs.  And, if I do change it, how should I change it.  Any changes need to be subtle as the focus is to be on the gold designs.  So my best guess at the moment is that I will retain a 16 bit pattern, but design that pattern just a bit differently each time I get to the red spaces.

2. Of more concern to me right now is the design of the upcoming gold motif section.  At this point I have only the vaguest notion of what I am going to do.


Related Posts:
Binary Sequences and Designing

Weaving Begun Again” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 14, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I decided I needed some visual concept of the overall scarf before I began weaving it. Not the details; just a general layout. I had never felt the need for to do this before. But also this is probably the most complex design I have ever tried to develop. I wonder how keeping my E-sketchbook has played into this new development.


2 scarf layout I opened Paint Shop Pro and did some playing. The yellow marks, which are just erratic dashes, represent the motif designs, their general idea, not how they will appear in fact.

The design on the right is the first one I came up with. It’s a symmetrical design. OK, but boring.

So I came up with the design on the left. Still symmetric, but some changes. The solid red spaces are all the same size. Well, they are supposed to be. My “drawing,” despite using the ruler PSP offers, was a bit slapdash. But the motif designs have changed.


  • I have added the blue shadow crackle on either side of each motif. That is represented by the erratic blue dashes.
  • Then I have changed the sizing of the designs. The center design is twice the length of the others. This gives a focus.

So now I have a sense of the overall design. Once I have figured out the actual sizes, I can start weaving and work on the details as I weave.


  • Working out each design, both pattern and color
  • Creating ways to make the background look interesting without overpowering the major design elements


Related Posts:
Latest Entries in Sketchbook
Hot off the Loom and On To My Shoulders

Designing the Scarf” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 13, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Original warp end reattached

The problem was a threading error, but an easily fixed threading error.  There was only warp end that was a problem and the problem was that it had been threaded on the wrong shaft.  It  had been threaded on a heddle on shaft 3 instead of a heddle on shaft 1.

The warp ends to the right were all correctly threaded.  The warp ends to the left were all correctly threaded. All I needed to do was to get out a repair heddle and put it on shaft 1 in the same place the offending warp end was.  . 


I made a long replacement warp, winding the excess onto a knitting bobbin, and threaded that into the replacement heddle on shaft one.  I looped that around a T-pin inserted into the cloth. That is the first T-pin in the above photo, the one inserted into the original weaving at the bottom of the photo.

After I weighted the replacement warp in the back, I did a lot of weaving with waste yarn.  Sometimes I used 20/2 pearl cotton in a dark orange, sometimes heavy rug yarn in a cream color.  Then I changed to a bright white cotton. 

No variegated weft yarn anywhere!

At this point I could see that doing this  had corrected the problem.  There was no longer a 4-end weft float.


But before I put in the first of the bright white yarn, I went to the back of the loom and found the original warp yarn.  I threaded that through the heddle on shaft 1 that the replacement warp was threaded through.  I sleyed it through the reed and then wrapped it a round a second T-pin, the T-pin near the top of the weaving.

I did not remove the repair end. I wanted to weave in the repair end for a bit just to make sure nothing crazy happened.

Then I began weaving with the bright white, the heavy rug weft, and again the bright white.  I had intended the white to make it easy to see where to insert the needle when I did the hemstitching.  But I have never liked hemstitching in 60/2 silk, so I decided against it.  Instead, I will make overhand knots.

Then I cut off the repair end.  I was ready to go.  Once again……


  1. I always have a lot of trouble getting the repair heddle twisted onto the shafts.  A pliers helps, but I still have to use my fingers.  Since the wrapping ends of the heddles are a bit sharp, that does hurt some!
  2. I also had a lot of trouble seeing the dent in that 18-dent reed! With my auto-denter I don’t have to look at what I’m doing.  But trying to figure out the right dent in an already sleyed reed is a different matter. After all this was done, I realized that I have my Knit-Light from Nancy’s Knit Knacks.  I use this in the car to see at night to knit (I’m not driving,  you understand!).  All I would have had to do was to lay it along the weaving to point to the right place on the reed.  What I did discover is that I must not have turned it off the last night I was done using it, so the batteries are burned out.  Those go on my shopping list for today!

Light on the Reed

The complexity of any work of art however simple far outstrips the powers of conscious attention, which, with its pinpoint focus, can attend to only one thing at a time.   
                              Anton, Ehrenzweig, The Hidden Order of Art,  p. 21

Related Post:   Threading Error: The Discovery

Threading Error: The Fix” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 12, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, May 11, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Finding an error that means I have to do something drastic like weave back a ways or even start all over again puts me into a bit of a panic. As that panic begins to subside, I claim to myself that the error doesn’t matter. Finally I get to the point of admitting that it needs to be fixed. No matter what is involved. Sometimes it is a matter of moments to get to this point. Sometimes hours.

Once I make that decision, I immediately jump in and get it fixed. This way I won’t change my mind about fixing it. This way, too, I will be ready to go when I come back to weaving at the next session.

This time I waited awhile before I jumped in to fix the error. I had good reasons for waiting. Nonetheless, when I finally had to face the music and do it, it was very hard, after all those days, to get back to the problem. But I did.

And I discovered that I do not need to cut off and start again! I do not even have to rethread half the warp. I do not even have to resley! I am overjoyed!

Here is a hint of what I needed to do. Can you figure out what the problem was? Can you figure out what the next steps are?

Replacement Warp Threaded

All artistic structure is essentially ‘polyphonic’; it evolves not in a single line of thought, but in several superimposed strands at once.
Anton, Ehrenzweig, The Hidden Order of Art, p. xii

Related Posts: The Threading Process

Threading Error: The Discovery” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 11, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, May 8, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The threading error taught me some things. But it also gave me the gift of time—time to think more carefully about how I am going to weave this piece.

I very much like what I had woven. Technically (well, except for the threading problem), things went very well, much better, in fact, than for any previous similar warp. Aesthetically, I very much like what was happening. And I was even managing to keep really good records (which will help when I come back to that point.)


What is it that I like? The colors, for one thing. But it is the motif designing for which I am most concerned. The threading is asymmetric, which means that the motif design, along the width of the fabric, will be asymmetric.

I have always been fond of asymmetric design. My treadling and use of weft colors tend to be asymmetric. But so far I have not put on an asymmetric threading for crackle. So, asymmetric design along the length of a crackle piece I am familiar with. But asymmetric design across the width of a crackle piece I am not familiar with.

And as I reflect, I realize that asymmetry is not going to be easy. I am beginning to think that I will need to keep the motif design symmetric lengthwise, even though I will be using more than one design.


How, also, given this, to use the gold and lime colors for the motif colors? My original notion was to change those colors from design to design. Now I am coming up with plans to change them within the individual motif. And that, of course, makes me wonder if there will be too much going on. Time will tell.

Then there is the matter of the size of the motif designs and the length of the spacing between them. My present feeling is that these should be regular, but I am not convinced yet of how long the spacing between designs should be. I think this will have to be something I work out as I weave.


I have not yet investigated the threading error. Part of this is because of some mini-trips Chuck and I have been taking during this second half of the week. Part of this is because I have been thinking more about the weaving I will do when everything is fixed up.

I am hoping that, when I do get to checking out the threading, I will find that it is simply a matter of removing one or two heddles with no re-threading necessary—only dropping out the unheddled end(s), re-sleying half of the warp, and finally tying the warp back onto the front rod. But perhaps I am hoping for too much?

Related Post: Designing as You Go

Rethreading, Resleying, Reweaving: Part Two” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 8, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, May 7, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Here are a few things I have learned from this particular experience:

  1. Variegated yarn is a very bad choice for the initial scrap yarn weaving. Variegated yarn is just not going to reveal threading errors.
  2. Photos do not lie. The errors show. Looking at the fabric I wavered back and forth. Should I or shouldn’t I? The photo leaves me no choice.
  3. Blogging helps to keep me honest. With a community of weavers watching, how could I possibly let that threading error go? Thanks, guys!

Related Post: Weaving and Blogging

Rethreading, Resleying, Reweaving: Part One” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 7, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Motif units woven I have woven the first small part of the scarf, the part where I laid out the motif units. Compare this with the draft drawn up in weaving software:


It is helpful to know that in the actual fabric, the treadling is read from bottom to top; in the draft it is read from top to bottom. It is also helpful to know that I treadled two treadle units for each motif so that I could see what they looked like one on top of the other. And it is helpful to know that I treadled three groups of all red treadles between each group of motif units.

Juxtaposing draft and fabric shows more clearly than words possibly could the limitations of weaving software.


I now see just how clear a particular problem is, a problem I had thought not particularly important. This problem appears smack in the middle of the photo. It reveals itself in the motif unit on treadle four where one of the weft floats is just a bit longer than the others. But when I look for it on the draft itself, I cannot see it.



I opened the original draft. The threading in that area does look strange. But no long float shows anywhere on treadle 4. Time to look at the heddles.


Actually, time to make chocolate chip cookies for a dinner tonight. Sounds like as good excuse as any for procrastinating a bit. I need a fresh day and a clear head to deal with this.

Licking the bowl might help too?

Related Post:
Threading Error Revisited
Threading Difficulties

The Motif Units Treadled” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 6, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Initial Shots with Waste Yarn I have lashed on to the front rod.  The lashing is visible in the lower right-hand corner of the photo. 

I have adjusted the tension.  And I have started the weaving with waste yarn.

To my delight there are no threading errors.  And to my further delight, there are no crossed warp ends.

On the other hand, I am dealing with sheds that do not want to clear. 

For the first eight shots, I had to manually clear each of the sheds.  Then with each succeeding group of eight shots, sheds began to clear.  I was at that point weaving quite close to the front beam.  So I moved the fell more towards the half-way point between front beam and beater.  And I continued to weave.

Now there are only two or three sheds that have a warp end or two that want to stick. 

When I return to the weaving I will move the fell a bit closer to the beater.  I had learned earlier that doing this forces better shed clearing.  If I feel a bit concerned, I will treadle another group of eight with the waste yarn.  If I feel brave and ready, I will start weaving with the silk.

Waste Yarn Here is a close-up photo of the so-called “waste” yarn.  It is a fine tencel which maybe eight years ago I painted with the colors I had used on a tencel warp.  I had not planned on using a variegated yarn on that warp but since I had the dye ready and the yarn ready, thought I would paint it up and try it.  It did not work.

But I have enjoyed trying it on samples occasionally to see if it would work.  And I have enjoyed using it as waste yarn.  I clearly have quite a bit of it!


I have acquired a new photography book (no, I am not quite as bad about collecting photography books as I am about collecting weaving books. But I do succumb to temptation a bit too often….).  I was attracted to it because one of the authors is Scott Kelby.  Kelby has written a couple of amazing books about digital photography—books that I can actually understand.  The title is The Photoshop Elements 7 Book for Digital Photographers. 

Now, I do not use Elements;  I use Paint Shop Pro.  But a quick look through at the book store suggested to me that much in there is quite the same as Paint Shop Pro.  Some of the language may be different.  And some of the actual tools may be a little different.  But all in all it seemed useful to me.

And useful it has turned out.  So far I have been working with only two chapters.  First the chapter on sharpening.  Then the chapter on something called levels.  The last has always troubled me and nothing I have read about in PSP has unveiled the mystery.  This book does. 

Thanks to levels, I got the colors in these photos right.  Well, almost right.  The waste yarn, in the second photo, is just a bit too bright.  But the rest of the photo is as close to perfect as I have ever gotten.  In time I will learn how to deal with areas of a photo.  Kelby’s book has the information.  I just need to spend some time with it.

Related Posts: 
   Lashing on to the Front of the Loom: Part One 
   Lashing on to the Front of the Loom: Part Two
   Ready to Weave
   Where is My Fell?
   Learning the Hard Way

Lashed On” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 5, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, May 4, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Pirns and Bobbins Wound

Even with knots, silk yarn winds very smoothly from well-wound cones onto bobbins and pirns. The silk yarn would not have wound on to the pirns and bobbins at all well had I tried to wind them directly from the skeins. Taking the time to wind onto cones first definitely pays off.

Tensioner for winding pirns

To the right is a photo of the tensioner I use to help me wind pirns. It was made by John Stegmuller who designed something he calls the olympic pirn winder. This last was reviewed on Episode 18 of Weave Cast. Go here to listen to it.

I have used this tensioner for around five years now and am really happy with it.

The yarn, threaded on a big needle, enters the left side of the tensioner. It goes around the first pink thing, then in between the two black discs and around to the next pink thing and out onto the right side. The space between the discs can be adjusted by turning the wing nut at the top. The amount of space determines the tension on the yarn.

I hold the whole tool in my right hand and move it back and forth, just as I would if I were holding the yarn between my fingers. This saves burning of my fingers.

More important, this tool puts a lot more tension on the yarn than I can put by holding it between my fingers. That greater tension results in a pirn that is smoothly and firmly wound. Those are requirements for yarn wound onto pirns.

Related Post: Pirn Winding

Pirns and Bobbins Wound” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 4, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, May 1, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


4-30-2009 03-44-27

It’s been a while since I talked about how I plan to weave the sample scarf I am doing all this dyeing and insane cone-winding for.  It will be again in Zielinski’s 8-crackle-blocks-on-4-shafts idea.  I will be treadling one treadle after another, with no tabbies.  One of those treadles will be used to create a motif out of which I will build up a design.

In the drawdown photo six groups of six treadles each are shown.  With each group, the yellow is used on a different treadle.  The treadles used for the yellow are indicated in the photo. 

The arrows point only to the line where the motif unit appears;  they do not necessarily point directly to that unit.  The arrows that do point directly to a motif unit are the arrows for treadles 2, 3 and 6. 

It is from these units that I will build the motifs. 

When I looked at this draft after copying it with SnagIt as a PNG file, it looked like the motifs on treadles 1, 5 and 6 were the only ones that predominated.  The motifs on the other treadles seemed less strong.  This goes along with what I had found in my sample weaving.

Copied onto my blog, however, all the motifs seem equally distinct.  One of these is lying!   Which one?  I will have to weave them to find out.

But this does give me a starting place and a referral point.


The loose yarn kept getting longer and started going into the first half of the skein.  So I cut cut the yarn and finished winding from the other end.  The winding went absolutely fine…….done in less than five minutes……….. And only one knot in this cone!

Now I am winding pirns.  There is a slight hiccup every time a knot passes through the tensioner.  Sigh.

Related Posts: 
   Back to the Dyepots
   8 Crackle Blocks on 4 Shafts
   Crackle Shawl—The Motifs

Motifs” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on May 1, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina