Friday, January 22, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

My introductory post on 6-shaft crackle got me thinking more about weaving software.  The more I thought, the crazier I got.


First, PixeLoom is set up so that the easiest way to do the threading is to begin at the right side and move to the left.  However, some weaving texts set the threading up to go from left to right. 

I have set up my 6-shaft crackle threading so that the blocks start on the left and move to the right. 

When we read, we read left to right, so it makes sense to set up the threading that way.  But for people like me who are right handed, it makes more sense to set it up from right to left because that is how we thread the loom.  Or at least that is how I thread the loom.


In my weaving software, the treadling goes from top to bottom. And that is how I read the treadling when I am at the loom. 

But some weavers (Scandinavian?) read the treadling from bottom to top.  When it comes to weaving, that makes more sense because that is how we actually weave.  If we have a particular design, and it is not the same both ways, it is going to matter which direction you treadle or the top side is going to turn out to be the bottom and the bottom the top.  Which changes your threading pattern to go in the opposite direction.

But we read books from top to bottom, so that is our basic instinct when we read a treadling draft.  Yet we have no trouble reading a threading from right to left, which is not a basic instinct.

Knitters generally read their lace, stitch, or color charts from bottom to top.  That is how they knit.  If they are knitting from the top down (which I often do because that is how I knit circular raglan sweaters) they then read the charts from the top down.

I have absolutely no trouble reading knitting charts from bottom to top.  But I would get very confused (I think) if I read my treadling charts from bottom to top.


Much of the time this doesn’t really matter.  But in the kind of weaving I do it sometimes does matter.  When it does, I am going to have to pay attention.


I have just received Alice Schlein’s latest publication, The Liftplan Connection. I note that in her third chapter she addresses this very issue I have just been discussing and makes clear how she is handling it.

Weaving Software Makes Me Crazy” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 22, 2010. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


Alice said...

It makes me crazy too. A real Tower of Babel. But what would we do without it.

Kerstin på Spinnhuset said...

Reading (rather treadling) from bottom to top is the only way I ever can be *sure* of the results... Maybe 'cos I'm from Sweden - or just 'cos I'm too lazy to figure out how to make a directional deisign come out correct when going top -> bottom.
I described the problem at

Peg in South Carolina said...

Alice, I don't even want to think about a world without weaving software!!!
Kerstin, I think you are quite right. If the pattern is symmetrical top to bottom, it doesn't matter. But anything slightly asymetrical would throw it all off.