Thursday, April 29, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


This is quite a change from the earlier version. There are no curves in that version. With the change in the treadling, however, I get image curves.  Of course, looking at the treadling shows that the pattern is a curved pattern.  So now both the treadling and the threading have curves built into them. And the version now looks very much like Smith’s.  Smith’s is here:

But what are those bright yellow warp lines in both drafts?


In Pixeloom, when I check for floats, the software marks any floats that are longer than the number of ends specified.  The software also gives you an opportunity to mark them. And that is what PixeLoom has done here. Those yellow highlighted lines indicate those places where the warp floats that are too long. 

In my draft, all the floats appear on the warp ends on the fifth shaft.  In Smith’s, they appear on the warp ends on the fourth shaft. 

In the case of Smith’s draft, the floats appear on the right side and so probably cannot be ignored.  Unless something can be changed in the tieup, Smith’s draft will require tabby shots to be thrown.
On the other hand, in the case of my draft, the floats appear on the wrong side, so I could just ignore them if the fabric is going to be seen only on the right side and/or, in the case of fabric for clothing, the underside was underlined, interfaced, or lined so that the inside was protected. 
On my draft I did solve the problem.  I tied up the fifth shaft on the last treadle.  That treadle had only 3 shafts tied up.  Somewhere along the way in my work I had managed to drop off a shaft on that treadle in the tie-up. Probably a careless mouse click somewhere. 

I have a new ergonomic mouse.  And, while the mouse is much easier on my hand, wrist, and arm, there is a learning curve.
imageI am not going to worry about the Smith draft.

My Version of Smith Including Treadling”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 29, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 26, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 


There are a number of good books to learn from.  My two particular favorites are Weaving and Drafting Your Own Cloth by Peggy Osterkamp and The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt.  Osterkamp’s book includes an explanation of peg plans. More information about her book can be found at her website

Peg plans are useful not only for table looms and computer looms, but for reading drafts in old books such as G.H. Oelsner’s A Handbook of Weaves. For Oelsner’s drafts, go here.


If you have been follow this blog recently, you will see that I have discovered what for me is turning out to be another good way to learn and understand difficult-for-me weaving drafts.  Difficulty here is relative.  An extremely experienced weaver used to weaving many different weave structures probably finds few or no drafts difficult to understand.  Indeed, he can probably visualize the cloth from the draft before he even starts weaving it.  A beginning weaver, on the other hand, might find a 4-shaft Rosepath draft difficult to figure out.

In any case, what I have been doing is to begin with a draft I simply did not understand.  Indeed, I wasn’t even clear as to where the blocks were or what they were.  And precisely because I could not understand the blocks, I then set to create a straight twill set of traditional crackle blocks.  To see an example of this go a post I wrote a few years ago called  Weaving Four-shaft Crackle.

I then went to work to create the shadowing draft. These crackle blocks, with their shadows. I then modified by doubling some of the warp ends.

I tried to figure out which warp ends to double by trying once again to analyze Smith’s draft.  It was at this point that I became able to figure out the block structure of the original weave.  Having done that, I then tried to create that weave structure from scratch.  And so on. 

Doing this has been and continues to be an exciting adventure for me.  Yes, I have said/complained that drafting is tedious.  And yes, drafting is tedious.  But the adventure has turned out to be very exciting because it is leading me to a more profound understanding of this weave.

Perhaps there is a reason I am unhappy when my hands are not busy.  Clearly my hands are an important learning tool for me. I never could write papers for college classes in my head;  I had to sit at the typewriter. 


As you my readers might have figured out, I have not yet returned to threading the 1500 empty heddles waiting on my loom.  Sigh….

I am now doing physical therapy for my back and it is improving greatly.  In fact, I plan to make a start this week.   But it will be a slow and gentle start.

Related Post:  Weaving 4-Shaft Crackle
The Hard Work of Draft Designing

Learning the Ins and Outs of Drafting”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 26, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

As I continued staring at the tieup in Smith’s draft, I slowly began to realize what I had been doing wrong: I had been trying to see a twill tieup pattern that went through all 8 treadles.  What I had forgotten was that I was dealing with each set of four shafts individually, not as a whole unit.


Here is my incorrect tieup.  It was based on trying to get diagonal lines to run through all eight treadles.  Well, it does, but only on the first two treadles. 



Here is the correct tieup. The diagonal is there on the first four treadles of the first four shafts.  And it is MIRRORED in the first four treadles on the second four shafts.  But what about treadles 5 through 8?  Here things are just reversed.  The lower left quadrant becomes the upper right quadrant and the upper left quadrant becomes the lower right quadrant. The result is that there is a twill diagonal which runs through each quadrant;  it just doesn’t run through the whole tieup.


So to read tieups like these I have to remember to think in terms of quadrants, not in terms of the whole.


The major irony is that I had already written about precisely this phenomenon in an earlier post!  Go here if you would like to read it.

Related Posts:  
Reading Smith’s Draft
Crackle in Parallel Shadow Weave

Tieup Quadrants”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 22, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

I have finally worked enough with my drafts that I have been able to figure out how to read Smith’s draft.  I am clearly one who cannot think things through in her head but must actually DO something to work out a problem like this.

Anyway, her draft is really quite simply. Or at least, after long struggle, I realize now that her draft is quite simple!  It consists of the following block order:


A point twill block order. And a threading with only one crackle unit in a block. Block A is omitted from the beginning because it will appear in the threading repeat. 

Well, of course I had to do this for myself, but repeating the units.  There is no way in working with 60/2 silk that I would use only 1 unit per block unless I were striving for an overall effect rather than a design.  And in actuality there would probably be many more.

And, so enlightened, I have designed from scratch my version of her threading.



I have used Smith’s block order (A B C D C B) and put in my blocks with their doubled units. This means that there are two units in each block instead of only one, as in Smith’s.  When I checked my version against Smith’s I caught some errors–-primarily points where I forgot to double the threads.  A lot of time passed while I did this…………


When I was finally satisfied that I had made no errors in my version, I checked the draft for floats.  Whoops, 7 floats.  I finally noticed they all occurred on the first treadle.  That meant that something was amiss with that tieup. image I looked.  The first thing I saw was that only three treadles were tied up.  So I needed to add a fourth treadle. 

I looked for a pattern in the tieup to help me figure out what shaft I should tie up to this treadle. I could not see the pattern.  So I experimented with where to put that fourth tieup.  Once I found the right position I saw the pattern and then saw also that one of the other tied treadles was wrong. Had I been thinking in terms of patterns at the time I wrote in the tieup, I would have caught the error immediately.

And here is what the draft looks like:


The draft looks fine except there is some kind of treadling issue.  Just below the center of the drawdown, things look a bit messy.   But checking out the treadling (yet once again!) is for another day.


But then I looked at Smith’s drawdown.  Whoops!  My “brilliant” solution for the first image treadle’s tie up was………….WRONG!  The pattern I thought I saw was not there. 

But what does the drawdown look like now, with the corrected tiedown?




Not really much different.   The floats are fine here as well.  And even the treadling mess seems possibly to have disappeared.  Still, I am going to have to check the treadling.  But not now.


This fresh look at Smith’s version, after having created my own, showed something I had not picked up.  My threading on the first four shafts is exactly like hers.  But her doubling of threads pattern changes in the shadowing shafts, shafts 5-8.
In the shadowing shafts, she never doubles the top of the point;  that stays a single thread.  But she triples each bottom point.  I will not understand why until I finish working out my draft so that I can compare results.

Related Post:  Crackle in Parallel Shadow Weave

Reading Smith’s Draft”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 21, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 19, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Thanks to some caring people who were concerned that my blog was failing to update in the blogs they were following, I finally figured out what the problem was.  I corrected it and learned quickly that the fix worked. 

I am grateful to those who brought this to my attention and to all of you who read and/or follow this blog.  I am so glad I was (at last!) able to figure out what was wrong!


“”Following” My Blog”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 19, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, April 16, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

Here is the full draft of the version with the corrected threading.






In the third threading block, I needed to double the ends of shafts 3 and 7 where one of the points of that crackle twill unit in.  When I am dealing with the following crackle units, I always have trouble figuring out things. 

1. The third crackle unit threading in this draft:  1 4 3 4
2. The fourth crackle unit threading in this draft:  1 2 1 4

In the first threading unit (1 2 3 2 1) and in the second threading unit (2 3 4 3 2) it is visually clear to me where the turning points are.  But visually, it is not so clear to me in the third and fourth units.  Just a funny quirk in the way my mind works, I guess.

And here is the miniaturized version of draft with the corrected threading but with the treadling doubled at the points to reflect the threading.

image Correcting the threading did nothing about the slant on the left side of the draft, but it did eliminate the messy business between that slant and the horizontal effect right side of the draft.



Related Post:  Crackle in Paralle Shadow Weave Drafts Compared

(Yes, I made a mistake in the title of the post. I should correct it…………..)

Corrected Threading”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 16, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

(Blogger has done something strange to two of the photos.  Clicking on them will displaly the images as they should be)

I have now worked out three different ways of doing this particular crackle-in-parallel-shadow weave draft.  The first is the original, the one that appeared in the last post.


In this next one If have changed the threading by doubling the threads at the points of the crackle units, as Dorothy Smith has done in her draft.  But I retained my original treadling which was a treadling of the original threading.


The only difference is that the figures formed by the color-and-weave effect are a little bit flattened because each threading unit now has one or two more threads in it than the original had but there are the same number of treadles.

And here is the third in which the treadling is changed as well in order to reflect the change in the threading.


Here we have quite a different design from the original.  This is less of a maze effect and more of an overall pattern.


Here is what the first and third drafts look like reduced in size to reflect more closely what they might look like woven up in 60/2 silk.


60/2 silk is normally sett somewhere between 56 and 72 ends per inch.  The draft on the left has 72 warp ends.  On my monitor its width is slightly more than 1 inch.  So that image should give a pretty good idea of what it would look like woven.  The second draft is 1.25” so again, a good idea of what it would look like woven.

You can, by the way, also get this affect by moving away from your computer monitor and squinting…….  This is a good old-fashioned artist’s way of cutting to the chase!
At the moment, I can see two possible ways of using these drafts if I want to weave them in 60/2 silk: 
1. Use two close shades of the same color so that the overall effect is of one color, but a bit richer looking.  There are weavers who do this with pain weave warps.
2. Use 2 colors that would create an overall iridescent effect.

The draft on the right, when I reduced it, surprised me, because the design breaks in half.  The left has a definite diagonal thrust to it.  But on the right side the design effect is level.  And there is a bit between the two that is just kind of messy looking.

Looking at the larger draft shows this as well.  It just didn’t hit me until I reduced its size. This does not happen in either the first or second versions.  And closer examination of both this third draft and the second draft reveals another problem. 

Looking at the third and fourth treadling blocks in the area of the third threading block shows that the two units of the threading block have different appearances.  So, while I have corrected the treadling problems, there is apparently a threading error in the third threading block from the right.  And indeed, looking more carefully  shows that the same thing is true of that third threading from the top to the bottom of the draft.

Time to take a look at the threading.

Crackle in Parallel Shadow Weave Drafts Compared”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 15, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 12, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I pressed the publish button on the last post too soon.  I went back to the draft to work out some other things and found……………one more treadling error.  I do trust that this is the last one my eye will pick out!

So, here is the—hopefully—final version of my first parallel shadow weave crackle draft.


Related Post:
   The Hard Work of Draft Designing

The Hard Work of Draft Designing Corrected”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 12, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I am finding that designing drafts is hard work.   Tedious work.  A part of me does not want to continue with the current project.  It is just too tedious.  Add to that the fact that right now I cannot spend a lot of time at the computer; although they are significantly better, I still need to protect my right hand, arm, and shoulder.  I am virtually symptom-free, but I do not want the pain to return.

Of course, that is a good excuse for avoiding work.  And I am very good at avoiding this kind of work.

But I did get to work, and, much too my astonishment, the correction came quite easily.
The problem lay not in the threading, as I was beginning to think, but in the treadling.  That was where the first problem lay.  But this time it lay in the treadling of the third block. The third block (which consists of two treadling units) is indicated between the two arrows.  The upper arrow points to the beginning of the third block on treadle 4;  the lower arrow points to the end of the third block on treadle 1.  I am referring only to the treadles on the first four shafts.  To the right of each of those treadles is the shadowing treadle on the second four shafts.

NOTE:  Go here to read corrected post.

The Hard Work of Draft Designing”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 8\12, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, April 8, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

After analyzing the parallel shadow weave crackle weave designed by Dorothy N. Smith, I decided it was time that I try my hand at designing a draft from scratch.  I did figure out how she got her tie-up. But I didn’t understand how she derived the threading she had.  The only way I was going to understand that was to try to design my own draft.

So I took my standard 4-shaft crackle draft, a draft where the theading is laid out in a straight twill, with two threadings units for each block.  I entered the threading in a new draft. I entered it on only the first four shafts.  But I entered the threads only in every other threading space. 
I then went back to the beginning and entered the parallel threads on shafts 5 to 8 in the empty threading spaces.  Here is the resulting threading:


Reading from right to left, thread 1 is followed by the thread 5.  5 can be thought of as the first shaft of the second set of four shafts.  Thread 2 is followed by thread 6 and so on.  This is quite different from the threading which Smith designed:


Here are the key differences:
1.  If you read shafts 1-4 and shafts 5-8 as separate threadings, in my draft the crackle mini-point-twill units are clear.  In Smith’s drafts, they are unclear.
2. There is doubling and tripling of threads in Smith’s drafts, but not in mine.  I find this doubling and tripling quite curious.  Later, I will investigate that.
The treadling used by each of us is different in the same way.  This is because each of us in essence treadled the threading. I did use the same tie-up she used. And here is what happened.
First, Smith’s draft; then, to the right, my draft at about the same resolution:


The results are clearly different. Smith’s draft results in a series of circles and ovals.  Mine results in a maze. 

My draft, moreover, has some technical problems.  Although each treadling unit is repeated twice, the second treadling unit of each block is not always identical to the first treadling unit.  I had thought that this problem occurred only in one place, and I changed the treadling to correct it.  What you see here is that corrected treadling. 

But it became obvious that there are more problems like this.  The two threading units at the right (i.e., the first block) come out fine.  But the the remaining three blocks do not.  Does this mean there is a problem with the threading?  It looks like I am going to have to investigate
Related Post:  Crackle in Parallel Shadow Weave

On Designing a Draft in Parallel Shadow Weave”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 8, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, April 2, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

I decided to begin with applying the shadow weave concept to crackle. Shadow weave, after all, can be considered a kind of interleaving in the sense that two drafts are interleaved.  In this case of parallel shadow weave the two drafts are the same, not different.

I knew this had already been done, and I knew I had a book with some drafts.  But whenever I looked at those drafts in the past, I had just scratched my head in puzzlement.  So I decided to take one of those drafts and see if I could understand it.


This is a long draft, so only the first quarter of the draft is shown.  But here is an image of image what the whole thing looks like, reduced.  Here the design resulting from the color and weave effect is apparent.

This draft I found in A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns edited by Carol Strickler (the copyright notice is for the image, not for the actual draft).  It is #502 by Dorothy N. Smith (page 138).  It is defined as crackle in parallel shadow weave.  The reason for the name can be seen in both the threading and the treadling.  A 4 shaft crackle threading is placed on the first four shadows.  Reading right to left:


Forget for a moment that this is the strangest crackle threading I have ever seen…..

The threading on the first four shafts is done on every other opening.  These openings are filled in on shafts four through eight.  The threading on shafts four through eight is precisely the same as that on the first four shafts.  Each thread on the first four shafts is followed by another thread on what would be the same shaft on the second four shafts.  Thus the threading on the top four shafts parallels (and shadows)the threading on the first four shafts.

And the same thing happens with the treadling.  And I find the treadling also quite strange as a crackle treadling.

One of the things I had trouble figuring out was the tieup.  It took me quite a while to image realize what was happening.

The lower left quadrant of the tieup is standard tie-up for 4 shaft crackle. 1,2;  2,3;  3,4;  1,4.   The upper right quadrant is standard tie-up for 4 shaft crackle for threading on shafts 5-8,

The upper left and the lower right ties up the shafts not tied up by the lower left and the upper right respectively.

Now what I need to figure out is the threading.  I simply do not understand it.  I am pretty much clear about the shadowing of the first set of 4 shafts with the second set of 4 shafts.  What I simply do not understand is that threading, isolated on the one set of shafts.  How does that come from a crackle threading?

As I am groggy on prescription analgesics and muscle relaxants, and will be for awhile, understanding this threading may take awhile……….

Related Post:  Shadow Weave Continued

Crackle in Parallel Shadow Weave”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 2, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

I took the easy way to begin:  playing with my weaving software.  I took my basic 4-shaft crackle threading (threaded two units per block, the blocks lined up in twill order) and did all the transformations I could work out with my weaving software.  A very simple-minded thing.  But, after a lot of unpromising tests, I did come up with something.

I interleaved this threading with an 8-shaft crackle threading (also threaded two units per block, with the blocks lined up in twill order) and got this:



1. There are many weft floats that are too long.  Aside from the “rule” that crackle allows floats of no more than 3, some of the floats are just too long to be weavable, though at 60 ends per inch on a piece that won’t get hard wear (dressy fabric, for example, or an art piece) this wouldn’t be a problem.

2. The crackle threading is no more.  But then, the point of this is not to come up with a new “crackle” design, but to come up with a design that might make for interesting weaving.

3. There are groups of doubled warp ends.  They occur because the two crackle threadings are the same size and the units are threaded in the same order.  This would probably be less of a problem if the two crackle threading units were of different size and/or if the threadings were in a different order.  This is definitely something worth exploring.

4. The final threading has no warp ends on shafts 6 or 7.  This happened because the 8-shaft crackle threading was much longer than the 4-shaft crackle threading.  This means that both threadings should (at least normally) be of the same length.

5. The new tieup failed to include shafts 5 and 8 in the tieup.  They are there simply because I added them manually.  I found this a bit strange.

6. This is not a draft to be woven.  It is simply the beginning of a journey.


It is an irony that the weaving software which landed me with carpal tunnel sydrome has now led my straight, head-on, into the wall.  Using interleaved threadings, as well as echo threadings, with crackle has been in the back of my head for a long time.  But the notion of pursuing it has frightened me because it is such unknown territory, at least for me.  To try playing with it would risk lots of failures with no promise of success.  In fact, the whole crackle-a-day project was kind of a setup to avoid getting into all of this.  And yet, that is right where it has landed me.

But as long as I show up for work each day and take each day one at a time, I will be more OK.


Pressfield, in The War of Art,  has this to say about getting to work each day:

Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.  Why is this so important?  Because when we sit down day after day and keep grinding, something mysterious starts to happen.  A process is set into motion by which, inevitably and infallibly, heaven comes to our aid.  Unseen forces enlist in our cause;  serendipity reinforces our purposes…..  When we sit down and work, we become like a magnetized rod that attracts iron filings.  Ideas come.  Insights accrete.  
                                                                                                     (p. 108)

Past experience has shown me the truth of this.  And even yesterday, when I had at last begun to take on the challenge, the serendipity began………..and I was once again happy.


I have put a timer next to my computer.  When I start working with weaving software, I will set it for 20 minutes.  I will then get up, walking around, stretch, including some specific stretches for carpal tunnel.  I will then return, reset the timer, and so on.

Related Posts: 
4-Shaft Crackle Threading Straight Draw
Beginning 8-Shaft Crackle
Resistance to Doing the Work

"Crackle and Interleaved Threading”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 1, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina