Monday, April 22, 2019

How to Draft a Motif in Summer and Winter

My study group, Exploring More, is looking at drafting a motif using different weave structures, the first weave structure was Huck Lace and here is the post.  The second weave structure we looked at was Summer and Winter and I am going to take you through how I drafted a pattern.

First thing is to choose a motif; I am going to use the same angelfish from the Huck Lace.  Please just click on the photos and it will make them larger.
Looking at the angelfish motif there is vertical symmetry so again the threading will be in point order (i.e. in a V shape).  Use the standard Summer and Winter threading blocks which are Block A 1323 Block B 1424 Block C 1525 etc.
Now for the tie up, which is quite easy, just take the graph of the angelfish and place on its side with the top of the motif facing to the left.
Summer and Winter is quite greedy for treadles.  You have probably heard of ‘in pairs’ in reference to Summer and Winter that is because there needs to be two treadles for each pattern pick.  One treadle has Shaft 1 on it (P1) and the other treadle has Shaft 2 on it (P2), but they both have the same pattern treadles.  Here is a basic set up; it just needs the pattern to be added.
I’ve added the pattern from the graph; every pattern has two treadles, a P1 and a P2.  Shaft 3 is left blank because it is the shaft that is used to separate the motifs.  I also left treadle 3 and 4 blank as they are the breaks between the motifs in the treadling.
Here is the treading and tie up together.
What makes Summer and Winter special is that there are different treadlings variations; Singles (also known as non pairs), Pairs (there is two different types; X’s and O’s), and Dukagang (also known Overshot).  To treadle my angelfish I look back at the angelfish graph and can see that each treadle corresponds to a single unit, there is no symmetry.  I will place the treadles in straight order (in a straight line) and in one of the Summer and Winter treadling variations, which I will explain with each example.

The first is Singles which is tabby 1 P1 tabby 2 P2 and gives a brick like pattern.  As is standard for Summer and Winter I’ve put the tabby in with a finer grist and in the same colour as the warp. This really keeps the shape of the angelfish.
Next variation is Pairs X’s the treadling repeat is tabby 1 P2 tabby 2 P1 tabby 1 P1 tabby 2 P2. The anglefish almost look like rockets now.
Next is Pairs O’s also known as bird’s eye.  The treadling repeat is tabby 1 P1 tabby 2 P2 tabby 1 P2 tabby 2 P1.  The tail of the angelfish are very well defined in this method.
Last variation is Dukagang.  The treadling repeat is tabby 1 P1 tabby 2 P1 tabby 1 P1 tabby 2 P1.  It uses the least amount of treadles, from 22 down to 12. This is the most columnar of them all.
So that’s how to draft a motif in Summer and Winter.  If you would like to know more about drafting I recommend The complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Going Backwards Fast...

I wove these tea towels a few months ago.
It was a really enjoyable weave and the tea towels turned out really nicely, so using the pattern as a springboard I created this pattern.
I decided to use white stripes alternating with four other colours:  mid green, dark turquoise, dusty purple, dark teal and mid green again; then mirroring the stripe sequence.
It looked really good as I pulled on the warp and so then my thoughts went to weft.  I decided to weave the pattern as big squares.  To achieve this I needed two wefts, so silver and white were my choices.
I wove about half of a tea towel and by then it was apparent.....this did not work.  I had put white edges on the tea towel 20 ends and I thought that this would stabilize the edge.
Nope, didn’t happen.  I can really see the wave effect when I change the weft and the treadling.  So lesson learned, if it works as a small motif, it will not necessarily translate into a large motif well.
I started to un-weave my work and found that I go tired of that really, really fast, so I decided to cut the weft out.  Besides being the fastest option, it is also the easiest on the web.
After I have snipped the weft threads a centimetre or so from the edges, I use a darning needle and pull the weft out from the centre.  I plan to un-thread the loom and find another pattern to weave.
I want to weave off these tea towels, so I’m going make the stripes narrower and look at doing some kind of eight shaft twill.  I hope that making the stripes narrower will make me fall in love with these towels!
The garden is still in that ‘not quite spring’ stage, but my moth orchid put up one spike this year and it is absolutely loaded with blooms.  I has been in flower since February and shows little sign of stopping.

Monday, April 8, 2019

How to Draft a Motif in Huck Lace

For the first half of the year in my Guilds study group, Exploring More, the topic was taking a motif and drafting it in various weave structures.  The first weave structure that we did was Lace, and I am going to take you through how I drafted a pattern.

We choose to do a Lace Weave first because it has clearly defined blocks and has a relatively large number of pattern shafts.  I chose to do a Huck Lace because I like the look of the interlacements.
The first thing is to choose a motif.  I chose something that has symmetry, so I can have a larger image using less pattern shafts.  Let’s try this cute angel fish.
For Huck Lace the first two shafts are the background shafts, they don’t affect the pattern.  But the rest of the shafts are pattern shafts.  In my case I have a 12 shaft loom so minus the two background shafts I have 10 pattern shafts.  For my fish I only need six pattern shafts so I have plenty of shafts.
So, now is the time to get out the Huck Lace graph paper.  You have probably seen in the back of Lace weaving books or Drafting books.  This sample is from The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt.  I actually find it too small to use and I only need a small portion to use for my motif.  So I make my own when I graph the image.
For a motif you are going to thread the blocks in either straight order (i.e. in a straight line) or point order (i.e. in a V shape), with the fish I will be using point order because I have horizontal symmetry and it cuts down on the number of shafts needed.  Use the standard Huck Lace threading blocks which are Block A is 23232 Block B is 14141 Block C is 25252 etc.
Now is the time to add the hash marks into the graph.  The hash marks alternate between |, which are warp floats and the –, which are weft floats.  I wanted the nose of the fish to be a warp float Huck Lace unit so I started with the | hashing there and worked back across the line.  Then I add the rest of the hash marks to the graph.  The hashing alternated between EO (even odd) and OE (odd even).
To figure out the tie up a new graph is needed.  This new graph is set up in alternating plain weave.  This is where the EO (even odd) and OE (odd even) stuff comes into play.  My first line on the fish graph is EO so I start with the odd number plain weave line.
To fill in the new graph I look across at the fish graph and look at the purple highlighted areas.  On the fish graph I have numbers 3-8 running on the top of the graph these are the shaft numbers.

If the highlighted area has a |, that shaft number is added to the new graph, which created a warp float unit.  If the highlighted area has a  –, the shaft number is subtracted from the new graph, which creates a weft float unit.
Looking at the first line the highlighted area is a | and on shaft 8 so it gets added to the new graph.  The second line the highlighted area is a – and on shaft 8 so it gets removed from the new graph.  Continue adding and subtracting until done.  This is now the tie up, instead of reading it from the bottom up, read it from the right to the left.
For the treadling I look back at the fish graph and can see that each treadle corresponds to a single unit, there is no symmetry.  I will place the treadles in straight order (in a straight line) in the Huck Lace manner, which is the same as the threading blocks, Block A is 23232, Block B is 14141 etc.  I now have all the information that I need to weave the fish, I don’t need to put it into a weaving program.  But I will so you can see the final product!
There are some duplicate treadles that I can take out, down to 15 treadles from 19.  But there is still too many treadles needed from my loom.
If I take out the alternating huck lace units I can get down to 10 treadles but I think that the fish looks funny.  If I was going to weave this fish I think that I would add back the alternating huck units and just have the nose as a duplicate and that would get me down to 14 treadles, which is what I have on my loom.  Of course this isn't a consideration if you used a table loom!
So there you go a small guide to drafting a motif in huck lace!  If you would like to know more about drafting I recommend The Complete Book of Drafting for Handweavers by Madelyn van der Hoogt.

Monday, April 1, 2019

What a Week

We have decided to paint the entire interior of our house and being complete DIYers we are all getting stuck in.  First we are washing the walls.
Then painting walls ~ is a huge task with taping, removing all the lights and pictures and filling all the holes.
The joys of painting the trim ~ I know I'm a bit, hmmm, over the top, but you've gotta get the small brushes out!
Oh joy, washing the hardwoods ~ Now that the walls are done, the floors looked in dire straits.  I have just discovered Dr. Bronner castile soap and it works amazingly.  You’ve got to love a product that you can use to wash your face, wash your laundry, use as insecticidal soap in your garden and wash your floors!  It did an amazing job, you've just got to ignore the inspirational quotes on the label.  What I'm not showing you is that after each room is completed I pull out all the decor and give each room a bit of a renew.  Needless to say my family is getting pretty tired of it all. 
We are having beautiful weather, so I've gotta get outside in between bouts of painting.  Here I'm Spring pruning the Weigela.
Obviously I don't know how to quit, so I got a bee in my bonnet and cleaned out the garden shed and put out the lawn furniture.
Pulling weeds ~ that never ending task.
Knitting toe up socks ~ but only in the evening.
And not getting to the loom at all, this is one of the first times this year that I haven't come close to the loom.
My garden shot is Poncirus trifoliata monstrosa (Flying Dragon Citrus) with its blossoms just forming, who knew I could get an orange in my Vancouver Island garden!

Monday, March 25, 2019

Navy and Blue Drall Tea Towels

The beginning of the year is always tea towel time for us.  The newest tea towel warp is a lovely shade of blue with six stripes of turquoise that have a pin stripe of peach.
The pattern is an eight shaft drall and the weft is navy blue.  Drall is a Swedish term for turned twill.  And turned twill means that areas of the draft are 1/3 twill and other areas are 3/1.  In this case the stripes are 3/1 twill and the rest is 1/3 twill.  The stripes almost have a braided appearance and the large areas are lovely blue dots speckled on a navy background. 
I like to have a border of stripes on each towel and in with this draft when I turned the twill in the treadling, like magic, the blue warp appears as the stripes.  It is a really nice way of making a border for the tea towels without changing the weft.
I like to make a unique border pattern for each tea towel so I write down the pattern but I also take a picture to make sure that I have a backup just in case.  This is towel two.
After two towels I decided to try different weft colours, white and a light grey.  But I didn’t like either of them so back to the navy I went.
This is towel three and I seemed to have not taken a picture of towel four.
I like to machine wash and dry the tea towels and then steam press before turning up the hem.  I use a metal ruler to measure the turned up hem, the one drawback to this is that the metal ruler does get really,really hot!
Then the tea towels are hand hemmed before getting a second and final steam press.  Here are the final pictures of the tea towels.  For Sale.

For Sale.

Final Garden Shot is Puschkinia or Russian Snowdrops....after the slug attack only a few survived!