Turning a Draft - II

Marcy Petrini

June, 2020

In the May blog we learned out to turn a draft by using an 8-shaft, 4 treadle draft; our turned draft had 4 shafts and 8 treadles, which we reduced to 6 by combining treadles weaving with two feet, since most 4 shaft looms have 6 treadles.

Reducing the number of shafts is just one reason to turn a draft; at the end of the May blog there was a challenge: 3 drafts to turn. The first is to simplify the treadling, the second is to change the structure from a two-shuttle weave to one. The third challenge is a draft on more than 4. All of these result in fabrics with a rotated pattern, which is another reason to turn a draft.

Here is a summary of the steps to turn a draft, which we used last month, and we will use on the 3 challenge drafts:

  • Choose a draft with a complete repeat in both threading and treadling; two repeats of each will clarify what happens at the junction of repeats
  • Rotate the draft; the treadling becomes the threading and the threading becomes the treadling
  • Change the shaft, treadle and treadling step numbers to positions
  • The treadling will be on the left side; slide it to the right side, to keep with the convention
  • The tie-up is also on the left side; slide it to the right side, above the treadling
  • Transpose the tie-up so that all empty positions are filled, and all filled positions are empty
  • Change positions back to numbers
  • Do the drawdown; it should be identical to the original but rotated.

 

Threading Tie - up
Drawdown

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Challenge 1: Turning the Draft to Simplify the Treadling

Below is a twill threaded pointed and treadled advancing. When I weave, I like to concentrate on my beat and selvages; thus I prefer a simpler treadling. When I thread, I have to think about only the threading, so a more complicated pattern is acceptable.

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

If I turn it this draft, I will have an advancing threading and a straight treadling:

Here is the draft rotated:

 

 

 

Next, we change the numbers to positions; note that the threading is not symmetrical, as the one in the example from the May blog:

 

 

 

We have our threading by numbering our shafts:

 

 

 

 We slide the treadling to the right side and number the treadling steps:

 

 

             

 

Finally, we transpose the tie-up and then number the shafts attached to each treadle:

 

 

         

 

And here is our turned draft:

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

Below are the various combinations of starting the threading and the treadling from different positions. Some software that has the option of turning drafts uses algorithms that may return one of these options.

The advancing threading starting on the right reverses the direction of the twill on the loom:

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

Reversing of the direction of the twill also occurs if we keep the original threading but treadle starting on the left, 1, 2, 3, 4, rather than 4, 3, 2, 1, with the same tie-up.

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

If we combine these two options – starting the threading on the right and the treadling on the left, we have the original turned drawdown. I would find this option easier to weave.

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

Challenge 2: Turning the Draft to Change a Two-shuttle Weave to a One-shuttle Weave

Many two-shuttle weaves have a complimentary weft and a ground weft that a weaves a plain weave background with the warp of the same size. This usually means 6 treadles, 2 for the ground, 4 for the pattern weft; in turning such a draft, there will be a threading with more than 4 shafts. Changing from two to one shuttle is used most with multi-shaft weaving.

Monk’s Belt, however, is a supplementary weft weave on 4 shafts, with 2 blocks and 4 treadles, so it can be turned on 4 shafts.

Below is the drawdown of Monk’s Belt; the grey warp and ground weft form plain weave in one block, while the other is covered with weft floats. The purple pattern weft weaves the two blocks. Thus there is one warp and two wefts.

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

To turn the draft, we use the same method as shown in the sections above. Our end result will be two warps and one weft.

Here is the draft rotated with the numbers replaced by positions:

 

 

 

Then our threading is as rotated, the treadling slides to the right and the tie up slides to the right and is transposed; finally, positions are replaced by numbers and we can perform the drawdown, which is exactly like the original drawdown rotated:

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

And here is the fabric.

 

 

 

When I weave a supplementary weft weave, as Monk’s Belt, I set the warp for the ground tabby, but slightly more open. The same is true for a turned draft, which is, in fact, a supplementary warp weave. Barbara Walker, in her book Supplementary Warp Patterning says that the sett for a supplementary warp weave should be that of the ground warp, slightly more open to accommodate the supplementary warp.

In the sample above, the background warp and weft are 10/2 mercerized cotton. I set the warp at 18 epi which is the lower end of the tabby range. If I were using that yarn for plain weave without the supplementary warp, I would set it at 22 or 24, depending on the final use of the project.

Turning the draft this way can be used so that the supplementary warp forms stripes just in part of the cloth.

  

Challenge 3: Turning the Drafts with More Shafts

The process of turning a draft is the same, regardless of the original number of shafts.

Below is a draft of a summer and winter on 5 shafts, 3 blocks, treadled “singles” (each pattern shaft is followed by the same tabby shot), each block individually (meaning not combined). There are two repeats in the threading and two in the treadling. Since it has 8 treadles, the turned draft will require 8 shafts. In the draft below, the warp and background weft which form the tabby are in blue, the pattern weft in dark red.

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

Below is the draft rotated, with numbers replaced by positions:

 

 

 

The treadling becomes the threading which has two warps, a background in blue and a pattern in dark red. The threading becomes the treadling and is moved over to the right. The tie-up is moved over to the right and transposed. Numbers replace the positions.

And the final draft:

 

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed
(a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

Here is a close up of the fabric. As in turned Monk’s Belt, the sett of the warp is that of the ground, slightly more open than the usually tabby to accommodate the supplementary warp.

 

 

This is one method of turning drafts, probably the most common. I learned it when I was a fairly beginning weaver from Berta Frey’s book, Designing and Drafting for Handweavers. The terminology “transposing the tie-up” comes from her book (I did find an error in her tie-up in that section). Since then it has been discussed in other publications as well.

Some drawdown software offers the possibility of turning drafts by using algorithms that are not always applicable to all drafts. The method that I have described here, however, works with all kinds of structures.

Below is the full piece whose sample is above, which I wove from with the turned summer and winter draft we just discussed. It was supposed to be a sample, but I loved the colors, so I kept on weaving. It is too heavy for a scarf; it’s silk and narrow, so not appropriate for a table runner. I guess it’s going to be a wall hanging!

 

 

 Happy Weaving!

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Turning a Draft

Marcy Petrini

May, 2020

To turn a draft means exactly what the name implies: the draft is rotated on its side so that the threading becomes the treadling and the treadling becomes the threading. The tie-up is transposed as we shall see.

There are several reasons to turn a draft: 1) to reduce the number of shafts needed for a pattern; 2) to simplify the treadling; and 3) to change a two shuttle weave to one shuttle weave. In the process, the pattern is rotated as well, which can be another reason to turn the draft.

The process works for any structure, whether we are familiar with it or not, and any number of shafts. If a structure is a 4-shaft weave, when turned, it will have four treadling steps. But if the pattern requires 6 treadles to weave, 6 shafts are needed. The converse is also true: for a structure with more shafts but 4 treadles, the draft will convert to 4 shafts.

In order to be consistent, we will follow the following convention for drafting:

 

Threading Tie - up
Drawdown

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In this blog, we will go through the process of turning a draft step by step using an example from the first option, reducing the number of shafts needed. At the end there are 3 drafts for you to try to turn. We will discuss the turned drafts for these examples in the next blog.

 

Turning the Draft to Reduce the Number of Shafts

Below is an interlocked twill threaded on 8 shafts and woven with 4 treadle. There aren’t too many of these combinations – 8 shafts and 4 treadles – but they do exist; there are also patterns on 6 shafts that can be turned to 4.

 

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed (a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

When I turn a draft, I find it easier to think of the threading, tie-up and treadling as position in the draft, without numbers, as below:

 

 

When we rotate it, the treadling becomes the threading, but the treadling and tie-up are on the wrong side:


 

From the rotated draft, we build the turned draft one section at the time by changing the position to numbers of shafts, treadles and treadling steps. The threading is particularly easy because it’s symmetrical. The original treadling rotated:

 

 

 It becomes the threading of the turned draft:

 

The treadling is on the wrong side for our convention, so we slide over: 

 

The treadling of the turned draft becomes:

 

 

 

We could slide the tie-up along with the treadling. Below we have the rotated treadling and tie-up on the left, the turned treadling and tie-up on the right.

   

                 

 

However, if we do the drawdown according to those directions, the result below doesn’t look like our original draft rotated!

 

 

If we look carefully, however, we see that it is the other side of the fabric. We could just weave it that way and turn the fabric at the end. Or we could change the tie-up the way we do when we change a tie-up for a sinking shed loom to a rising shed loom, or vice versa: we tie what is not tied and untie what is tied, called transposed.

On the left is the tie-up above again, to the right, the tie-up transposed:

 

          

  

And here is the turned drawdown; it does look like the rotated draft:

 

 Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed (a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

 Most 4-shaft looms do not have 8 treadles, but the tie-up can be re-arranged so the treadling can be done with two feet as shown in the drawdown below (2 repeats):

 Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed (a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

While the treadling is a bit cumbersome, it can be woven on 4 shafts.

 

A Challenge

Here are 3 drafts that you can turn. Try them! Next blog we will review the process while turning them.

 

Twill Treadled Advancing  

Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed (a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

Monk's Belt  

  Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed (a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

Summer & Winter Singles With Tabby  

 Click here for a draft that you can resize as needed (a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files) 

 

 

 Happy Weaving!

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10/2 Cotton Warp on a Rigid Heddle?

Marcy Petrini

March, 2020

 

In January I wrote about advice that I offered my student who had used a 10/2 cotton warp on a rigid heddle loom sett at 12 and found that her fabric was stiff and not very drapeable.

After I wrote the blog, I kept on thinking about the problem. What if somebody had realized that the sett of 12 for the 10/2 cotton was too open, after the rigid heddle was warped? What weft could I use for a successful project? I had to try it.

I dressed my rigid heddle for an 8” scarf with 10/2 mercerized cotton from Lunatic Fringe, color blue purple # 5, sett at 12. Then, my question was: what do I have in my stash that may work?

I did look at some wools that I have, but they were all too small. I found some lattice yarn that would work size-wise, but it was too heavy, and also scratchy. Then I found the perfect yarn, single spun think and thin, with the bonus of being variegated in shades of blues and green; it is “Bolero” by Lion Brand Yarn, 100% wool, 3.5 oz is 55 yards, and it wraps at 4 threads per inch, with some variability because of the thick-and-thin nature of the yarn.

Here is the scarf; it weights about 4 oz, a bit more than I like, but it is flexible and drapeable. It would have been even better if I had not beaten it as hard as I did, because the wool fulled in washing; leaving more space between shots would have resulted in a lighter scarf.

 

 

 

A close up of the fabric shows that pairs of warp ends snuggled together, but that did not affect the integrity of the cloth.

 

 

 

 

I generally hem stitch scarves (and most everything else); even if I plan on twisting fringes, the hem stitch holds the weft in place as I twist. When I use a larger weft, I use the warp to hem stitch, as I did here.

 

 

 

 

 Once off the loom, after the hemstitching, I realized that those warp ends would make spindly fringes, a bad contrast to the lofty weft-dominant scarf. So, I wove back into the fabric all the warp ends, 96 ends on each side. With a glass of bubbly, by the fire on a rainy night, it took no time to do the job.

Here is the untrimmed end of the scarf. Once trimmed, the warp ends don’t show, as can be seen in the previous picture.

 

 

 

 

 

I am not sure what I would have done if I didn’t have the Bolero on hand, but solutions to weaving problems always seem to appear. I am sure there are lots of possible wefts for this warp, this just happened to be one that was handy. But the weft needs to be a lofty, fat yarn, preferably beaten lightly to make a good scarf.

 Happy Weaving!

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Honeycomb

Marcy Petrini

April, 2020

I learned about honeycomb when I took a class that included overshot. Mary Black in New Key to Weaving describes it as “one that can be treadled on many overshot drafts.” Thus honeycomb is a treadling method.

As overshot, honeycomb uses one warp, generally threaded in an overshot pattern, and two wefts. In overshot, the heavy thread forms the floats of the block and the lighter thread, usually the same size as the warp, forms the background cloth. But in honeycomb, the body of the block is woven with the same size thread as the warp and a heavier thread outlines the blocks, forming the lattice that resembles a honeycomb from which the weave gets its name.

Because it had been a long time since I had woven honeycomb, I decided that in order to include it in the Pictionary©, I would have to weave a sample – and not use one that was the better part of 40 years old! Plus, I must admit that I find it hard to write about something unless I have woven it recently, or at least more recently that 40 years!

I used the simplest overshot threading which actually is Monk’s Belt, two blocks with no shaft shared. Some consider Monk’s Belts a type of overshot, some a separate structure, but even the splitters would agree that, when woven the traditional way, Monk’s Belt is a supplementary weft weave like overshot.

Below is the drawdown. The warp is orange and the cell weft is a lighter orange to show the intersections better; in the fabric it is the same yarn. The blue weft is the heavier thread.

 

Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window or in your list of downloaded files)

 

The draft tells us how to weave honeycomb but is not very illustrative of the look of the fabric that results from the draft.

Compare the drawdown with the fabric below. The warp and cell weft for this sample is 6/2 orange unmercerized cotton and the outline yarn is 3/2 Pacific blue mercerized cotton. Six shots of the 6/2 were used to weave the cells, as shown in the drawdown.

 

 

 

We weave two shots of the heavier blue thread, using the usual tabbies for overshot, 1 & 3 vs. 2 & 4; 6 shots of the thinner orange thread follow; we finish the sequence with two more shots of the blue thread, which are also the beginning of the next sequence.

While one block of Monk’s Belt weaves plain weave, the other forms long warp floats; these long floats pull the blue weft so that it bends around the plain weave block and compresses it – and the long warp floats are shortened. The resulting fabric alternates staggered “honeycomb” cells; in the next sequence, the block that wove plain weave now weaves long floats and the block that had long floats now weaves plain weave.

As shown in the draft and as I have already mentioned, there are 6 shots of thin orange weft per sequence, but that number can be changed. Below is a sample on the same warp that uses 3/2 black mercerized cotton with 8 picks instead of 6. The warp floats are more apparent.

 

 

 

Next, I decided to use the 6/2 orange cotton to outline the cells and a thinner 10/2 mercerized cotton, yellow, for the cells. This was not an original idea, but I can’t remember where I had learned about it. Below is the fabric. The orange warp ends are even more noticeable. The yellow 10/2 cotton covers the orange warp completely making the cells weft-faced.

 

 

  

And finally, I couldn’t resist glitz. Here is the same treadling as the original drawdown and sample, but the blue weft was replaced by a multicolor yarn from my shelf, Ausermann High Collection Holiday, 50 gm = 115 m; 82% viscose, 15% polyamid, 3% polyester.

 

 

 

I can imagine an evening jacket with such a fabric!

When designing with this weave, we need to remember the floats in the back. Where there are warp floats in the front, the weft floats in the back. The photo below shows the back of the 1st fabric; the orange weft floats between two plain weave blocks. An example of a weft float block is shown in the picture circled in light blue. If the floats in the back are too long, solutions could include lining a jacket, using the fabric for a pillow, etc.

 

 

 

There is a lot of room for experimenting with this weave; if you want to explore more, try Stacey Harvey-Brown’s book, Honeycomb Hybrids. Honeycomb for All Tastes for some interesting possibilities.

 

 Happy Weaving!

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A Color and Structure Gamp

Marcy Petrini

February, 2020

 

I was reading the book Frances L. Goodrich’s Coverlet and Counterpane Drafts by Barbara Miller and Deb Schillo and I was struck by the variations of the counterpanes which they describe in Chapter IV. I thought of counterpanes as square of a structure surrounded by stripes; some, indeed, are, but others are not squared, areas vary in size, and some others are actually called dimity, which usually have stripes of textures, also as a result of changes in structure.  

Counterpanes started out, the authors say, as white summer bedcovers, but the drafts were also used for other household items and color later added. Unfortunately the subtlety that counterpanes are actually a combination of structures and not just a bedcover (or a quilt!) seems to have missed the etymologists; contemporary dictionaries and photos of counterpanes pretty much show the use as a synonym of any bedcover. 

I was particularly drawn to Sarah Nelson’s Draft # 6 (page 134-135) “Huckeyback and twilled”, which reminds me of a structure gamp. The variation in this sample is both in the threading – left hand and right hand straight twill and huck – and in the treadling, to get blocks of the various combinations.  

I promised myself that I would weave a counterpane and a dimity from the book “one of those days”, but I am not sure how I went from that sample to this color-and-structure gamp, I guess my mind meandered…. It is neither a dimity nor a counterpane, but fun nevertheless. 

I made the scarf 8” wide, 2” each of #5 red, #5 red purple, #5 purple, and #5 purple blue, 10/2 cotton from the Lunatic Fringe, sett at 24 epi; each color stripe is separated by 2 black 10/2 cotton threads doubled. The #5 designation in the yarns is from the Munsell color system, indicating the midpoint in value for a given hue. 

The drawdown below shows the straight draw threading with four treadlings: plain weave, straight twill, crepe, and broken twill. The four colors were used for each treadling, again separated by 2 doubled black threads.  

 

 

Click here for the full-sized draft (a PDF will open a new window)

Here the four sections: 

Plain weave 

 

 

Straight twill 

 

 

Crepe 

 

 

Broken twill 

 

 

Squares within squares, inspired by the counterpanes. 

At the end of the broken twill, I reversed the structures and colors, starting with the broken twill and the purple blue.  

And here is the scarf. 

 

 

Who knows where the next inspiration will come from! But those counterpanes and dimities are calling. 

Happy Weaving!

 

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