Sunday, February 25, 2024
Wednesday, March 1, 2023
Using mathematics to design weaving profiles or sequences is a theme that I return to over and over. I have relied on writings about this subject because my mathematical knowledge is relatively rudimentary. I was very lucky to have found this document in the Ralph Griswold collection of weaving documents stored at the University of Arizona website. "Algebraic Expression in Handwoven Textiles" by Ada K. Dietz
This is my journey into designing a profile and weaving drafts based on the mathematical expression of the cube of a binomial (a + b) ³ My interpretation of this expression is aaa + aabaabaab + abbabbabb + bbb. I regrouped this into aaaaa b aa b aa b a bb a bb a bbbbb Below is the two block profile created from my interpretation.
The next steps are to convert this into weaving draft using block substitution. With four thread blocks, the draft uses 8 shafts. With 5 thread blocks, the draft uses 10 shafts - and so forth. The most common substitutions are with 3/1 and 1/3 twill blocks, but I’ve found that more interesting designs can be had
when you think outside the box. The following draft interprets the profile using 3/1 and 1/3 twills. But this tie up could be altered in one or two quadrants to a broken, 4 thread twill. What fun that might be.
This conversion uses a regular 5 thread satin and an altered satin tie up
The following draft uses two altered 5 thread twill blocks. I discovered this option in Handweaving.net. To me, the lines look wavey. The surprise is that my weaving software (WeavePoint) analyzed the threading and found it could be woven on 8 shafts. In checking further, I also found that Handweaving.net will compact this draft to 8 shafts as well. How great is that!
Below Block A uses an altered satin tie up and Block B uses a 5 thread altered twill tie up. Busy, but the profile is still visible.
The next draft uses 5 thread satin blocks. The dark block is flipped horizontally and reversed so that dark now becomes light. The draft doesn’t have clean cut edges where the two blocks meet.
Monday, November 7, 2022
It's been an interesting few days spent exploring weaving software and how to convert a profile draft to a shadow weave draft. I thought I would share what I learned in a post.
The conventional ways to convert profiles into shadow weave involve having a profile draft with a tie up that lifts 1/2 of the shafts such as a 2/2 twill or a 4/4 twill tie up. Most weaving software programs don't give you a block substitution for conversion, but I found three that do. WeavePoint, Proweave & Windows Weaveit Pro.
It all started with a profile draft on Handweaving.net (#32432) that I liked and wanted to see how it would look in shadow weave.Because my weaving software of choice is WeavePoint, I tried translating it to shadow weave using the Translate Profile option. WeavePoint gave me what I was looking for. A four shaft, shadow weave design. Great!
I had my draft and could have stopped there. But, I didn't. I wanted to see what other software programs would do and this is where it got interesting. I found that Fiberworks didn't give me any options to convert profiles to shadow weave. I did find that there were tutorials to help you do this - but with one caveat, that the tie up be in the format of 2/2, 4/4, 6/6 etc. I didn't have this in my original profile and if I put a tie up like that into my profile the whole design would be different.
Then, I tried Proweave. I don't use this software very much, but it does have a lot of translation options to different weave structures. I found a bunch of different options, so I took the one for four blocks and no incidentals.
Great - but this is an 8 shaft draft and the block lengths have been expanded. I could work on the draft to downsize the length of the blocks, but it didn't seem like a better choice than WeavePoint gave me.
Off to Windows Weaveit Pro. This program gave me three options for converting my profile. Atwater method, Powell method and Lang and Voolich method. This was interesting because I hadn't heard of Lang and Voolich before - something new to me. My first tries were with Atwater and Powell. Both of the translations gave me a draft - but not for the original profile. Instead, the software had evidently changed the tie up to a 2/2 twill because when I changed my profile tie up and looked at the pattern, the translated pattern looked identical to the thread by thread draft. Next I tried the Lang and Voolich option. Yeah - it gave me a correct draft, but again, one for 8 shafts.
As I looked at the WeavePoint version, I realized that actually the profile was three blocks and Weave Point had analyzed this before it translated my profile. And, where there was a transition from Block A to Block B, there was a double thread inserted so that the color sequence of dark and light wouldn't be interrupted (examine the first draft in this post).
So, I went back to the three programs to see how they would deal with my new, three block profile. WeavePoint was happy. It translated exactly as it had the first time. Proweave, translated it to a 6 shaft draft and Windows Weaveit Pro wouldn't give me an option to translate it at all.
I think if you examine the profile and the solution that WeavePoint gives you, you could probably figure out other profiles. I also tried to find Lang and Voolich's monograph, Parallel Shadow Weave but couldn't find any current source for it. Even Complex Weavers didn't have a copy in their library. It would be interesting to see how their solution worked - even though it wasn't as elegant a solution as WeavePoint gave me.
Yeah for the WeavePoint programmer, Bjorn Myhre.
Saturday, November 27, 2021
Quite a few years ago, I read a paper called "Designing with Farey Fractions" by Ralph Griswold. Ralph was a computer scientist with a penchant for weaving drafts and weaving design. I did some designing using a Farey sequence as the threading for an 8 shaft draft and wrote about the process here in this blog. https://bannermountaintextiles.blogspot.com/2013/07/farey-fraction-towels.html The results were interesting (to me) but recently I began to think about other things that might be done with this Farey sequence used as a profile draft.
I started thinking about how I might weave green and red towels for Christmas sales without the problems of green and red crossing one another and blending into brown. The solution appeared to be to use blocks of weave structure so that the colors of red and green would appear more or less solid against one another. Which comes back to using a profile draft and translating it to satin and block twills to weave my towels. I selected the Farey sequence above for my threading profile and converted it into a series of drafts using 5 thread satins and 5 thread twill blocks. 8 blocks times 5 thread structures translates to 40 shafts. How lucky for me that I have a loom that will weave these designs!
In preparing the ideas for my warp color, I used stripes of red and green which used portions of the profile that would give a different design for the two color stripes. Red and green yarns were another problem. I didn't have any of the specific value in my stash that I wanted for the warp, so I wound off 2800 yards for the green warp stripe and 2800 yards for the red warp stripe. I dyed each of the 2800 yards in the same pot so that I would get exactly the same colors - although, a variation in the warp color stripes could have been interesting too.
| 1/5 and 5/1 twill blocks
| This towel was woven with 5 thread satin blocks making it a damask cloth. And all without a Jacquard Loom!
|Accidental Christmas trees appeared in this variation. Again, the structure is 5 thread satin.
I was able to weave 11 different towels on this 12 yard warp and still had designs left that I could have woven. This last towel was woven with a dark green weft which almost changed colors once it was planted on the lighter green and the red warp stripes. I'm always amazed at the differences you can get from variations in weave design and weft colors and must say that I didn't tire of what kept emerging as I wove.
I guess the final question is whether or not I'm done with Farey Fraction sequence weaving. Probably not. I expect that the next warp will expand the sequence into a larger design - but who knows, it may take me years to come around to the next iteration in my fascination.
For more about Farey and his fractions, here is a Wikapedia article and a photo of the Farey Fraction sequence up to 8. Use the denominators for your own sequence work.
If you are interested in satin weaves and their various counters, here are a couple of resources that help to explain how they are formed. The documents contain almost identical information but in somewhat different format. If you eyes aren't glazed over when you finish with these documents, I don't know what it will take☺
Friday, August 27, 2021
I've been fascinated with amalgamation drafts since I first read Alice Schlein's Network Drafting: An Introduction. Recently, Alice published a new monograph called Amalgamation: Double your Dobby and I eagerly purchased a copy directly from her.
As I read the monograph, it appeared that only some weaving software programs were capable of copying the drawdown portion of the draft and pasting it into the threading. I use WeavePoint for most of my design work, so I went to AVL to see if the programmer of WeavePoint, Bjorn Myhre could help. At the same time, Bob Kruger from AVL sent the question to Jannie Taylor. Between the two responses from Bjorn and Jannie, I was able to amalgamate to my heart's content! So - thanks to both of them for making my software just a bit more valuable to me.
The following is my process. I've also tried it with Fiberworks for PC and it works well there too. Choose a threading that you want to amalgamate. You will notice that I have selected a threading that can be duplicated, in other words, I haven't ended on shaft one so that it repeats without double threads. Alice's method is just a bit different and she does put in threadings that begin and end on the same shaft. (More about that later).
The next step will be to add a satin tie up and select "tromp as writ" to fill in the treadling. In the example below the counter is 11. (Satin counters are explained in Alice's monograph which I recommend buying if you are interested in doing this kind of design work.) A plus to WeavePoint software is that you select Fill from your options bar - then select satin. This feature will give you all the counters that will work with the number of shafts in your design. Otherwise you will need to research satins for the number of shafts you are working with.
Then, change from tie up mode to liftplan mode. This will give you a liftplan that you can paste into your threading. So - copy the liftplan and paste it into the threading to the left of the original
Change back to a tie up and treadling and do another "tromp as writ".
Thursday, February 8, 2018
I have been wanting to learn how to warp with a paddle using multiple yarn sources for a very long time. Recently, I found a Victorian Video from 1997 with Sallie Guy called "Warping and Loom Preparation with Sallie Guy". She has a very good visual instruction of the process using a stationary paddle. Unfortunately, this video is very hard to find. If you find a VHS tape, it may be worth your while to convert it to a DVD. I did find one copy on Amazon.
I followed Sallie's instructions to a "T" or so I thought. My first warp had terribly twisted warp threads and it was a real struggle to weave off. So, I tried another and had the same result. I went back to the video and listened to Sallie say several times that the hand position is very important when transferring the cross from your hand to the warping board. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong but guessed that there was something in the video that wasn't easy to see (at least I couldn't see it) so I started more experiments.
I finally solved the answer to the hand position conundrum and am here to share my experiences with you.
There are several ways to set up your yarns so that you can warp with a stationary paddle. A very common method would be to have the yarn wound off onto bobbins and placed on a spool rack. Frequently, I choose that method. But for the demonstration I recently did for my local weaving guild, my husband and I put together a Rube Goldberg warping station.
I recommend the Sallie Guy video highly. There is nothing like being able to watch the process over several times before you attempt it.
Now, let's go on to the question - why in the world would you want to do this? Well, if you have delved into the book by Marian Stubenitsky, Weaving with Echo and Iris, you will want to warp four or eight colors at once. This technique is a great solution because you will pick off your color sequence one by one at the cross making everything very straight forward. You can warp four threads at once - yes, but I like this method better.
You may have lots of odds and ends that you want to use up. Instead of constantly cutting and tying on new ends you just warp along with multiple colors. Want a draft for this kind of warp? See Alice Schlein's garbage warp draft. (I use the provocative word garbage - you may wish to call it a mixed warp)! Maybe you have an interesting stripe sequence that requires frequent color changes, this can easily be achieved by warping the stripes all in one pass.
Remember to calculate your sett and take that into consideration when you are making your raddle sections if you warp back to front. If I am warping at 24 epi, I might use 6 threads per pass. Then, I know that in one inch I will be making 2 downward and 2 upward passes. If you warp from the front, and don't have a raddle cross, just keep track of the number of threads you have warped.
This post must naturally be a work in progress. I suspect that there are details I have left out and may need to add later. If so, I'll just update it.
Monday, September 4, 2017
|The upper photo is draft #622 and the lower photo is #681