Sweeping curves, subtle curves, unusual shapes and intricate patterns are some design elements that can be produced with network drafting. The first time I read about this topic was in the Summer 1989 issue of Weaver’s Magazine in an article by Alice Schlein, “Network Drafting: More For Less.” Since then there’s been a wealth of information written about this subject in weaving books and magazines.
Bonnie Inouye’s online article on Weavezine (August 28, 2009), “Flowing Curves: Network Drafted Twill,” is excellent with a great bibliography that includes Twill Thrills (The Best of Weaver’s), Bonnie’s book, Exploring Multishaft Design and Alice Schlein’s book, Network Drafting: An Introduction.
I’m a beginner at creating networked drafts on the computer and it’s mesmerizing! Keeping in mind some of the things I learned from books and articles, I used my weaving program (Fiberworks PCW) to help me come up with a pattern for the Magenta Scarf. Here’s a sketchy list of what I did before I ended up with the final design: 1) started with a twill tie-up on 16 shafts, 2) used the “freehand draw” tool and did a few curve-like shapes in the threading area, 3) warp: “redraw as network,” 4) warp: “make symmetrical,” 5) weft: “weave as drawn in,” 6) “parallel repeat/extended” in warp and weft, 7) out of curiosity switched from “tie-up mode” to “lift plan mode” and back again, lo and behold the tie-up looked different now, 8 ) tie-up: “turn draft” and repeated step 6 and wow I really liked how the threading, treadling and tie-up looked, 9) checked for floats and longest was four, 10) deleted(!) most of the design and only kept the flower-like part with a border as the final pattern for the scarf. This is how I learned about some of the different tools and commands in this program after studying the manual.
I finished weaving the scarf last week – here are some notes on finishing: I used 10/2 pearl cotton at a sett of 32 e.p.i., washed it by hand, hung to dry, ironed while still damp. In addition to the weaving drafts for the scarf I also included at the end of this post a few 8 shaft networked drafts I did that I think would be fun to weave and hope weavers might find useful. As with other drafts on my blog, I would be happy to send any WIF files to anyone who requests them.
UPDATE 2018: I shared a variation of Networked Weaving Draft 3 with weaver Chelsea Fremming, and she used it to weave a table runner and a shawl as Mother’s Day gifts for her mom and mother-in-law. Below are an image of this draft and with Chelsea’s permission, photos of her beautiful work:
NOTE: I originally wrote this post when I was new at learning about network drafting. Since that time I learned more about networked drafts and how to design them correctly and more easily. To view my later posts about network drafting click on Categories – Networked Drafts.