Archive for the ‘Networked Drafts’ category

Echo Weave Scarf in Pastel Colors

April 29, 2012

I designed and wove an echo weave scarf using an extended parallel threading, but having read Alice Schlein’s 1996 article and a few others in Handwoven, I didn’t quite understand how an interleaved threading was related to an extended parallel one.  So I posed a question on one of the weaving forums asking for clarification and Bonnie Inouye kindly gave a detailed and enlightening explanation.  With Bonnie’s permission to cite from what she wrote, here’s part of her reply:  “Back in 1996, few if any weaving programs included a tool for making parallel threading or treadlings.  Instead, we used ‘interleave’ to get the same results.  I use both tools now and am happy to have them both…. Echo is a method and not a true weave structure.  There are few rules and few promises!”

Being a newbie at weaving echo, I found the extended parallel way fairly easy with the aid of weaving software.  There is also an ‘interleave paste’ in Fiberworks PCW that can be used to combine two threadings to make a new one, something I haven’t as yet explored much.

Following are images, drafts, and notes of my echo weave scarf.  I included a list of sources for studying echo weave at the end.  I read these articles with great interest, but I don’t understand all of it yet!

Echo Weave Scarf in Pastel Colors, pearl cotton & rayon, 2012

Echo Weave Scarf in Pastel Colors, pearl cotton & rayon, 2012 (close-up)

Echo Weave Scarf in Pastel Colors, pearl cotton & rayon, 2012 (twisting the fringes)

As you can see in the drafts below, I started with preliminary threading and treadling drafts that were redrawn using some of the tools in Fiberworks PCW to arrive at the final draft.  I also tried different twill tie-ups before choosing one I really liked.  I weave on a 16-shaft treadle Macomber loom so I show the treadling in tie-up mode rather than lift plan mode, but they can easily be converted from one to the other.  Because the treadling is very long it’s hard to see it clearly in the image so if anyone who has weaving software would like the WIF file of the draft let me know and I’ll be happy to email it to you.

Preliminary Threading & Treadling Drafts for Echo Weave Scarf

Echo Weave Draft for Scarf in Pastel Colors (generated from Preliminary Draft)

I have seen photos of beautiful, iridescent echo weavings of fine silk and Tencel where yarn size is probably larger and sett is closer for warp than for weft.  I read in most of the articles that sett plays a very important role.  My first try of echo weave was with 20/2 cotton with a sett of 54 epi and 40 ppi that turned out interesting with a matte finish.  This time I thought of trying something different with lustrous yarns.  I have lots of 5/2 pearl cotton in many colors in my stash so I decided to use alternating colors of purple and orange at 24 epi for the warp and 2 strands together of a pale green 20/2 rayon for the weft.  I tried different yarns as weft but the 20/2 rayon doubled up looked good at about 22 ppi and the longest float at 5.  I was amazed at how these three colors blended to produce subtle variations.  If I had used something finer like 20/2 silk or Tencel, adjusting the sett accordingly, it would have a lighter hand than the thicker 5/2 pearl cotton I used, but the drape is nice this way too.  I like the way the pastel colors appear to be luminescent and changing as the light plays off the surface as you move the scarf around.

The scarf was finished by twisting the fringes and then washed by hand, rolled in a towel to remove excess moisture, air dried and steam ironed while slightly damp.

Here are some inspiring sources for studying echo weave (in order of date of publication):

  • Bonnie Inouye’s article in the UK publication, The Journal for Weavers, Spinners and Dyers, December 2008 issue #228, “Echo Weave.”  Bonnie also teaches a workshop, “Opposites Attract” in which the second day is about echo weave.
  • Another article by Bonnie in Handwoven (Jan/Feb 2008), “Two Patterns for Two Scarves On One Warp.” (turned taqueté and echo weave)
  • Barbara Elkins’ article in Handwoven (Sept/Oct 2007), “Peacock Scarf in Networked Echo Weave.”
  • Sandra Rude’s articles in Complex Weavers Journal, 2005 and 2006, “Adventures in Parallel Threading, Part I” and “Adventures in Not-So-Parallel Threading, Part II.”  Also available online at Three Springs Handworks.
  • Alice Schlein’s article in Weaver’s #32 (Summer 1996), “Echo Weave: Something Old and Something New.”  Also available as a monograph from Alice’s website.

UPDATE March 23, 2013:  This scarf won the Complex Weavers Award at the 2013 “Celebration of Fibers” annual members exhibit of the Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers!  There’s also an article about this exhibit at NewsWorks that mentions this scarf.

UPDATE April, 2013:  I wove a few more echo weave scarves using pearl cotton and Tencel.  The design was inspired by Sandra Rude’s article, “Adventures in Not-So-Parallel Threading, Part II” and so I interleaved two threadings that are not parallel to each other.  Here’s one scarf where I used red and green 5/2 pearl cotton for the warp and 8/2 orange/brown Tencel for the weft:

Echo Weave Scarf, Pearl Cotton & Tencel, 2013

Echo Weave Scarf, Pearl Cotton & Tencel, 2013

Here’s a detail of another echo scarf similar to the previous one except this time I used 10/2 fuchsia pearl cotton and 8/2 green Tencel for the warp and 8/2 orange/brown Tencel for the weft, resulting in a finer weave and a scarf with a lighter hand.  These scarves are iridescent, I’m not always able to capture that quality in a photo.

Echo Weave, Tencel, 2013 (close-up of a scarf)

Echo Weave, Tencel, 2013 (close-up of a scarf)

And one more example of echo weave where I interleaved two threadings, here is a sample woven in cotton:

Echo Weave - Interleaved Threading, 2014

Echo Weave – Interleaved Threading, cotton sample, 2014

UPDATE July, 2014:  There is a beautiful and inspiring new book published recently by Marian Stubenitsky, Weaving with Echo and Iris, the English version translated from Dutch.  I just received my copy in the mail today and I’m mesmerized by its beauty and all the new information that I know I’ll be spending many hours studying.  There’s a great preview of the book on Marian’s website with ordering information.

UPDATE September 2014:  My new post, “Interleaved Echo Weave…” is about my experience with non-parallel interleaved threadings including a photo of a scarf with the same design as the one above except woven with Tencel.

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8-Shaft Woven Scarves: Parallel Threading & Networked Treadling

February 14, 2012

My imagination was piqued whenever I browsed through weaving books and magazines and read about advancing twills, parallel threadings, networking, and the mysterious “echo” weave.  A few years ago, when I was fairly new to using weaving software, I experimented with advancing twills and networking but it wasn’t so easy.  After a little more study and practice I felt ready to try more challenging projects.

The preliminary drafts for the two scarves I write about in this post had the same advancing point twill threading but different networked treadlings.  The patterns were nice but not exciting enough so I tried an extended parallel repeat of the threading and liked what I saw.  Following are images of the scarves, their drafts, and details of how I designed and wove them.  There’s also a photo of my first attempt at “echo” weave.

Blue Ridge Scarf

Blue Ridge Scarf (parallel threading & networked treadling), pearl cotton, 9″ x 75″, 2012

Blue Ridge Scarf (parallel threading & networked treadling, pearl cotton, 9″ x 75″, 2012 (detail)

There are two views of Draft 1 below.  The first view is a close-up that shows only part of one repeat.  The second view shows one full repeat of the threading and the treadling with an inset image showing more than one repeat.  Click on this second view for a large and clear view of the draft.

Draft 1 – Parallel Threading & Networked Treadling (detail)

Draft 1 – Parallel Threading & Networked Treadling (click on image for a better view)

With the aid of my weaving software (Fiberworks PCW, Silver version), I modified my preliminary draft by redrawing the advancing point twill threading to the extended parallel one in Draft 1, alternating black and white warp ends.  The networked treadling was easily designed using the network drawing tool that has a default of an initial of 4.  I sometimes design networked drafts another way, by redrawing a pattern line on network with options for choosing different initials.  The tie-up is a 3/1/1/3 twill.  The longest float is 3.

I used alternating black and white 10/2 pearl cotton for the warp and dark turquoise for the weft at a sett of 30 e.p.i. and about the same p.p.i.  Tencel or silk would work well too and give a lighter hand and better drape.  The fringes were twisted.  The scarf was wet finished by hand washing, spin dried in the washer, hung to dry and ironed while still damp.  Shrinkage was about 10% overall.

This scarf received the J. Willard Lord Memorial Award for technical excellence at the 2012 “Celebration of Fibers” annual member’s exhibit of the Philadelphia Guild of Handweavers.

Mauve Diamonds Scarf

Mauve Diamonds Scarf (parallel threading & networked treadling), pearl cotton, 9″x75″, 2012

Mauve Diamonds Scarf (parallel threading & networked treadling), pearl cotton, 9″x75″, 2012 (detail)

There are two views of the draft for this scarf as well and when you click on the second view the draft will appear large and easy to read.

Draft 2 – Parallel Threading “Reshuffled” & Networked Treadling (detail)

Draft 2 – Parallel Threading “Reshuffled” & Networked Treadling (click on image for a better view)

You may notice that the threading and tie-up in Draft 2 appear to be different than in Draft 1, but you can use the threading in either draft and get the same results.  I used the shaft “shuffler” in my program to reshuffle the parallel threading so it’s easier to thread on the loom.  By doing this, the tie-up was also reshuffled automatically.  However, I designed a different networked treadling for this scarf and so the pattern looks different.

I used 10/2 pearl cotton for this scarf too but alternated dark turquoise and fuchsia in the warp and used black for the weft.  From a distance the colors appear to blend into a mauve color.  All else is the same as for the Blue Scarf.

The Challenge of “Echo” Weave

As I continue to experiment with parallel threading, it’s not as mysterious as it seems to be, but the threading and treadling can be more complicated and variables such as the sett can make a big difference in the final result.  I wove my first “echo” weave fabric, designed with a parallel threading, on 16 shafts using 20/2 cotton at 54 e.p.i. and about 40 p.p.i. (see photo below).  In my research I learned that echo weave is not a weave structure, but a method, and you recognize it when you see it.

“Echo” Weave Fabric, cotton, 2012

Inspiring sources for studying “echo” weave:  Alice Schlein’s article in Weaver’s magazine #32 (Summer 1996), “Echo Weave: Something Old and Something New.”  It’s also available as a monograph on Alice’s website.  Sandra Rude’s articles, “Adventures in Parallel Threading, Part 1” and “Adventures in Not-So-Parallel Threading, Part II,” appeared in the Complex Weavers Journal in 2005 and 2006 and are available online including photos of Sandra’s gorgeous fabrics at Three Springs Handworks.  Also, Bonnie Inouye mentioned on a weaving forum that she teaches a workshop that covers “echo” weave.

Update:  More on echo weave with drafts and notes in my new post, “Echo Weave Scarf in Pastel Colors.”

These parallel threading projects were so much fun!

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Indigo Shawl – Twill Tie-Ups

March 19, 2010

If the pattern on my Indigo Shawl looks familiar it’s because I tied on a new warp to the old warp of my previous double weave project so that the threading is the same, the treadling is only slightly different, but the tie-up is now a twill, and what a surprise it turned out to be!

The idea of using indigo-dyed cotton has been lurking in the back of my mind ever since I bought a bunch of cones of it at a closeout years ago.  The labels on the cones indicated that they were from the UK and warned that the indigo color rubs off.  I was curious as to whether it was synthetic or real indigo and why the color rubs off.  When I asked about this on a couple of weaving lists, Ian Bowers, managing director of George Weil & Sons Ltd (a supplier of textile art and crafts materials in the UK), replied (with permission to quote), “There is absolutely NO difference in the chemical composition between synthetic indigo and that from plant material.  There may be different impurities which behave in the same way as indigotin but this would take substantial analytical equipment to differentiate.  The tendency to crock (rub off) is dependent on a number of factors including the finish on the yarn fibres and the skill of the dyer….”  I also got some replies from weavers who dye with natural indigo and some who even grow their own plants, like Dot, and it sounds like a wonderful experience that I would like to try one day.  In any case, I decided to go ahead and use my indigo-dyed yarn for the weft and make sure to wash and rinse very well the woven fabric once it’s off the loom.

I used one white and one very light blue 20/2 cotton together for the warp, keeping the same sett of 30 e.p.i. from the last project, and used the 10/2 indigo-dyed cotton for the weft.  The p.p.i. (picks per inch) turned out to be somewhat less, about 25.  The woven piece was washed by hand in very warm water, rinsed 6-7 times in warm water until the water was clear, rolled in some old towels and placed flat over some more old towels to dry and ironed while it was still slightly damp.  The blue color stayed dark even after all the rinsing and the very light blue color in the warp is not from any “bleeding” from the indigo dye but because I used the very light blue cotton as part of the warp.

Now I have a shawl to wear with my blue jeans:

Indigo Shawl, cotton, 19 x 72, 2010

Indigo Shawl, cotton, 19 x 72, 2010 (detail)

Weaving Draft for Indigo Shawl (14 shafts)

I used 14 shafts for weaving the Shawl and wondered what would happen to the design if I tried to reduce the shafts and treadles to 8.  In Draft 2, I think there is still a little bit of a resemblance to the original pattern:

Draft 2 (8 shafts)(detail)

Draft 2 (8 shafts)

I wanted to see if I could further reduce the shafts and treadles to 4 and still retain some resemblance to the original design but I couldn’t do it.  I came up with Draft 3 which is completely different but still fits in with this post’s theme of twill tie-ups:

Draft 3 (4 shafts)

If you love twills, especially unusual ones, I recommend the book, Twill Thrills (The Best of Weaver’s), edited by Madelyn van der Hoogt.

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Magenta Scarf & My First Networked Weaving Drafts

October 23, 2009

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.

Magenta Scarf (designed using network drafting)

Magenta Scarf (designed using network drafting)

Magenta Scarf (detail 1)

Magenta Scarf (detail 1)

Magenta Scarf (detail 2)

Magenta Scarf (detail 2)

Networked Weaving Draft 1 (for Magenta Scarf)

Networked Weaving Draft 1 (for Magenta Scarf)

Networked Weaving Draft 1 detail (for Magenta Scarf)

Networked Weaving Draft 1 detail (for Magenta Scarf)

Networked Weaving Draft 2

Networked Weaving Draft 2

Networked Weaving Draft 3

Networked Weaving Draft 3

UPDATE:  Please note that I wrote this post many years ago.  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.

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