Archive for the ‘Profile Drafts’ category

Weaving Huck Lace!

October 20, 2010

I know how to do Filet Crochet, it’s very open, lacy, looks beautiful using fine yarns, and patterns can be easily designed on graph paper.  So, I thought why not try to weave something like this.  From the many types of lace weaves, I chose Huck Lace.  I spent hours designing 7-block profile drafts for Huck and plain weave blocks that I could weave on my 16-shaft treadle loom.

Although a main subject on a background is nice, I was really trying to design a profile draft with a balance between the Huck and the plain weave areas so that the negative and positive spaces would be equally important.  This way the patterns formed by the Huck areas as well as the plain weave areas would be interesting.

I came up with a profile draft I thought would work, and what started out to be a lacy shawl ended up as a curtain because I love the way it looks when light passes through it.  Following are images, drafts and other details about it.

Huck Lace Curtain (pearl cotton) 2010

Huck Lace Curtain (pearl cotton) 2010 (detail 1)

Huck Lace Curtain (pearl cotton) 2010 (detail 2)

Profile Draft and Partial Weaving Draft:

After designing the profile draft, I used the “block substitution” feature in my weaving program to generate a complete thread-by-thread weaving draft.  But you don’t really need a full thread-by-thread draft; just follow the block order in the profile draft.  For example, if you look at the Profile Draft and Partial Weaving Draft below, reading right to left and top to bottom, the first block is threaded and treadled as:  1-6-1-6-1, 2-5-2-5-2, 1-6-1-6-1; the next block as:  2-7-2-7-2, 1-8-1-8-1, 2-7-2-7-2; and so on.

If anyone who has weaving software would prefer to see the WIF file that has the complete thread-by-thread weaving draft, please contact me and I’ll e-mail it to you.

PROFILE DRAFT for Huck Lace Curtain

Partial Weaving Draft for Huck Lace Curtain

Huck Lace Unit:

I used a 5-thread Huck in this project where warp floats alternate with weft floats.  The image and draft below show how one full unit of this type of Huck can be threaded and treadled repeatedly on 4 shafts as 2-3-2-3-2, 1-4-1-4-1.  For my project I used 1-1/2 units per block.

Huck Lace Sample and Draft

For more on Huck Lace using 4 shafts there are two superb articles on Weavezine:  Laura Fry’s “Woven Lace: Huck on a Twill Threading” and Michele Belson’s “Color Gamps” that has a draft for “Huck Lace Blocks in Plain Weave Ground.”

And my favorite book on the subject is:  Huck Lace (The Best of Weaver’s), edited by Madelyn van der Hoogt.

Weaving Notes:

I wove a few samples at first trying out different setts and yarns.  The winner was 20/2 pearl cotton sett at 30 e.p.i., sleyed 2 per dent in a 15-dent reed.  This sett is loose compared to 36 e.p.i. that I often use for plain weave with this type of yarn, but looser works well in this case.

With an added inch or so of plain weave at the selvedges, the width on the loom was about 26″ with a finished width of 24″ after hand washing and steam ironing while still lightly damp.  I wove enough yardage to make curtains for a small window.

There was one other sample I really liked where I used a very fine 64/2 merino silk yarn.  I’m thinking of doing a Huck Lace project with this.  Stay tuned.

Update (February 2011):  I wove two Huck Lace Shawls using the 64/2 merino silk yarn with a sett of 45 e.p.i., they feel really luxurious.  Here’s a picture:

Huck Lace Shawl, silk & merino wool, 17″x68″, 2011

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Taquete: I Wove Rugs on a Summer & Winter Threading

July 17, 2010

…but didn’t know it was called Taqueté.

In the early 90’s I wove several rugs and used Peter Collingwood’s book, The Techniques of Rugweaving, as my guide.  I especially liked the two-tie unit, four-end block weaves described in Chapter 8 that use the same threading system that is used in Summer & Winter (S&W).  The weave is weft-faced, without any tabby wefts, and when 2 weft colors are used, one weft color shows on one side and the other weft color on the reverse side.  Years later, as I was browsing through Weaver’s Magazine #42, the issue about rugs, I read that when S&W is used this way the structure is called Taqueté.  Taqueté can also be woven using finer yarns and one might not recognize it as a rug technique.

Since I already did S&W related posts (here and here), I thought it’s time to write about how I wove two of my small Taqueté rugs that are being used as meditation mats.  I wove a series of these in different colors and patterns on the same warp by rearranging the treadling blocks for each design.

RUG #1

Taquete Rug #1, Wool, 30″ x 32″, 1993

Taquete Rug #1 (detail showing both sides), Wool, 30″ x 32″, 1993

Profile Draft for Rug #1:

I originally designed these rugs on graph paper starting with a profile draft.  In this Rug there are 4 threading blocks – A, B, C, and D, and 4 treadling blocks – 1, 2, 3, and 4.  A total of 6 shafts and 8 treadles are needed to weave it on a treadle loom.  Here’s what my original profile draft looked like:

Profile Draft for Taquete Rug #1 (A-D threading blocks) (1-4 treadling blocks)

Partial Weaving Draft for Rug #1:

The  Draft below shows the threading to be 4 ends per block and may be repeated as many times as desired.  In this Rug it’s repeated only one time because at a sett of 4 e.p.i. that was enough to create the design that I wanted.  If read left to right, the threading goes like this:  Block A (1,3,2,3); Block B (1,4,2,4); Block C (1,5,2,5); and Block D (1,6,2,6)

The Draft below also shows the treadling to be 4 wefts per block that may be repeated as many times as desired.  For lack of space, this Draft does not show the actual number of times each block is repeated to create the design for this Rug which is 5 times (total of 20 wefts).  Note that 2 treadles are pressed at the same time for each weft because otherwise 16 treadles would be needed instead of only 8.  If read from top to bottom, the treadling goes like this:  Block 1:   lift shafts 1+3 together and throw a weft with the color indicated; lift shafts 1+(4,5&6) together and throw the second weft with the color indicated; lift shafts 2+3 and throw the third weft with the color indicated; and lift shafts 2+(4,5&6) together and throw the fourth weft with the color indicated.  Likewise, refer to the Draft for treadling Blocks 2, 3, and 4.

The Profile draft is a shorthand notation for a thread-by-thread draft (the Partial Weaving Draft here).  Once you know what each block represents you simply follow the block order in the Profile draft when threading and treadling.

Partial Weaving Draft for Taquete Rug #1

Weft-Faced View Profile Draft for Rug #1:

By entering information a particular way into my weaving program, namely in liftplan mode with alternating colors and in weft-faced view, an amazing profile draft is generated that can easily be changed and used with the block substitution feature to create other weave structures, not only Taqueté.

Weft-Faced View Profile Draft for Taquete Rug #1 (showing both sides)

RUG #2

Taquete Rug #2 (detail showing both sides), Wool, 30″ x 32″, 1993

Partial Weaving Draft and Weft-Faced View Profile Draft for Rug #2:

Although I wove this Rug on the same warp as Rug #1, it can easily be woven using only 3 shafts and 4 treadles because it’s really just the repetition of 1 threading block and 1 treadling block.  Again, for lack of space, the Partial Weaving Draft does not show the actual number of treadling repeats but together with the Weft-Faced View Profile Draft you get the idea:

Partial Weaving Draft for Taquete Rug #2

Weft-Faced View Profile Draft for Taquete Rug #2 (showing both sides)

Additional Notes:

For both these rugs I used 5/2 warp twist cotton tripled with a sett of 4 e.p.i. (ends per inch) for the warp, and a 4-ply light/medium rug wool tripled for the weft approximately 20 p.p.i. (picks or wefts per inch).  The finished rugs are 30″ x 32″ and each weighs about 3 lbs., nice and thick and comfortable to sit on.  I have also used linen for the warp when weaving larger rugs, but I heard that seine twine is also very good, even better because fringes don’t fray as much with less overall wear and tear over time.

My favorite large Taqueté rug that I wove in 1990 is in our living room and we really do use one side in the summer and turn it over to the reverse side in the winter because both sides are equally nice.  It’s the second image on my Gallery – 1985 & 1990 page.

By the way, I posted an image of a new shadow weave sample I wove this year for the Fine Threads Study group at Complex Weavers, it’s on my Gallery 2010 page, the fourth image down.

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Color-and-Weave Diamond Twill Scarf

May 31, 2010

I recently started to learn how to design and use profile drafts with my weaving software.  My prior experience with this was mostly with a pencil on graph paper or by copying and pasting rows and columns of blocks using Excel, a spreadsheet program.  I’m also learning how to use a feature called “block substitution” in my weaving program that can generate patterns of different weave structures directly from a profile draft.  Amazing!  A profile draft is made up of blocks and is a shorthand notation of a thread-by-thread draft.  To learn more about profile drafts check out Kerstin’s website: Part 1 and Part 2 of her clear and enlightening explanation about this topic.

Starting out with a fairly simple 4-block profile draft, I tried several different weave structures and chose a diamond twill (turned twill).  I liked it but I just had to see what would happen if color-and-weave effects were added.  I liked it even more and wove this scarf:

Diamond Twill Scarf with Color-and-Weave Effects, Pearl Cotton, 11″ x 72″, 2010

Diamond Twill Scarf with Color-and-Weave Effects, Pearl Cotton, 11″ x 72″, 2010 (Detail 1)

Diamond Twill Scarf with Color-and Weave Effects, Pearl Cotton, 11″ x 72″, 2010 (Detail 2)

To weave the Scarf I used 5/2 pearl cotton with a sett of 20 e.p.i., washed the finished piece by hand, air dried it until almost dry and then steam ironed it.  Here are the profile draft and thread-by-thread weaving draft for the Scarf:

4-Block Profile Draft

Draft 1 – Diamond Twill With Color-and-Weave Effects Generated from 4-Block Profile Draft

The colors I chose, blue and red/orange, appear to mix (referred to as optical mixture or visual mix) as the viewing distance increases into a lavender-like color, and the pattern appears subtle with small areas of color next to one another.  Drafts 1, 2, and 3 are identical in threading, treadling and tie-up and the only variable is color.  So, if instead, I would have woven the Scarf with solid colors in the warp and the weft, there would be larger areas of colors next to one another and the pattern would be more striking with less optical mixture and look like this:

Draft 2 – Diamond Twill Generated From 4-Block Profile Draft

The size of the areas of color next to one another and the viewing distance is important in how optically mixed the colors appear.  There are also other important factors: 1)  value – how light or dark the colors are in relation to each other, 2) hue – what color family they belong to such as the warm family of red, orange and yellow or the cool family of green, blue and violet, and 3)  intensity – purity of the color, whether it has black or white mixed in it.  There is more optical mixture if the colors are not only small in area and are viewed from a distance but are similar in value, hue, and intensity with value having more effect than hue or intensity.  So, if I wanted the pattern to be even more striking with even less optical mixture I could have used a lighter blue and a darker red/orange and it would look like this:

Draft 3 – Diamond Twill Generated From 4-Block Profile Draft

I learned about color theory in an art class back in college in the 70’s, and Josef Albers’ book, The Interaction of Color, was the guiding textbook for the course.  We had to go to the Library to be able to see the early version of the book that had all the color plates in it.  What an inspiration that was!

There are a series of incredible articles on color theory in “The Weaver’s Journal” magazines.  Unfortunately, these magazines are probably not easily available but libraries or local weaving guilds might have them.  The articles, “Color Theory for Handweavers” are in four parts written by Pat Boutin Wald:  Part I: The Basics (issue #38, Fall 1985), Part II: Visual Mix (issue #39, Winter 1986), Part III: Visual Illusions with Color (issue #40, Spring 1986), and Part IV: More Visual Illusions with Color (issue #41, summer 1986).

Lastly, here’s an enjoyable way to learn about color theory, from a lecture at the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. on color in oriental rugs and textiles.  Thanks to the weavers who recommended it!

Just one more thing – there are links to other posts I did about color-and-weave on my “Weaving Drafts and More” page.

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