Sunday, April 16, 2017

Shadow Weave - A New Love?

After finding that gem called "shadow huck", I thought I was done - successfully - with trying to find a way to like shadow weave.  Moving on, I started weaving some samples from Peter Collingwood's The Techniques of Rug Weaving, starting with the 2/2 straight draw twill and all its color-and-weave combinations.  But then I started "reading ahead" and what did I find but shadow weave! This is the draft from page 291, a simple 4-shaft with the 4 blocks in a straight twill order, with a reversal.  The first sample on the left is treadled as normal for shadow weave, alternating 2 colors pick-and-pick.

Then he gives a couple ways to expand or extend the treadling so that the pattern isn't so "squashed".  I won't attempt to redraw his nice diagram; this is straight from that page. The second sample above uses (a) and the third is (b).

I needed to convince myself I understood this well enough to apply it to a pattern using more than 4 shafts, so I chose a classic draft from Carol Strickler's A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns.  This is #301, an undulating pattern that can be treadled to look a bit like leaves. This is actually only a segment of the threading as my samples were only 32 ends wide.  Again the 3 samples are normal straight treadling and the 2 extensions.

That pattern was too large for the tiny sample, so I tried a smaller pattern, this diamond shape flanked by a zigzag, a segment from Strickler #298. I think the design shows best with the (b) extended treadling.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Shadow Weave - An Acquired Taste

I've never been a huge fan of shadow weave; all those little lines going every which way bother my eyes.  But recently I put a sample warp on the "big loom" and made a pegging error in the dobby chain, introducing a huck spot into the weave that made some interesting warp and weft deflections.  Hmm, this could have some potential.

Then I noticed a weave in Carol Strickler's A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns (p. 72) that she calls "shadow huck".  Well there's another example of there's nothing new under the sun!  It was accomplished by treadling different pairs of treadles - using the "odd" treadle from one treadling block with the "even" treadle from an adjacent block.  So I tried it that way, and got a similar (but not exact) result.

The real difference comes when you flip the fabric over.  The "error" method has floats in the weft, while the "treadle" method has them in the warp.

But, I thought, what if I wanted to have another motif that uses that treadling block, but without that float in it?  If using the "error" method, the floats will show up where I don't want them.

With the "treadle" method, I can make the extra motif without the floats, but what if I like the look of the "error" method spots better?

Answer: add another treadle, so there's one with the "error" and one without.

And as a bonus, here's the "shadow huck" from Strickler, modified a bit.  Front and back sides.