I’m now about 2/3 done with the threading, and expect to finish threading and sleying on Saturday (I still have lots more cherries to pit!). Then, of course, I will have to debug the warp (I already know that I missed one thread somewhere), so I don’t expect to get down to serious weaving on Sunday morning.
However, I am already designing drafts. I have decided to use the same basic pattern in the liftplan, but different weave structures. This is pretty easy to do using the techniques outlined in The Woven Pixel and The Liftplan Connection (the former by Alice Schlein and Bhakti Ziek, the latter by Alice Schlein).
Here is my base pattern:
And here it is, filled in with the weave structures:
(This is waffle weave against a plain weave background, by the way.)
And, finally, this is what happens after you cut and paste into the liftplan, and combine it with the threading:
The nice thing about doing this using a Photoshop file is that you can use the same basic pattern and just change the pattern fills, thus making it very quick to create more files. Here, for example, is the same pattern in honeycomb vs. a 3/1 twill:
This took me about 10 minutes to generate, including creating the pattern for the honeycomb (which I think is right, but need to check later this morning). Detailed instructions on how to do this are in The Liftplan Connection and The Woven Pixel. (Both of which are well worth buying – and I own both – but if you are designing for a dobby loom (as opposed to a jacquard loom), The Liftplan Connection is a LOT cheaper than The Woven Pixel and is written primarily for dobby loom weavers, so I’d start there.)
This also shows pretty clearly that if you start with the same basic template, you wind up with essentially the same (large-scale) pattern; only the weave structures that fill in the pattern are different. This is important to me because I want to weave up a sampler; using identical patterns will tell me how each weave structure behaves in that pattern.
I have now looked into a couple of structures. Waffle weave works on an 8-end repeat. Honeycomb sort of works, but the cells are so small that I’m dubious whether it will show clearly, especially at 40 epi. M’s and O’s don’t work – too many ends. I’m pretty sure that spider weave will work, so I’ll try that next. Huck works (although it requires some adaptation, since the threading units are 3 or 5 ends), and technically I could manage some overshot, but it really requires more threads to look good, I think. All fodder for experimentation!
Also I think I am starting to understand the power and limits of network drafting. It allows you to create an uber-pattern of one weave structure contrasting with one or more other weave structures, BUT you must use a number of shafts that is substantially less than your “regular” number of shafts, and all the weave structures must be weavable on the same threading. The end result is that each individual pattern is less complex than it might otherwise be, but since you have a larger pattern going, this is probably not such a bad thing.