I decided to play around with network drafting this morning, creating some threading/treadling patterns to see what combinations of threading/treadling result in which patterns. The three main threading types I tried were the ones that Alice has in her book (Network Drafting, available on her website): turtles (a pattern that starts and ends on the same line when repeated), snails (a pattern that starts and ends on opposite sides (vertically) when repeated), and fleas (disconnected lines). I combined these with a couple of patterns in the liftplan to see what would happen. The one I liked best (for my current purposes, anyway) was this one:
The reason I like it is that it is blocky. Network drafting can have all sorts of interesting “echoes”, which work fine in a simple pattern (like twills) where what you’re showing off is the network drafted pattern. But I want to try some patterns with more visual interest, and what I’m after is really large patches of a single weave structure. I also want smoother curves/lines than I would get by using a block threading.
The second reason why I’m looking for big patches of a single weave structure is that I want to play with collapse effects, and those will be diluted if I’m dealing with thin lines and dots. One of the things I want to try is combining, say, polka dots of waffle weave with a plain weave background. If I’m correct, the waffle weave polka dots should collapse inwards, giving an interesting texture. (I could conceivably enhance this by using a shrinking yarn as weft: the plain weave sections wouldn’t have room to shrink, but the waffle weave would!)
The final advantage of this particular threading (or, indeed, any networked threading on an 8-end initial) is that I can weave any 8-shaft, straight-draw pattern on it. So if I want to weave “just” honeycomb, or “just” plainweave, or a huck lace pattern that fits on 8 threads, etc. I can do it across the entire width of the cloth. So I can play around with a LOT of different patterns.
Next on the agenda: figure out what structures I want to play with in conjunction with which liftplan patterns (circles, lines, etc.), and what yarns I want to try with each combination. Fortunately this is not nearly as laborious as it sounds; I think what I will wind up doing is creating a single file, similar to the one I posted above, and changing around the “black” and “white” sections to different weave structures. So I would get polka dots, angular lines, curves, etc. in waffle weave or whatever weave structure I’m after.
And, of course, I’ll need to start threading. I plan to tackle that this weekend. I still have 16 lbs of cherries to prep and cook! I made a big batch of sour-cherry jam yesterday, and will start work on a cherry pie tonight – anything left over from that will go to make brandied sour cherries and candied sour cherries. Once the sour cherries finish candying (probably around mid-August), it will be time to make fruitcake!!
Dyeing is on hold until I get the latest batch of yarn back from the skeiner. Probably won’t start up again until early next week, at which point I will begin dyeing solid colors from the “pure” (unmixed) colors of Lanaset/Sabraset dyes.
This new set of weaving experiments is really exciting. I can’t wait to get started!
Finally, one unfortunate note: I accidentally deleted my Subscribe2 plugin in upgrading the system. This means that if you were subscribed to my blog, you aren’t anymore. I’m trying to get it working again, but meanwhile, please check the site periodically (or subscribe to the RSS feed) for updates.