Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Summer & Winter: Structure and Theory

By Leigh

It seems that the longer I weave and the more seriously I take my weaving, I become less I am interested in instructions for projects, and more interested in understanding a particular type of weave in terms of structure and theory in order to use it creatively myself.

Even though the Online Guild's Summer and Winter workshop is coming to an end soon, I plan to continue working and learning on my own. I'm not sure I was actually ready to leave the lace weaves behind, but I needed to take advantage of what was being offered and Huck, Bronson, and Swedish Lace will be things to come back to in the future.

As a way of review, and to see how much I remember, here is what I have learned about Summer & Winter so far. This is all off the top of my head, so it will be a good test for myself to see exactly what I understand.

It is a supplementary weft weave with the extra weft threads woven on top of plain weave. The extra wefts are tied down with the warp ends on shafts 1 and 2 alternately. Hence it is called a 2-tie weave. Since the threading units are 4 ends each, this means that the weft floats are never longer (or shorter) than three warp ends.

Shafts 1 and 2 (usually) are reserved for the tie down ends. The remaining shafts are used for pattern ends. With a 4 shaft loom this means that there are 2 shafts available for patterns so that 2 blocks (or pattern units) can be utilized. The blocks can be repeated as many times as desired, so this is where design comes in.

Each block is four ends, and each includes the 1 shaft and the 2 shaft (the tie down shafts), which alternate with one of the pattern shafts. That means with 4 shafts, these are my 2 possibilities.....

Tabby is woven by alternating shafts 1 and 2, with the remaining shafts (in my case 3 and 4.)

Design is possible through placement and repetition of the blocks, tie-up, treadling, and yarn and color choices.

S&W uses 2 wefts, a tabby weft which is usually the same or similar to the warp, and a pattern weft which usually seems to be a little heavier than the tabby, though not necessarily.

S&W is reversible. Compare the 2 samples below.

They are front and back of the same sample.

S&W is traditionally woven with light and dark yarns, which evidently accounts for it's name. When I was a little girl, I remember my mother changing the draperies and bed spreads; dark in winter, light in summer. So I can imagine S&W rugs for example, being turned over with the change of season!

At the moment I am exploring different treadlings. And reading. I have managed to pull together quite a few resources on S&W. This simple weave seems to have a lot of possibilities, and I am anxious to discover them.

Posted 27 March 2007 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com

Related Posts:
Summer & Winter: A Basic Definition
Summer & Winter: Tie-Up
Weaving Summer & Winter