Sunday, February 10, 2008

M's & O's - Weaving Observations

I have to admit that finding that threading error really knocked the wind out of my sails at first. However, in a flashing "what the heck" moment, I decided to not abandon ship. I was very grateful for the encouraging comments I received on that post. They made me realize it wasn't so disastrous after all.

What I am weaving is dishtowels. The draft that I chose for these is from an old standby, Marguarite Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book. It's the "Three by Three Plaid" found on the bottom of page 64.

One thing that this draft does, is to illustrate the block theory I was trying to explain in my first M's & O's post. Hopefully, I understand this as well as I think I do.

The units are the smallest number of ends which make the weave structure unique. In the case of M's & O's, there are two, each containing 8 warp ends each:

M's & O's Block A
Unit A



M's & O's Block B
Unit B



These units can also be blocks, if they are threaded only once before threading the other, or they can be repeated, as this draft requires:


Block A consists of two units of A.



Block B also consists of two units of B.


These can all be put together into patterns, or motifs. You can click on either one for a closer look.


These two motifs alternate to make the overall pattern of the fabric, as you were able to see in this photo.....

Photo showing the overall M's & O's pattern....... (and yes, the threading error is the third motif from the left, center block. I only threaded twelve ends instead of sixteen, giving it a narrower appearance!)

As I've been weaving, I have observed two other things.

The first is what Valerie mentioned in the comments of that post; plain weave cannot be woven with the M's & O's threading. If you examine this close-up below, you'll see what I mean....

Close-up to show where plain weave fits into the weave structure. In the top half, you can see how the two blocks weave up. One block weaves plain weave (goes over one, under one), the other block creates the texture with weft floats, which skip four warp ends each.

In the bottom half, you see what the "plain weave" tie-up produces. It is not a true plain weave because when you follow the weft across, you will see that every third warp thread is doubled.

The other thing I observed is that both sides of the M's & O's fabric are exactly the same. The back looks just like the front, unlike some of the twills I have woven, which are warp dominant on one side and weft dominant on the other. Click here for a photo example.

So I'm learning quite a bit. The only thing I don't know yet, is how M's & O's got it's name!

Related Posts:
M's & O's: The Basics
M's & O's Dishtowels

4 comments:

  1. Yes, definitely one would have to know what they are looking for to find that error. I know the Os comes from the Os in the cloth. I just can't remember if the Ms are formed along the Os, but are turned on their sides.

    I did find this in my search:
    http://www.cs.arizona.edu/patterns/weaving/wtopic_mo.html

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  2. Thank you for that link Christine! And from what you say about the name, I think I can see the m's and o's in the cloth, especially where the units aren't repeated. Amazing anyone could come up with that in order to name it.

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  3. Sure is interesting how some of the weaving patterns got their names. Could possibly be a book on its own. The towel is great. And agin Leigh thanks for share your weaving with all of us.

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  4. Just wanted to let you know, your blog makes my day. It's true! The Shetland study has been wonderful, and the weaving is inspiring, as I am just learning to weave. Thanks!

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