This has been an interesting experiment. The focus of summer & winter is usually on the four classic patterns which can be treadled (1-2-1-2, 1-2-2-1, 2-1-1-2, and 1-1-1-1). For this next set of samples however, I experimented with how each of these looked depending on which tabby treadle I started with. Let me show you what happened.
The first sample is the 1-2-1-2 pattern treadling order.
It didn't matter which which tabby treadle I started with, there was no noticeable difference in either the pattern or ground cloth. The result looked the same.
With the paired treadlings (1-2-2-1 and 2-1-1-2), there was a difference, depending on which tabby I started with. You can see it in the ground cloth.
This next sample was the effect of leading with the "a" tabby (shafts 1 & 2)......
If I started with the "b" tabby (remaining shafts), this is what it looks like.....
The effect is more striking if we step back a bit ...
Notice the ground cloth. I got a pink (tabby thread) diamond effect by starting with tabby a (top sample). I got a brown (pattern thread) diamond by starting with tabby b (bottom sample).
In her Summer & Winter: A Weave for All Seasons, Donna Sullivan explains why this happens.
The difference occurs because each tie is used twice in sequence. If the 1-2 tabby falls between the two members of a single pair, the pattern wefts in those sheds will "cuddle" together. If the 3-4 tabby occurs in this position, the pattern wefts will be pushed slightly farther apart, and slightly closer to the nearest weft floats in the adjoining pairs.1
You can see that happening in the close-up photos above. The effect, though subtle, is something I'll keep in mind.
The effect of tabby order with the last treadling, 1-1-1-1, was the same as with the 1-2-1-2 order I showed you first, i.e. no difference.....
However, when I tried the same exercise with the other pattern shed, 2-2-2-2, I discovered that it was the pattern itself which was effected. Notice the columns in the photo above: four fat, nicely defined, straight pattern columns are treadled, along with narrower, less well defined columns in the ground cloth.
Compare those with the columns in this 2-2-2-2 pattern treadling below....
Notice there are five pattern columns, with some variation in width. I don't know if you can see in the above photo, but the two outermost columns are formed with 2-thread weft floats, as opposed to the 3-thread floats which form the three center columns (the same as in the 1-1-1-1 sample) . It is the edges of the pattern blocks which are effected. This is why the 1-1-1-1 treadling is usually preferred, and is significant enough to keep in mind while designing.
I have to say that this was an informative exercise, which also shows one of the benefits of sampling. I plan to add these samples to my S&W notebook.
Posted 12 Nov. 2008 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
1 Summer & Winter: A Weave for All Seasons, Donna Sullivan, (Interweave Press, Loveland, CO, 1991) p. 16
Summer & Winter: A Basic Definition
Summer & Winter: Treadling
S&W Samples 1: Traditional Treadlings