Thursday, August 31, 2023

Twill Gamp Weaving 2

Twill gamp dishtowel (1st of 3).

I finished the first towel last night.

Weaving Notes & Observations:
  • I'm still experimenting with beating the weft, and have been firming up my beat. The beater bar, being small, isn't terribly heavy, so it's up to me to supply the right amount of force. That's a little trickier than just letting the weight of the beater do it.
  • I seem to get the most consistent results if I apply a second beat after I change the shed.
  • Color mixing observations (warp and weft) are as with my sampler, i.e. the weave structures are featured best with good color contrast.
  • Same color warp and weft creates interesting texture in the fabric. I find myself wondering how to explore it. One idea I'd like to try is a fine variegated thread, perhaps for blouse-weight yardage.
  • I also find myself wondering how some of these would look with different size yarns. Much larger yarn, for example, or much smaller. How would it effect the pattern? How would that affect the appeal of the fabric? 
  • The twill zigzags (which have always intrigued me) in some of the woven squares only appear with the straight twill threading.
  • My squares aren't going to be square.
  • I need to fix the drive band on my bobbin winder.
  • I need a taller weaving stool.
Here are the next weft sections. The color is inconsistent depending on the time of day I took the photo and whether or not I used the flash. The codes correspond to Helene Bress's The Weaving BookClick for close-ups. Warp threading is here.

4th is a warp emphasis twill with plain weave. (II 70 A to II 73 D)

5th section is a variable twill treadling. (II 30 A to II 33 D)

6th is a miscellaneous treadling from The Weaving Book(II 144 A to II 147 D).

7th section is straight twill order (II 9 A to II 12 D).
There's a treadling error in this section. Can you spot it? 

8th is a warp emphasis twill without plain weave. (II 70 A to II 73 D)

Current woven length is about 25 inches. I'll finish up with a couple of inches of plain weave and start on the next one.

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Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Manually Converting a Tie-Up to a Liftplan

In my blog post, Table Loom: Direct Tie-Up & Reading Drafts, I shared how I learned to use a treadle tie-up draft with my table loom. Rather than trying to follow the draft as I wove, however, I used it to write down the lifting sequence. I just found this easier to follow. Still, to keep a record of what I'm weaving, a copy of the liftplan draft would be an important addition to my weaving notebook. So, Table Looms: Understanding Liftplans came next. Now, I'm going to see if I can put the how-to of converting drafts into my own words, because that's an important step in grasping a concept!

With a standard treadle loom, we tie the treadles to the shafts we want lifted to create the pattern. One treadle can control multiple shafts, so I only need to know which treadle to push. With a direct tie-up loom, each shaft is tied to its own lever. So, we lift as many levers as are required to create the pattern.

The shafts on my table loom are permanently tied up thus . . .

So if I want to weave this . . . 

I need to rewrite the tie-up and treadling as a liftplan. From the tie-up I note that:
treadle 1 lifts shafts 1 & 2
treadle 2 lifts shafts 2 & 3
treadle 3 lifts shafts 3 & 4
treadle 4 lifts shafts 1 & 4

My task is to show which levers to lift for each pick. Where the treadling shows treadle 1, I replace it with levers 1 and 2, treadle 2 is changed to levers 2 and 3, etc. When I'm done, it looks like this

I can omit the tie-up if I want, because it's permanent and never changes.

This could be done by hand on graph paper, although in this case, I used photo editing software for jpgs to upload. Doing it by manually helps me understand the concept and process, but I think the easiest way to do convert tie-up drafts to lifeplans would be with weaving software. 

It's been 15 years since I used weaving software, so I'm curious to see what's out there nowadays. Especially what can run on Linux. So that's my next project. 

Monday, August 28, 2023

Twill Gamp Weaving 1

Weaving has commenced on my dishtowels. The warp sections are threaded (from the left):
dark turquoise - point twill
light turquoise - rosepath
yellow - broken twill
dark turquoise - straight twill
light turquoise - point twill
yellow - rosepath
dark turquoise - broken twill

You can see the threading patterns here.

The first three weft sections are complete. The codes in parenthesis are those in The Weaving Book. I'm including them for future reference. If you click on the images you'll get larger close-ups. 

First is a twill and reverse treadling order. (II 14 A to II 17 D)

Second section is a broken twill treadling. (II 93 A to II 96 D)

Another twill and reverse, repeating twice before changing direction. (II 24 A to II 27 D)

I'm having a little trouble with the tension (I always did, warping front-to-back). I wonder if it's because I didn't use a 2-stick header, having used all my sticks as warp separators. 

I've woven about ten inches so far and am still working out the squares. After wet finishing my sampler, I had more shrinkage warp-wise, so I'm making the squares just a tad taller than their width. Hopefully, that's the right decision.  

Friday, August 25, 2023

Table Looms: Understanding Liftplans

Liftplan. It's a word that never made it to my conscious weaving memory, although I vaguely recall it being associated with dobby and computerized looms. Now that I'm learning about table looms, I'm learning new things. Useful things! Such as, rather than refer to a "lever lift sequence," I can just say "liftplan!" 

So what is a liftplan? Most succinctly, it's a draft for direct tie-up looms. 

Draft - weaving instructions for a particular weaving pattern in graph form. Commonly, drafts for handweaving have four parts:

threading - the rows represent the individual shafts (harnesses) of the loom. Columns indicate individual heddles. The threading graph tells the weaver how to thread the loom. 

tie-up - for floor looms with treadles, the tie-up indicates which shafts are tied to which treadles (photos below).

treadling - the order in which the treadles are pushed

drawdown - shows the interlacement of warp and weft threads. If the draft is flipped, so that the threading and tie-up are at the bottom, it's called a drawup. 

How about some photos for my non-weaving friends?

Treadles on a jack loom. Each shaft is connected to
one of the horizontal bars (lamms) above the treadles.

By following the tie-up in the draft, I can choose how to pair shafts with treadles.

Table looms, on the other hand, don't have treadles, but levers.

The levers operate the shafts instead of treadles.

Each lever is connected directly to one
shaft only, hence it's called a direct tie-up.

What all this means is that standard weaving drafts don't apply to table looms or direct tie-up floor looms. So they need to be interpreted differently (see Table Loom: Direct Tie-Up & Reading Drafts). Or better yet, drawn as liftplans.

Liftplan - weaving instructions for table and dobby looms in graph form.

There is no tie-up graph because the tie-up is always the same. 

Tie-up on direct tie-up looms

That means that the treadling graph isn't useful to me. What I need to know, is which levers to engage to create the pattern in the drawdown. As you can see in the liftplan above, that sometimes means engaging more than one lever simultaneously.

Likely, I will be converting drafts to liftplans by hand. Which, in turn, has me thinking about weaving software. If I want to start using weaving software again, I need to find something that will convert a draft to a liftplan, with the additional challenge of finding something I can run on a Linux operating system. And that's another story altogether, but do expect some blog posts about it in the future.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Twill Gamp Threading

My dishtowel gamp will have seven sections which rotate three colors and four twill threadings.

straight twill

point twill


broken twill

There are many other possibilities, but these are the four explored in The Weaving Book, which is what I'm using for this exercise. Because I have seven sections and four threadings, one of these can only be used once. I used the straight twill threading for my sampler, so that's the one I'll use only once. 

I didn't draw the entire threading plan, (with 374 little squares) because I think I can keep track of it with a simple list.

From the front, left to right:

dark turquoise - point twill
light turquoise - rosepath
yellow - broken twill
dark turquoise - straight twill
light turquoise - point twill
yellow - rosepath
dark turquoise - broken twill

The blue ends are threaded straight 1, 2, 3, 4.

Related posts:

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Boring Rambling Notes For Planning My Dishtowel Gamp

Gamp - a woven piece divided into equal sections for the purpose of exploring interactions of structure or color. Common examples are color gamps, twill gamps, and block weave gamps.

I want to weave a set of twill gamp dishtowels to explore straight twill, point twill, rosepath, and broken twill threadings with a variety of treadling patterns. Finished size of each towel will be 16" x 24".

Random Planning Thoughts

  • A 16-inch woven width means I can have four, 4-inch squares, each with a different threading.
  • Or eight, 2-inch squares, which would repeat the threading patterns.
  • Do I want to border each square or leave them side-by-side without borders? 
  • It's a twill gamp, so I like the idea of borders to frame the weave structure samples,
  • which means I'd probably do better with the 4-inch squares. 
  • But I like the idea of smaller squares, so maybe no borders?
  • I would like repeated threading sections to be different colors.
  • I plan to repeat the warp color sequence in the weft.

I'm using information from my sampler to plan this project.

Sampler Notes
  • yarn: 8/2 cotton
  • sett: 20 ends per inch
  • actual shrinkage after hand washing and machine drying:
    • width: 5%
    • length: 8%

To make my calculations, I grabbed my copy of Learning To Weave to review how to figure out warp length and width. 

    Warp Formulas

    72" project length for 3, 24" towels
    + 9" for folded, sewn hems for 3 towels
    + 10% for take-up
    + 10% for shrinkage
    + 20" loom waste
    = 117" = 3.25 yards

    16" finished width
    + 1 inch draw-in
    + 10% for shrinkage
    = 18.7" width on loom
    × warp set (20 epi)
    = 374 warp ends needed

    Analysis (more rambling thoughts)

    • 4 sections (4" squares, each threaded differently) of 374 ends would be 93 ends each and would look something like this

    • 8 sections (2" squares) of 374 ends would be 46.7 ends each
      • if I make it 46 per color I'll end up with 368 ends
      • If I make it 47 ends per color, I'll have 376 ends
      • 46 would make it easier for sleying 2 per dent, and I'd only be 6 short of the width calculation
    • I'm using 4 threading patterns, so 8 sections with four warp colors means I'd be repeating each threading section with the same color.

    • To explore color interactions, I'd like them to be different colors.
    • 7 sections of 46 ends each would be 322
      • so I'd get the color rotation I wanted
      • but one threading pattern would only be used once.
      • I'd need 52 warp threads more to make my targeted width.
    • Maybe I can add my borders after all, to add more warp and be closer to my target width.

      • 8 border stripes of 4 ends each adds 32 more for a total of 354
      • Still short 20 warp ends
    • Maybe widen the squares to 48 warp ends each (times 7 sections = 336 ends)
    • Plus the 32 ends for the borders = 368
    • Plus 2 more for floating selvedges = 370
    • I'm still short 4 ends of 374, but my actual draw-in and shrinkage for the sampler was 5%. The formula used one inch for draw-in plus 10% for shrinkage, so if I follow this plan, I should still be on target for a 16" total finished width.

    I hope I explained that well enough so that I remember what I'm talking about the next time I read it.

    Saturday, August 19, 2023

    Evolution of a Project

    I've been thinking about is my first project since reconnecting with weaving. The sampler helped me dip my toe back into weaving waters after being away from it for so long, and to be honest, I initially wondered how I could weave two yards of warp with just samples. Wouldn't I get bored? With the help of Marguerite Porter Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book and Helene Bress's The Weaving Book, once I got going, I became fascinated with what I was seeing. My mind was constantly exploring the possibilities of whatever sample I was weaving.

    My first idea was something woven in pebble weave, a color gamp of graduating shades, possibly dish towels. I also thought that I might as well warp for three towels, and considering how much fun I had with my sampler, I decided to use different treadling for each towel. Then, I discovered I don't have the range of shades I envisioned. That pointed to a plan B.

    After taking the sampler off the loom, I realized I didn't want to stop exploring all those weave structures. The Weaving Book explores extensive treadlings on four common threadings: plain twill, point twill, rosepath, and broken twill. Wouldn't it be more interesting to thread my gamp to explore these too? Even with three towels I couldn't exhaust all the possibilities.

    My first step was to dig through my stash and see what color combinations I could come up with. I liked the sampler fabric, so I'm choosing 8/2 cotton for this project. Here are some possibilities:



    Or, maybe swap navy blue for the dark green.


    Autumn colors, perhaps?


    As partial as I am to green, right now I'm leaning toward A, the turquoise, yellow, and blue.

    What do ya'll think? Opinions? Preference? Other ideas?

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    Friday, August 18, 2023

    My New Studio

    This is a crossover post with my homestead blog (here), where I've been documenting how we remodeled this room (starting with this) to create my fiber and textile studio. So over there, it signifies the completion of a project. Here, it's heralding a new beginning for me, as I make my return to the fiber and textile arts. I also want to share more details here; photographs that might not interest everyone; details like books, stash, equipment, tools, and all my little treasures. I can't say for sure these will interest anyone, but I know when I look at others' photos, I'm always curious about the details in the background. Snoopy? Perhaps! But also, I'm looking for good ideas. Most of the photos can be enlarged by clicking on them.

    My studio is actually part of a larger room (originally called the sun room), which doubles in function as an office. For years this room was used for storage, as we slowly upgraded and remodeled our 100-year-old house. To define my area I created an entryway with two shelving units. They face outward so I can utilize as much of the window and wall space as possible.  

    All of my cotton weaving yarns are on the left-hand bookshelf, books on the right.

    I managed to get all of my plain cotton yarns on the shelves, plus a few blends. 

    Everything is pretty much organized by yarn size.

    I could use a few more shelves, I think. 

    All other yarns are in drawers or totes: wools, rayons, rug-weight cottons, textured yarns (slubs, boucles, etc), and my handspun yarns. 

    Next are the bookshelves on the right. I haven't bought a new weaving, spinning, dyeing, or knitting book in years, so I'm open to recommendations. Most of my books were hand-me-downs when I bought my looms, or from library and guild fundraising sales. If you click the bookshelf pics, you should get larger versions.

    Weaving books. I have a lot of monographs and spiral bound books.

    More weaving plus spinning and dyeing books, plus a few old copies of Spin-Off.

    Knitting books. I didn't remember having so many books on knitting socks!
    Most of my knitting books were overstock bargains I found at Edward Hamilton.

    Workshop notes and samples, plus collections of patterns.

    Behind the yarn shelves is my worktable. It's multi-functional for planning projects, cutting fabric, or sewing.

    Set up with my electric sewing machine.

    It's also where I put my table loom for weaving. 

    View looking the other way.

    The workshop light is wonderful. It gives me plenty of light in the late evenings, which is when I do most of my weaving or sewing. At the end of the table I found room for my button box.

    Button & bead box, current weaving yarns,
    and photos of the covers of my first two books.

    The drawers under the table are handy for weaving and sewing machine accessories. In the taller set of drawers:

    Top drawer contains sewing items

    Next drawer, weaving bobbins

    Aids for warp and warping

    Bottom drawer contains items for sewing machine maintenance

    In and on the shorter drawer unit:

    My tablet weaving stuff resides on top of the shorter
    drawer unit. One-off yarns are stored in the top drawer.

    Bottom drawer: linen blend yarns, silk blend yarns, and slippery yarns.

    Moving on.

     My sewing and reading corner. The basket on the
     floor holds my boro & sashiko inspired barn jacket.

    On the wall:

    A counted cross stitch I made in 1995.

    A birthday gift stitched by my stepmother.

    A Christmas gift from my daughter-in-law

    You can read about my treadle sewing machine here

    The hand thrown pottery bowl is for snipped thread
    and you can see the contents of my sewing box here.

    In the other corner is my Kromski Minstrel spinning wheel.

    On the walls:

    I'm not sure where this came from; I just like it!

    For some reason I liked the card and so cross stitched the border.

    A Christmas gift from my son and daughter-in-law.

    On the closet door:

    Little vintage pillow from my mother.

    Inside the closet:

    Stacked with totes of yarns and spinning fibers. It's a good
    place for the ironing board, iron, and fabric cutting board.

    You may be wondering how I managed to collect so much yarn. Some of it I bought online, some came from retiring weavers or guild sales. I got most of it, however, because my weaving teacher knew a man who owned a commercial spinning factory. She convinced him to selling odd lots to weavers. Several times a year they'd have a huge warehouse sale and offer two to five pound cones of run remnants, leftovers, dye test lots, incorrect or inconsistent dye colors, discontinued yarns, rejects, returns, etc. It was all priced at a couple of dollars per cone, so I bought a lot!

    The remaining wall space is lined with shelving units, a filing cabinet, and a tall stack of totes.

    The cabinet on the left has nice deep shelves:
    The totes contain knitting yarn and dyed roving.
    The basket on the top shelf holds embroidery thread,
    and the brown cloth tote holds 2# cones of sewing thread.

    Spool box inherited from my great-grandmother (a quilter).
    The basket and box on top hold more sewing thread.

    Shelf 3: handspun yarn in the totes, my lazy kate, and
    electric sewing machine. The notebook is for tablet weaving.

    Drum carder and bobbin winder, both with broken drive bands!

    Bottom shelf: tote of acrylic knitting yarns and my ball winder.

    So far, the filing cabinet only has two drawers of related items.

    On top, is a basket of synthetic rug warp, given
    to me when I bought my Schacht Mighty Wolf.

    One drawer contains folders of workshop handouts.
    I'm amazed that I actually kept all this organized.

    Another drawer is filled with sewing patterns. I still
    need to go through these as I have no idea what still fits.

    This storage unit is an old analog TV cabinet. I almost got rid of it when we finally bought a flat screen TV, but it's oak and I thought it looked useful for something. It works well for storage, don't you think?

    Repurposed analog TV cabinet. The plastic totes
    hold more spinning fibers and handspun yarns.

    I already had the plastic drawer units and was happy they fit perfectly. The baskets below them were a find from Dollar General. It's like they were made for the VCR cubbies. 

    On top:

    The plastic totes contain more yarn and fibers. My yarn swift is
    lying next to them, and the fabric tote is my mending basket.

    In the plastic drawers:

    Spinning equipment

    Weaving equipment

    Dyes and mordants

    Greeting card supplies

    In the basket drawers:

    Knitting needles and crochet hooks. My DPN roll is on the right.
    I need to make one each for my crochet hooks and circular needles.

    Sewing notions are in the other basket.


    Sewing fabrics

    There are still things I haven't managed to find room for: my large floor loom, my tri-loom, my Ashford Traditional spinning wheel, half-a-dozen boxes of spinning fibers, and a wooden trunk filled with my handwoven samples and fabrics. They will still have to take up space elsewhere.

    Anyway, that was a lot of pictures! Hopefully, I haven't bored you, but it is good for me to have a photo record of where everything is. I will have to make sure it stays organized. 😉

    My New Studio © August 2023

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