I'm Alice Schlein, a weaver and book maker in South Carolina. Occasionally I write about Photoshop, Network Drafting, bread baking, and whatever else strikes my fancy. Thanks for stopping by! Comments are welcome.
Explorations in Double Twill Two-hour lecture at the Complex Weavers Southeast Gathering. June 17-18, 2017, at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Room. For more information on the Gathering, click on above link.
Spin Your Own Yarn Jan. 17 - Mar. 13. Learn to use the simple drop spindle to spin your own woolen yarn for knitting, crochet, or weaving. This hand tool of prehistoric origin is inexpensive, portable, and easy to use. Create a mid-weight yarn suitable for garments, accessories, and household items. Pack all your spinning supplies in a lunchbag-sized tote and take it with you on vacation! Click on Winter Brochure 2017.
The Woven Pixel: Designing for Jacquard and Dobby Looms Using Photoshop® Co-authored by Alice Schlein and Bhakti Ziek. 362 pages, many illustrations. Now available for free download on handweaving.net. The accompanying CD with 1400 pattern presets is not included with the free download, but may be purchased separately. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for more information.
Network Drafting: An Introduction By Alice Schlein. Break away from the block. Curves for your dobby loom. Originally published in 1994, now available as print-on-demand from www.lulu.com.
A Crepe Is Not Just a Pancake 52 pages of text, b&w and color diagrams, and drafts for multishaft tradle & dobby looms. Many color photos of actual cloth. Methods for drafting your own crepe weaves. Annotated bibliography. Pdf available for immediate download. $21. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
Echo Weave Based on the 1996 article in Weaver's, Issue 32. With brand new diagrams and high resolution scans of original fabrics. Pdf available for immediate download. $7. USD. Payment by PayPal. Email me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for payment instructions.
The first 500 picks of Fractured are woven. Here's what it looks like so far:
Interestingly, the fabric is perfectly flat in this photo; the effect of curving around a beam is an optical illusion because of the curved design. I'm sure some of you will recognize Filter>Distort>Shear at work.
The structure is a true double weave. The off-white layer is crêpe and the black layer is plain weave. They are not stitched (joined), except where they interchange from top to bottom. I ordinarily avoid true double weave in jacquard because of the inevitable distortions in large areas, but in this case the design is composed of smaller units and so far I am not encountering any problems.
With the dobby loom temporarily out of action, I've taken the crêpe explorations to the TC-1 (jacquard). The current warp on this loom is black & white—a good opportunity to try double weave. I've set up a couple of pattern presets with crêpe on the white layer and plain weave on the black layer. Now I should say that the light colored warp is not white but pale mocha; it is 20/2 mercerized cotton and the light weft will be 16/2 unmercerized natural cotton, so strictly speaking the weave will not be totally balanced, in sett or in color. But close enough.
Here was my sample, to establish aspect ratio, which turned out to be .94. That means that I will have to resize the file with slightly fewer weft picks.
After resizing, I began weaving the project; it has a working title of Fractured, and was drawn entirely in Photoshop.
OK, first the obligatory weather report. It started snowing here yesterday afternoon, big wet flakes, and by this morning it looked like this:
Not so bad, compared to more northerly parts. For that I'm thankful. It's a good day to stay in and weave, and eschew the icy roads.
While we're in white-on-white mode, let me show you three crêpe weaves. Here are three more drafts; the first is for 20 shafts (but woven on 40), and the next two are variations of the first. The variations are achieved through inversions, flippings, rotations, etc. Great fun. Click to enlarge.
Here are scans of the samples I wove of the above three drafts. All are 16/2 unmercerized cotton at 32 epi and 32 ppi, machine washed and tumble dried.
Any factor of 40 can be the basis of drafts for a 40-shaft loom. I was wanting to try 8-shaft crêpe drafts on the 40-shaft straight threading now on my loom. Hence this draft:
…through simple repetition became this draft:
…which on the loom, under tension, looks like this (kind of lacey):
…but after a machine wash and dry, looks like this:
Click on this last image to enlarge to a 3x view.
The 8-shaft crêpes I've tried so far tend to appear regular. The 40-shaft crêpes tend to have a more random appearance. There are exceptions. The exceptions are what makes this such an interesting field for study.
The crêpe samples came out of the dryer deliciously pebbly, which was my hope. Traditionally they are mono-hued, so that the entire effect comes from texture, not color. But I couldn't resist one sample with slightly contrasting weft, so that the pattern would be slightly more visible. I have just an inkling of where I'm going with these, but I suspect that my work for the next year has found its theme.
Here is a scan of sample 008, natural/natural, at roughly lifesize and at 12x. Click to embiggen.
And here's sample 034, natural & lt. blue, lifesize and 12x.
To answer Sandra's question about the light gathering magnifier—I bought it 20 or so years ago in a camera store. That was in the dark ages, when you sent your film off to have slides made, and then when they came back you examined them on a light table with a magnifier. Now that slide projectors are scarcer than the dodo, these magnifiers are still useful for things like stamp collecting—and textile analysis. If you Google light gathering magnifier, you'll find them from several suppliers, and at all price points.
The first crêpe samples are on the loom. These are on a straight draw on a 40-shaft loom. Warp: 16/2 unmercerized cotton sett at 32 epi, weft same at 32 ppi. Warp natural. Weft for sample 008 natural, and for 034 light blue.
Draft 008 and the fabric seen through a light gathering magnifier. Max float 6.
And now the same for draft 034; in this case the max float is 7.
At the moment they're about as interesting as an old screen door. The fun will begin when they are wet finished.