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.
When I'm throwing the shuttle and the loom is behaving, my mind is free to wander. Sometimes I sing to myself in time to the thump of the beater.Today's section suggested tunes about green.
Green, green, It's green they say, On the far side of the hill. Green, green, I'm going away to where the grass is greener still.
Green grow the lilacs, all sparkling with dew. I'm lonely, my darling, since parting with you.
Greensleeves was all my joy, Greensleeves was my delight.
And so on.
And then it was time to cut off the section and retie. Ordinarily I just keep on weaving, but it seemed that it would be a good idea to even out some tension irregularities. After retying, I wove a few inches of mostly white warp on top, for a change. There's plenty of warp, so I'm not worried about this small detour.
This afternoon it was time to wash some of the yarn I spun during the playoffs and first two games of the World Series. This is a photo of wet wool draining in my kitchen sink; I couldn't let the colorful moment pass without a snapshot.
Downstairs, where the dry work happens, today's weaving looked like this:
Yes, you will recognize Double Twill. Inching along on the second panel.
Now to get the spinning wheel ready for tonight's WS game.
A productive morning at Southeast Animal Fiber Fair. I snagged a whole trunkful of wool (well, maybe just three bags full...), and had a glorious ride in the mountains, besides. Too busy shopping to take many pictures, but here's some wool/silk blend from Sue Dial that I'm going to enjoy spinning during tonight's World Series game.
It's been a busy week at the loom. The Double Twill project is underway. Here's a small bit of the first of six panels. Cotton & linen.
And here's a video from the folks at Hansencrafts that you must watch. I promise you that this is the best stop motion animation you have ever seen. Click on the link and prepare to be enchanted:
Halloween is on its way, in case you hadn't noticed.
It's getting close to freezing temp at night, but our camellias have gone crazy. These are the two bushes flanking the side door.
A Saturday out at the annual Euro car show brightened our spirits considerably. Automotive colors are very inspiring to me. For starters, here's red.
My beloved Cubs have me glued to the TV. I got a lot of spinning done during the playoffs, and there's more to come!!! This is the red portion of a graded roving that shades from purple through reds through yellow.
By the way, I've already voted. Age has its privileges.
No matter how accurate the digital simulation, nothing beats weaving an actual sample blanket of weave structures with actual yarn. Woven today: my new double twill jacquard sample sample blanket with two warps & three wefts. Refer to page 130, Chapter 8 of The Woven Pixel (see sidebar).
These are the same weaves as the ones I used on the dobby sample, with one exception; the layers are tied together at intervals in this one, and are completely separate in the dobby version. A nice palette of 36 colors. Click to enlarge.
A few wrinkles to iron out: a better selvedge weave, and perhaps addition of floating selvedges, much as I hate them.
If you've been following along the last few days, you will remember that now we're at the tricky part of the warping: passing the knots forward through the heddle eyes and the reed. Here they are part way into their journey. They have to pass the rocky shoals of 880 heddle eyes.
Gentle coaxing and slight tugging got them all safely through in 15 minutes. Then came another hazard, navigating the knots through the reed.
Home port is in sight! Time for a celebratory beverage.
Baseball watching is a good time to do hems. I like to baste my hems first, then running them off on the sewing machine is quick work. Clipping the thread tails & removing the basting is good TV work, too. Here are the nine hemp/cotton dishtowels hemmed & ironed, courtesy of the playoffs.
But during the day it's all business. After looking at the double twill samples, I felt that there wasn't enough green. In theory, the sections combining blue & yellow wefts should have looked green, but they were a pale and washed out green. I tried another set of samples using red, yellow-orange, and green as the wefts (instead of the original magenta-yellow-turquoise), and this time got better greens. The palette has an entirely different character, as you would expect. Since the project requires a strong green, I'm going with the new weft colors.
Here's the entire set of 72 samples, with some wrong side action showing underneath.
After weeks of fiddling about on the computer with possible Pattern Presets for the double twill samples, I finally got the first batch woven. What a revelation! There is no computer simulation that comes close to the real thing where yarn is concerned. Just my opinion, of course. For more information about Pattern Presets, see The Woven Pixel (more info on sidebar under books).
I selected magenta, yellow, and turquoise as my three wefts on this black & white warp. The subtle distinctions between the various twills and single & double weft combinations is very encouraging. Above picture shows the first 18 combinations. Tomorrow I'll weave up the remaining 18. Click to enlarge. All the twills on the back are 2/2; unexpected combinations emerge. I consider this the "wrong" side. But you never know...
Be careful standing back up after peering under the loom!
One of my goals in weaving these samples was to see how the unmercerized 16/2 cotton would behave at 60 epi in a 15 dent reed. So far no problem, although I do see a very slight fuzziness developing on the warp ends in front of the reed. I'll have to keep an eye on them. If there is any significant breakage I may have to rethink the 16/2 cotton for the jacquard warp.