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.
Jump Start Your Rigid Heddle Weaving
Four Wednesday sessions, 3 hours each, taught at OLLI, Furman University, June 6 through 27. Participants to supply their own rigid heddle looms. Supply list given. Contact me at aschlein[at]att[dot]net for more information.
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.
Lampas for Shaft Looms Class notes from Complex Weavers Seminars 2016, newly revised and formatted, in pdf form for download. A review of methods for designing your own lampas fabrics for treadle looms, table looms, and dobbies, eight shafts and above. Over 90 color photos of actual fabrics with drafts. Includes info on pickup lampas and a lampas bibliography. View on a computer, or print out one copy for your own use. USD$21. via PayPal. Email aschlein[at]att[dot]net for ordering info.
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.
Today we hit the road for a visit to Ikea in Charlotte. Although I am a veteran of many Ikea construction projects, I have never visited one of their physical stores. It was a mind-bending trip!
I'm not a Shopper, capital S, by inclination, but this was a whole 'nother level of experience. Anyone who enjoys good design would love this place, even if they didn't buy a thing. Although I defy you to visit without coming out without a lamp or two. Or a few wine glasses.
Today we gathered with friends to view the eclipse. What a show! I am lucky to be in the path of totality ( love that phrase--I should put it in all caps). I was very moved by the appearance of the total eclipse as viewed through special glasses, but frankly, watching my fellow viewers in their glasses was just as much fun.
Many of the folks I gathered with had dark filters affixed to their cameras and I'm hoping they got some good pictures of the corona. I was not photographically prepared, so will depend on NASA and the internet for my sky pictures.
I think my favorite image is of the shapes of the shadows cast on the ground during the partial phase - the glimmers look like little new moons sprinkled on the ground. I don't need any special equipment for that, although next time I must remember to keep my feet out of the picture. Next time.
No, not that Convergence (although I might be going). It's convergence with a lower case c. You see, I have woven two lampas panels for a diptych. Although I have striven to keep an even beat so that the two panels would line up exactly after they have been cut from the loom, one can never be sure. I just cut the second panel off yesterday, and was shocked to find, when I laid it alongside the first panel, that it was an inch longer than its mate!!!
But now that it has had time to rest, and the two panels are in an equally relaxed state of tension, they are very nearly the exact same length. Their selvedges are in convergence. O frabjous day!
Now that the little loom is warped up I can show you the full effect of the M's & O's draft I talked about in this post. I find it astonishing that so much pattern can be eked out of a simple 4-shaft draft. It's humbling,. If I were marooned on a desert island with only one loom, and it were this one, I'd be OK.
Here's a closeup of the fabric. Now mind you, it's still under tension and will be a whole different animal after it has been washed & tumbled.
Now here's my further tweaking of the original draft. Feel free to borrow it, but be sure to give credit to the original weaver, Alcestis Low.
If that's not a collective noun, it should be. I never had a sufficiency of heddles on my 4-shaft loom, and it was time to remedy the deficit. So I spent this morning removing the existing heddles (which were on upside down anyway), untwisting a couple of twisted pairs, and adding heddles to each shaft. I now have enough heddles to weave the full width of 18" at 24 epi, my normal sett for dishtowels.
I celebrated by going to lunch at my favorite Mexican restaurant. Guacamole salad. Then in the afternoon I wound a new warp.
Now I will brew a cup of tea, put my feet up, and read a couple more chapters of "Any Human Heart" (William Boyd).
In the early 1960's, when I was a brand new weaver, I found the book "How to Weave Linens" by Edgar F. Worst in a used book store in New York City. My copy of this 1926 gem was well worn when I bought it, and is now even more so. It contains some history, construction diagrams of looms, reels, and other equipment, and a generous assortment of photos of craftspersons engaging in all aspects of linen production. My very favorite photo is of a young man in knickerbocker pants chaining off a warp from a warping mill. It also contains many 4-, 5-, 6-, and 8-shaft drafts for linen household textiles and actual photos of some of these fabrics. The structures include plain and fancy twills, lace weaves, and a few M's & O's.
I was leafing through the book the other day, looking for inspiration for a new threading on my 4-shaft loom, when I spotted this unusual M's & O's design. It's a standard threading, but the treadling is odd in that it produces twill-like sections in the cloth. I entered the draft in my weaving software and corrected a few small errors, and thought you might like to see the result. Worst attributes the pattern to Alcestis Low of Vermont.
I see that the book is available on the used book market for anywheres from $65 to nearly $800. You may be lucky enough to spot a copy at a weaver's studio sale. If so, snap it up. The photos of the actual cloth are worth the price, although I suspect some of the drafts are a bit problematic.
I wove this piece with the lighter characters on top. But when it came time to stitch the hem casings for hanging rods, I found that I much preferred the "wrong" side, with the dark characters on top. So be it.
Sometimes you have to put a work aside for a few days and come back to it with fresh eyes. I'm glad I did.
In odd moments I troll the Internet for 12 shaft patterns. Handweaving.net is a good source (remember to leave a contribution for this great effort!) and there are others. I grab whatever I can find and save it in one big ProWeave file. The thinking is that I will someday weave these on my 16-shaft loom, with 4 shafts reserved for a selvedge. That's on the very back burner.