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.
A few days ago I experimented with changing the directions of the twill lines in certain blocks of double twill, and now I've started to weave samples of these drafts.
In addition to changing the drafts, I've also altered the colors of the three wefts I use in a constant rotation. In this version, they are now terra-cotta, pale brown, and teal blue (instead of the previous red, yellow, & green). The three new wefts are used with the original blue/natural warp rotation.
One final piece is planned in the double twill series. This one will flip some of the blocks so that the twill line runs in the opposite direction. It is a simple matter to flip a block horizontally in the liftplan, but doing so changes the dark/light order in the warp. Solution? After flipping the block, wrap it one pixel horizontally, and the correct dark/light relationship appears.
The 3-color weft rotation is constant throughout. It's magic! Tweaking those 3 colors to get the most pleasing effect will be interesting. Red/yellow/green? Orange/pale blue/purple? Terracotta/mustard/forest green? Hm-m-m. Decisions, decisions.
Yesterday I accompanied a group of photographers to the Biltmore Gardens. It was a cold, gray and overcast morning with occasional sprinkles, but the conservatory was a perfect retreat, with lots of natural light and a comfortable temperature.
The photographers dispersed in various directions with their tripods & lenses, and I settled in a quiet corner with my sketchbook & favorite Lamy fountain pen.
After a satisfying lunch of mushroom/kale pizza (no pix here, but trust me, it was delicious) we headed home, and I went downstairs to continue fiddling with the double warp. Finally got it beat into shape.
Here are the first experiments with asymmetrical double twill blocks on 16 shafts. Same ol' three shuttle rotation, but lots of colors eventually emerge.
There are still openings in the CW regional gathering, where I'll be lecturing about some of these double twill experiments. Take a look here; hope to see some of you in Yadkinville.
The first ever regional Complex Weavers gathering will be held at The Yadkinville County Fiber Room in Yadkinville, North Carolina on June 17-18, 2017. Su Butler will be giving a lecture on Color Interaction for Fiber Artists on Saturday afternoon, Leslie Killeen's Sunday morning talk will be Cultivate a Creative Habit, and I will be presenting a Saturday morning lecture entitled Explorations in Double Twill. This gathering is timed to piggy-back with Su Butler's workshop at the Fiber Room. We're hoping this will be only the first of many regional Complex Weavers gatherings, giving members who are unable to attend the larger biennial meetings an opportunity to enjoy CW programs. I hope to see some of you there.
If you're still with me on the double twill blocks, here's the current variation. I've been thinking about this a lot. If you simply flip the weave structures horizontally in the liftplan, the twill will slant the opposite way. However, the light/dark warp order will also be switched. So in order to keep that order the same, you must do two things: first flip the weave horizontally, then wrap the weave one thread to right or left (we're talking one pixel in Photoshop). Then all will be well.
Here's the current table runner in double twill, now with twill lines going in both directions.
And up close, so you can see the twill lines (click to enlarge):
Changing directions again...if you're depressed about the news these days, this bumper sticker won't help, but it kind of fits in with my current philosophy of taking the long view. Think Big History.
All those lovely horizontals and verticals, a virtual plaid, seen yesterday from my kitchen window, are now gone. At least the icicles are gone. The snow is still around in dirty patches, but all the roads are clear, and I'm not taking my life in my hands traversing my driveway. Normal life resumes.
In the studio...I've finished with the current batch of double twill samples, and there is plenty of warp left. I thought it would be fun to weave a couple of placemats using some of the 36 weaves in various combinations of large and small blocks. This is an 8-shaft loom, but because the light-dark warp sequences are shifted mid-section, I'm able to get the appearance of extra blocks even though the weave structures stay the same across the entire web.
Here it is up close:
Back to work. I have something interesting to tell you about the color green, but that will have to wait until tomorrow.
The first of the new color samples for double twill are finished. There were some major changes of direction midway through the sample set; I surgically removed the unsatisfactory sections and stitched the rest together. You can hardly tell. It's getting ready to snow here, but I wanted one quick photo by daylight. This pile of leaves out back was just the ticket. To jog your memory: the weft rotation is red, yellow, blue, & repeat, all the way through.
My inner eye really called out for a more muted palette and for the next set I selected a deep peach, brassy gold, and dark teal as my three weft colors. The sample set is still not finished, but here is a picture of it in progress. The light is warm indoor variety. Nevertheless, you can still tell the difference. I am liking this better.
As I write these words the sleet is beginning. They say we'll get six inches of snow.
On my walk this morning I saw an apocalyptic sky; it stopped me in my tracks.
In a few minutes between appointments I hemmed a few more towels. Here are the best of the bunch—the others aren't as photogenic, although they may win prizes for absorbency.
On the sampling loom, I ran out of steam after the first few samples. Instead of 6" samples, I went to 3" samples, then down to 1". I'll get almost as much information, but with less of the boredom factor.
I really want to be outside. This is a severe case of the winter blahs.