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.
First, some background. A few years ago I attended one of the prestigious national juried craft fairs, and at a weaver's booth saw a woven scarf; this scarf was an exact knockoff of one of my published designs. I took a closer look at the scarf, and while I was examining it, the weaver informed me proudly that this was network drafting, a very special technique. "I know," I replied, the draft is my original work, and I published it in xxx periodical." No comment from the weaver, who turned away to talk to other customers.
Now I should say that I have always been sharing of my work and I always invite others to use my drafts for their own personal work; all I ask is that they not republish the drafts, that they not use my drafts for items for resale, and that when they do use my drafts they give credit for my contribution. Except for this one event, I have found other weavers to be very thoughtful and respectful of my work.
Fast forward to today, when I read this astonishing account of "borrowing," by artist Brenda Swenson. It is not the callousness of the borrower that caught my attention, but Brenda's very creative reaction to the event. Read it and rejoice.
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.