Sunday, April 11, 2010

Summer & Winter

I'll save us time by summarizing what I've learned about this structure so far from multiple books. It's useful for weaving in blocks, and I think for garments, bags, and upholstery where you can't afford long floats; Ali says it's great for blankets and vests. I shall amend/correct this post as I learn more; I hope you will tell me where I've gone wrong, please?

* Summer & Winter is fundamentally plain weave. This make it more forgiving than Overshot in designing coverlet-style cloth.
* It is woven with two shuttles, requiring tabby and pattern wefts.
* It creates a reversible cloth.
* It requires two shafts, usually 1 and 2, for the structure; however many shafts you have left, each one can create one block. So on an 8-shaft loom, you can have up to six blocks.
* In the first instance, they recommend warp and tabby weft yarns to be the same or similar, making the fatter/brighter/fluffier pattern weft the most visible feature of the cloth. Where/how the pattern wefts come to the fore creates the shapes/patterns in the cloth.

Threading:
Each unit has four ends, 1-n-2-n, where n is the shaft for this particular block. So, if a block uses Shaft 8, one unit consisting of four ends is threaded 1- 8- 2- 8. If another block uses Shaft 4 and is wider, say 12 ends, this is threaded 1-4-2-4, 1-4-2-4, 1-4-2-4. And so on.

Treadling:
So far, this has been the most interesting. With the same threading and tie up, but a slight changes in pattern weft treadling, you can get four different appearances. This is useful when changing the nuance of the cloth, or fine-tuning the corners of the blocks.

Example Profile Draft
4 blocks / 6 shafts

"Alternating"
The pattern weft treadling alternates.
"Birdseye" or "O"
Each unit of the pattern (black) weft creates the letter O,
while each background unit creates an X.
"X"
Each unit of the pattern (black) weft creates the letter X,
while each background unit creates an O.
"Dukagang", perhaps the most familiar?
"Dukagang" uses only one treadle for the pattern weft.


Here is a great photo showing the different styles. Thank you, Dianne.

Tie-Up:
I'm guessing there is great scope for experimenting with the tie-up, but I can't think that far, so more later.

Material:
There are infinite number of interesting possibilities here. What I have in mind for the near future are are:
* Very skinny yarn for warp and tabby weft; thick, fluffy or loopy wool in pattern weft.
* Warp and pattern weft the same size but different colors, the tabby weft being very much skinner.
* Warp colors in gradation or stripes within a very narrow range on the color wheel, tabby weft in one of the colors, and pattern weft in strong contrast, perhaps complementary.

Books:
"Learning to Weave", revised edition, by Deborah Chandler, Interweave Press (Shocking to see this is in the "Almost Gone Forever" section of Interweave Store. What is going to be the new classic intro text?)
"Mastering Weave Structures", by Sharon Alderman, Interweave Press (Hardcover is "Almost Gone Forever".)
"A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns" edited by Carol Strickler, Interweave Press
"Summer & Winter", by Donna Sullivan, Interweave Press
"Designing with Blocks" by Doramay Keasbey, AltaVista Publications

Software:
Fiberworks PCW Silver, V4.1.0.20P.
In the first instance, however, I used pencil in graph paper.

9 comments:

  1. Its a long time since I tried S & W but it sounds like you have the basics pretty right. I always have trouble understanding the O's and X's. I had an ah ha moment with overshot os and xs when putting samples on the loom for woven shibori. Sometimes it is good to see the fabric!

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  2. If you click and enlarge the "Birdseye" and "X" pics that show the drawdown, you maybe be able to see the little O's and X's, but I'm hoping as I sample they will become clearer. When you look at the smaller versions of the pics, they look the same to me. So I don't mind if you said, "They look the same to me, Meg!"

    :-D

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  3. I've done one piece in summer and winter and surprisingly, it didn't appeal to me while overshot does. Go figure. You've certainly taken it a lot further than I ventured!

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  4. Theresa, I wasn't thrilled at all about the prospect of weaving Summer&Winter, but now that I've started sampling on the table loom, I am starting to see some possibilities with it. The good thing about sampling on a table loom is, I'm actually chanting the draft as I proceed, which is interesting.

    The fluffy pattern did not work at all, however. Yikes, I can hardly see anything - I need a skinner fluffy or loopy yarn.

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  5. This is great! Thanks for sharing. I personally do not care for 'Learning to Weave' there will come another classic hopefully with more or a 'Becky' style.
    I do wish Doramay Keasbey would reprint her book Designing with Blocks, I had one on interlibrary loan once and it is one neat book. But I am not paying the kind of money they want at Amazon for one, no way!

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  6. Good descriptions of S&W. It is a very versatile weave structure and you can weave anything from the finest silks for garments to heavy wool for rugs.

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  7. Laritza, what is a "Becky" style? I know, I saw the Amazon prices. The Keasbey book is actually better the more I understand what she's trying to do with blocks and re. weave structures. For e.g. once I got my head around S&W, the S&W page in the book made great sense.

    Peg, yes, that's what I'm getting - from the finest to the chunkiest. I'm still interested in perhaps weaving a jacket fabric.

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  8. Check this out. I can see the Os and Xs in the fabric.
    http://www.weavezine.com/content/summer-and-winter-taquet%C3%A9

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  9. Oh, that's a great photo, and it has Taquete, Bonnie Inouye's favorite structure.

    So far I'm plahing around with alternating only, but that alone is fun, with different pattern wefts.

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