Calmer bloggers might discuss one or two projects/subjects at a time, or at least use labels intelligently so readers can follow a subject/project easily; I am not one of them. So, this post picks up where I left off here in the main, but continues with Summer & Winter train of thought as well. (After working on this post for 4 days, I finally started a "Summer and Winter" label for my own convenience, but I found out I'm not allowed to use ampersand in labels!!)
The reason I'm interested in analogous (at least not blatantly colorful) Summer & Winter is to create the pebbles I've been euphemistically sitting on. I want to continue using Summer & Winter because Ali said the structure allows maximum use of however many shafts a loom has, and I've become somewhat familiar with this structure. And with appropriate yarn selection, it has proven to be not as fuddy-duddy, (or "mumsy" as Jill Alexander likes to say,) as I used to think.
I hit a wall in August, though, and I made half a dozen attempts in trying to understand the behavior of shafts, warp ends on same shafts, and treadling. I've been searching for a logic/rule, if it indeed exists, in making the most efficient use of the shafts in creating similar but unidentical shapes on a grid. If you don't understand how I describe things in words in this post, don't worry; I hope the pictures help.
* I plan to sample on a table loom, so I can ignore treadle numbers. I'll use my Klik which has 16 shafts.
* Summer & Winter takes up two shafts for tabby, leaving 14 for as pattern shafts. However, I don't want my pebbles stuck to each other, so an extra shaft is required for the negative space. In all I have 16-3=13 shafts for positive space/pattern/pebbles.
* For convenience, I used the alternating treadling in my examples; I can easily convert the draft to any of the other three should I so choose.
* I could have started with few, bigger, nicely rounded pebbles, but I opted for a group of crudely-shaped ones as my initial idea was to weave cute pebbles in a rough grid formation. In fact, I started my studies with squares, because they are the simples shapes on a grid, so uses the fewest shafts.
Regardless of the size of the squares or the space between them on the grid, if the positive and negative shapes are uniform, only four shafts are required: two shafts for the tabby, one for squares/pebbles and one for the negative space.
All four patterns can be woven using this tie-up: Shafts 1 and 2 are used to weave the tabby; 3 to create the chip in the squares; 4 to create the positive areas, and 5 to create the negative space. Treadles 1 and 2 are used to weave the tabby; 3 and 4 to create the rows that contains chips; 5 and 6 to create rows of squares without chips, and 7 and 8 to create the negative space.
After this, I created dozens of designs by chipping away at, and later also adding lumps to, some of the squares on a 5-squares-by-5-squares base, counting the shafts required, converting the drawing with the software to create drafts and verify the shaft count.
So far this is the only design which contains sufficient variety of shapes. I have a session with Ali on Monday, so while I hope to create more interesting, more rounded pebble patterns, I think I'll thread my loom and weave this over the weekend.
Ah, you say the shapes hardly look like the pebbles or dots I made in the first place? I couldn't agree with you more, but these are related to my attempts to break down the dots into small squares previously. As mentioned before, squares require the fewest shafts, and treadling is shorter than rectangles. Circles require a minimum of six shafts, and though I see cute, warped polka-dots in my future, I needed the simplest shapes to restart my investigation.
* Because my software Fiberworks PCW allows me to make a pattern on grids, convert it into a profile draft, then further convert it into a draft of weave structures of my choice, all quite automagically, I am able to create drafts without really understanding how the shafts and warps behave, most importantly how certain shafts could be shared across the cloth. To avoid this, I worked on graph papers for a long time, getting nowhere. After using the software, creating many shapes and analyzing how the software converted them, I started to see vaguely how the conversion works, and I was able to count the shafts for some my cruder shapes, or convert my crudest shapes into a weaving draft.
* To count the shafts accurately is my next goal. In addition, I'd like to be be able to convert less crude shapes into a weaving draft; in other words, I would feel more comfortable if I knew exactly how the software analyzed my shapes and turned them into drafts. My final goal is to "recycle" shafts wisely so that I can make shapes that appear as if they require more shafts than I have. If you are hoping to weave something like this on a foot loom, I think this is where skeleton tie-up comes in.
* The software defaults uses a white warp, and the shapes are created with weft colors; it took me until late last night to realize this. When I think about it, I very often start out with a dark warp, and almost always create shapes with my warp (i.e. dark) yarns until I am comfortable with the draft. Then and only then actual colors, particularly of the weft, comes into play. It's just a habit I wasn't aware I picked up, but these little discrepancies and the resultant appearances of the drafts on the screen confused me until I noticed these little things.
* I'm only interested in weaving my pebbles in a normal, cloth-weaving fashion, as opposed to on a jacquard loom, (I would if I had the chance!) or using pick-up; this shows my penchant for cloth-weaving, as opposed to another types (art?) of weaving, and I'm happy about that.
* Uber Teacher Bonnie Inouye said if we don't like weaving with two shuttles, we could always turn drafts. This is definitely on my list to try.