Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Crackle Begins

Finally got the crackle tied on this morning, tied up the treadles after my spin-in this afternoon and got down to brass tacks this evening. As anxious as I am to try non-traditional crackle like the lovely stuff on Peg's blog and this kimono I found on Fiberarts, I was a good girl and started with the standard tie up and the first two treadlings in Zielinski.

This is Zielinski's first treadling, the overshot style. I started with block D instead of A, and treadled DCBADCBA (and then another D to balance, but that's not shown in the picture).

Hard to tell from the pic, but the green pattern thread is heavier than the blue tabby - the first is about a 4/8 and the latter a 2/8. They're both colours that are also in the warp, just some of the stuff I have in my ridiculously large stash.

It reminds me a bit of log cabin and also of rep weave - although that's because I associate this kind of two colour warp and weft striping and block progression with rep weave, not because the fabric resembles rep at all.

I found the left selvage a bit fiddly when weaving block A but for the most part it went smoothly once I got into the rhythm of it - as much as I can "get into the rhythm" with a two shuttle weave. I have to say that, although I like the fabric, I did not love weaving this for the same reason I don't like overshot - two shuttle weaves are S L O W.

I like a weave structure that I don't have to concentrate too vigorously on, because weaving for me is a sort of moving meditation. The shuttle goes and my body moves along with it, but my mind is a thousand miles away, planning the next project, processing stuff that's happening in my life, dreaming up new things to try, whatever. When I have to keep my attention focused on changing shuttles and picking one up from under the other on this block and from over the other on that one, I don't enjoy the process as much.

Needless to say, I'm anxious to try weaving it with a single shuttle and also turned crackle. Even so, I want to try the traditional sorts too, at least once, so after treadling #1 I did treadling #2, the summer and winter style, using the same block progression:

I can't decide which I like the look of better but I did enjoy weaving the second one more. Whether that's because I'd gotten more used to the rhythm and so found I had to concentrate less or because something about not repeating the same treadle over and over with my left foot was more pleasant, I'm not sure. Funny how such a little thing can make a difference, isn't it?

So that's #1 and #2. I'll do #3 in the morning and then I want to repeat a couple of them again using a single shuttle, first with the heavier thread and then with the finer, to see what difference that makes. And THEN I'll try the stuff that tempted me in the first place.

And now it's time for dessert! Mmmm, apple pie!


Peg in South Carolina said...

This is lovely. I really like the colors. How about going for three colors---treadle either for summer and winter or on opposites. That will require two pattern colors and one tabby. Course you won't be able to meditate then......... Or maybe you will??

Janet said...

How would you suggest using the two pattern colours? Would you change colours when the blocks change, or alternate the two colours within a single block, or do something else entirely? I'll definitely try it!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Hi Janet,

You alternate the colors in a block. You could treadle on opposites, for example. Treadling shafts 1 and 2 you would use color a; treadling shafts 3 and 4 you would use color b. Still requires tabby. Similarly with the S&W treadling you have in Zielinski. But i really like what you are doing here. I have never tried warping with different colors for the different blocks and it really works out nicely when warp and weft are balanced so nicely in your beating. And I want to see what you do with warp crackle!

Peg in South Carolina said...

And I am sure you know that the other set of opposites is 13 and 24.......