Looking Ahead to Convergence 2018: Blooming Leaf on 4 Shafts Using an Extended Parallel Threading
Let's start with the Blooming Leaf pattern -- a classic Overshot pattern we all know and love. I hope to use this structure in an Echo Weave workshop I'll teach next summer.
It's a 2 1/2-day workshop called "One Warp, Many Structures: An Exploration of Extended Parallel Threading," taking place at Convergence July 6-12 in Reno, Nevada. (Some background: Every two years, the Handweavers' Guild of America sponsors Convergence, a week-long conference that draws weavers and fiber artists from North America and beyond. Go if you can!)
We'll be working on 4 and 8 shafts -- and more, if people wish. For this blog post, I'm focusing on a 4-shaft extended parallel threading, just to give you a taste of what the workshop involves. (Extended Parallel Threading is the key to Echo Weave.)
Here's the basic drawdown we're starting with, based on the Blooming Leaf pattern from Marguerite Porter Davison.
I left out the tabby because we are not weaving Overshot -- but otherwise the 2/2 twill treadling remains the same.
To create an extended parallel threading, you have to double the number of warp ends. (In Fiberworks Silver, which is the program I use, you click on the heading that says "Warp" and then "Parallel Repeat" in the drop-down menu. Then you click on "Extended Parallel," shafts shift by 2, and "Apply.") This way, the threading for 4, 3, 2, 1 becomes 4, 2, 3, 1, 2, 4, 1, 3 -- that is, every thread has its "parallel" in a pattern that is 2 shafts above it. (The secret is that, on just 4 shafts, the parallel for shaft 3 is shaft 1 -- because there is no shaft 5. Because there is no shaft 5, the next shaft "up" after shaft 4 is shaft 1, and so on.)
This is what you get with a parallel threading for Blooming Leaf, with the shafts shifting by 2.
You can still see the Blooming Leaf -- but there are long warp floats and the pattern looks squished vertically. That's because we are using the original treadling from Davison. To design a treadling, I look at the original treadling as a design line -- really, as a profile for the treadling we want to use in our weaving. For each pick, I substituted a 4-pick Crackle block. So the first pick -- treadle 4 on our drawdown -- becomes 4 picks: 4, 3, 2, 3. The next pick -- treadle 3 on the drawdown -- becomes 3, 2, 1, 2. Treadle 2 becomes 2, 1, 4, 1. And so on. Here's the result, which I describe as the Blooming Leaf pattern in Echo Weave treadled as Crackle.
Really, this is where the workshop begins! I just wanted to show you how you get there. (Please rest assured that, at least for me, these designs do not come easily. I spend way too much time, it seems, clicking and changing and correcting errors in Fiberworks before I can begin to wrap my head around what is going on and how to come up with a good design.)
There is lots more to the workshop, because everyone will start with a drawdown using an extended parallel threading and then weave Turned Taquete, rep, Shadow Weave and Double Weave -- all on the same threading. That's the beauty of extended parallel threadings: you can use two colors (or more) in the warp for a stunning interplay of color and form and structure.
So here's what the Blooming Leaf pattern looks like in Turned Taquete. There are no floats longer than 3 ends (while there are 4-end-long floats in the Echo Weave) and you get a very tidy, drapey fabric, which is why I like this structure.
And here it is in Shadow Weave. Pretty subtle, but you see the leaf as kind of embossed pattern.
There will be lots more designs to come, as I begin sampling what we will weave in the workshop. Thanks for reading, and see you in Reno!