This post is dedicated to Ingrid Boesel, master weaver and, together with her husband, creator of Fiberworks. Ingrid passed away last Friday and weavers around the world will sorely miss her generosity and creativity.
It seems that the more I weave, the more I go back to basics: sett, beat, yarn choices. I think it's important to ask questions all the time, taking nothing for granted.
That's what I've been doing over the past few weeks, weaving up samples for a workshop I'm teaching in April at the New Hampshire Weavers Guild: "Echo and Turned Taqueté for 4 Shafts and More."
Because Echo and Turned Taqueté (now better known as Jin) are warp-emphasis structures, they call for a dense sett: typically more than a twill but less than for double weave. BUT, many folks are weaving 4-color Echo and using a looser sett, even a plain weave sett, because they want to maximize the color effects, creating iridescence by using the same grist yarns in both warp and weft.
For the samples in the photos above, I used 20/2 pearl cotton in the weft and in the warp, which was sett at 36 epi, normally used for plain weave.* I also tried out a variety of weft yarns, all in 20/2 cotton, but using different combinations.
Here's what the pattern looks like woven as Jin, adding a tabby treadling.
Same threading, same sett, different treadling. And the circles are ovals. (Jin, because you're inserting tabby, always stretches out the pattern.)
Here's the drawdown for the Echo design at the top of this post. (Let me know if you want me to share the WIF with you.) I cropped the image, because it's way too big to show any details otherwise. I've used an advancing point twill in the threading and treadling both, so that the circles change in subtle ways across the design.
But back to sett. I really loved the way this fabric turned out, surprisingly, as the sett is way more open than I've ever used for Echo. So, out of curiosity, I decided to re-sley the warp at 48 epi, which is a twill sett for 20/2 cotton. I changed the tieup and treadlings as well because I still wanted rounded shapes.
So here's a different tieup and treading, sett at 48 epi.
Next I wanted to see what happened at 60 epi, which is a traditional sett for Echo (denser than twill at 48 epi, but more open than double weave at 72 epi). And I had to rework the treadling again to compensate for the denser sett.
This time I used a 12-weight embroidery thread for the weft (about 10,000 yards per pound), because I wanted a finer yarn. It's a variegated thread in shades of green, which adds a kind of sparkle to the fabric.
Here's what the same design looks like with a weft of 60/2 silk (a sort of coral color, which you see in the middle section of this sample).
So much more to do -- and to show you! I started playing with the treadling, like so:
Which resulted in a completely different look that I like very much -- except I should have tried different colors for the weft (I used gold and red in 20/2 cotton for this sample).
I also tried a networked treadling (achieved by clicking on the treadling dropdown menu in Fiberworks, selecting "Fill Treadling" and choosing the "Redraw on Network" command). It's similar to the circles design in the photo at the top of this post, yet slightly different in that the blocks seem to show more.
And then there's this variation in the treadling:
Which results in this pattern:
I got here very easily, thanks to Fiberworks, again by clicking on the "Treadling" dropdown menu and then clicking on "Fill Treadling" and choosing a 13-thread Extended Twill. (Remember that I'm using the Mac version, so it might be different in the PC version.)
Lots of ways to weave in circles. Please try this at home! And thanks for reading.
*For those who aren't familiar with the Master Yarn Chart, a free PDF download from Interweave, it's a great resource. In it, you'll find the grist and three recommended setts (for lace, plain weave, and double weave) for every yarn that has been used in projects for Handwoven magazine since 2000. When I'm weaving with a new yarn, I use the Master Yarn Chart as a guide and adjust my sett if necessary after that.