Sunday, July 21, 2019

How to Find Your Place in a Complicated Treadling (Or: Sometimes You Just Have to Unweave)

I recently had an email discussion with a friend who took one of my workshops -- who, after arriving home and returning to her sample, could not remember where she left off. She sent me an email, including a close-up of her sample, asking if I could help her find where she was in the treadling.

Has this happened to you? If not, you are fortunate and you may have a genius-level IQ. If it has happened to you, you may agree that weaving can be a lot like the little girl in the nursery rhyme: 

There was a little girl,
Who had a little curl,
Right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good,
She was very good indeed,
But when she was bad she was horrid.

Longfellow wrote that, by the way. Who knew?

Here is our exchange, below, beginning with a photo of my friend's sample. She was working on a network-drafted 8-shaft pattern, the kind of pattern that can make it very hard to figure out where you are in the treadling (or the threading, even more so). 

And here's a portion of the drawdown, giving you an idea of why it's hard to locate the exact place she left off.

So here's what I wrote to her:

Dear Debbie,

Unfortunately the only way you can really figure out where you are is to follow these steps. Trigger warning: These steps include unweaving ;o)

1) You have figured out approximately where you are, so have your treadling in front of you with the area you think you are (or areas, often) marked clearly.

2) Begin unweaving, marking down which treadle you're using for each pick.

3) Once you start to see a pattern (which is backwards, of course, but you know that), double check it against your treadling sequence (in step #1, where you've marked where you think you are).

4) Once you're pretty darn sure you've found it, start weaving forward. It will soon become clear whether or not you're correct! 

5) If you find you're incorrect, sigh deeply and/or curse, go back to step 1 and begin again.

Have you ever unwoven anything? Are you philosophically opposed to doing so? As for me: I do it all the time!


Pam said...

On my current double weave I am finding that I'm unweaving every so often when I see I used the incorrect tabby treadle with the bottom layer. It shows up clearly on the top. Also when I
can't remember where I am on a treadle repeat of alternating pattern picks. Getting quite good at it. :-)

Denise Kovnat said...

Yes, I am mastering this technique also ;o)

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