Designing Deflected Double Weave on 8 Shafts
Woven by Amy Parker, the sample above is an 8-shaft design I call "Quilt Squares" because the motifs reminded me of traditional quilt designs. Amy wove this sample for a recent workshop I taught at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center -- and I love the colors she chose! She even blended some of her green and pink yarns, using two slightly different hues of 20/2 cotton together. This way, the yarns weave as 10/2 cotton but the colors have greater depth and interest.
But I'm getting ahead of myself here. This blog post is about designing with Deflected Double Weave. So I'll walk you through how I went about designing the Quilt Squares pattern on Fiberworks.
First, here's the drawdown.
Looking closer, you see that the threading for the big motifs looks like this. (I'm assigning the letters A, B, C and D to these blocks, which correlate with the diagram below this one.)
A B C D
Translating the threading above to a block diagram -- better known as a profile draft -- would look like this, using the same letters for the blocks (A, B, C and D).
PROFILE DRAFT FOR THREADING
A B C D
A profile draft is a silhouette or a summary of a threading or treadling, giving you a basic shape that can be translated any number of ways. (As an English Literature major, I can't help but think of synonyms for the words "profile draft" -- such as code, key, shorthand, you get the idea.) Looking at the profile draft above, each square on the grid represents two ends -- one threading unit -- in the threading draft. So starting from the right-hand side of the profile draft, the first square represents shafts 1 and 2, as does the second and the third square. That means the first three squares -- block A -- are threaded 1-2-1-2-1-2, as you see in the threading diagram. The second block in the profile draft, block B, would be threaded on shafts 3 and 4. There are only two squares -- again, two units -- in block B, so the threading there becomes 3-4-3-4.
Deflected Double Weave is a block weave, making it very easy to design based on a profile draft. Once you know what each square in the profile represents, you're good to fill in your threading.
The next step for me was to assign different colors to the different blocks in the threading, like so:
Blocks A and C are both a melon color, blocks B and D are orange, and then, in the middle of the motif, I added purple in the three blocks of A.
Next, I went to the "Treadling" drop-down menu in Fiberworks, selected "Weave as Drawn In," made sure that all of the boxes were checked for "Draft," "Colors" and "Thickness," and clicked on "Copy Exactly As Drawn." So now I had my treadling and my weft colors.
Of course, because I had no tieup, the results looked like this, entirely unweavable:
Which brings us to perhaps the hardest part of designing Deflected Double Weave: deciding on the tieup. One way is to use the most minimal tieup there is for Deflected Double Weave, a kind of framework in which every treadle lifts one shaft for every four shafts in the threading. (For 8 shafts, it's a 1-3-1-3 twill tieup.) Here's what that looks like.
And here's what the drawdown becomes using this tieup. It will certainly weave up as Deflected Double Weave, but we still don't have the motifs we want.
I have to confess that at this point I can't quite remember how I decided on the tieup, because sometimes I just play with the blocks one by one to see what works and other times I just plug in a familiar Deflected Double Weave tieup.
Suffice it to say that there are clear rules for Deflected Double Weave tieups. To begin with, you are always working with just one block in your tieup, which means four squares. (Right? Go back to the threading diagram above and recall that each block weaves plain weave, which is the basis for Deflected Double Weave. And with plain weave, there are four possibilities for the two shafts in each block: shaft 1 up, shaft 1 down, shaft 2 up, shaft 2 down.)
Below, I've outlined one of the tieup sections in blue:
In this case, shafts 7 and 8 will always be down on treadles 1 and 2. That's one option. Another option would be to lift both shafts on both treadles, as you see here outlined in red for shafts 3 and 4.
A third option is to weave plain weave, which looks like this, outlined in orange for shafts 7 and 8.
There are 4 more options, used less often, which look like this:
These are useful when you want warp or weft threads to alternate in floating over or under a block, in that way embracing or containing floats.
Anyhow, I played with my tieup and came up a very classic Deflected Double Weave plan (the tieup that appears in full above). I'm happy with the results. What's more, I plan on using my "Quilt Squares" draft as one of the options in the next workshop I'm teaching: "Designing with Deflected Double Weave" at the Teleraña Fiber Arts Guild in Phoenix, AZ, February 15-17. I'm looking forward to it!