Monday, 8 November 2010

24 shaft patterns - all the fun


24-shaft weavin in the house yo!

i think that's enough pretend hip-hop talk for now, eh?

so yeah, here are three of the more successful results of my cotton warp on 24 shafts. i am really beginning to envy the 3rd and 4th years working on compu-dobby systems now. you spend 2 hours weaving and 2 hours making a peg plan, and it hurt my back putting little pegs into little holes. and of course all the little pegs and the little holes are almost imperceptibly different sizes, so not all pegs fit all holes, and sometimes you have to stuff wee bits of yarn in as well to get them to stay. and then sometimes they're not far in enough and they jam the dobby mechanism, and sometimes they're too far in and they jame the dobby mechanism. and sometimes a link breaks and the whole mechanism jams. and sometimes all the shafts lift at once and you can't figure out why. and sometimes shafts just bounce off their strings and you can't figure out why, and then after a week's weaving Drew says you're weaving too fast and they're bouncing and you think to yourself maybe it'd be a good idea to tie them in a little bits so they don't fall off their strings, but you've already nearly finished this warp now, so maybe leave it for another time, but there's no way that you're going to let that stop you weaving quickly because dammit you enjoy weaving as quickly as you can, isn't that what it's all about? and besides what other exercise do you get besides walking to college and back, it's not like you can afford a subscription at the gym is it?

so yeah, problems, but that's just the way isn't it? these are the clearest patterns, the others are either basics like plain weave and twill or too busy to come out properly on the screen and probably aren't worth repeating. i'm coming to realise that in dobby weaving simplicity is key and maybe it's best leaving the celtic knotwork till we get to make jacquard designs.

also, i should spend more time in the drafting stage and try to start wrapping my head around using non-straight drafts in order to get more variety in pattern. though i also realise good handle, drape and simplicity of pattern are much more important in most commercial household textiles, because complicated and busy patterns have a tendency to do your brain in if you look at them too much, and people generally want calming simple textiles for curtains and upholstery and the like

but i really would like to get into undulating, large-repeat twills and such, cause i think they're pretty.

here be following close ups of the previously photied fabrics.

 this be a combination of 3/1 left facing and 1/3 right facing twills, in sections of 4 x 4
 the second is a single element from a celtic knotwork repeat. the only one i can get to work. i had aspirations to make celtic knotwork. As the best i can do is a single pattern block and that takes all the shafts i've got access to i think i might leave it for a better day and a newer machine with a more sophisticated shedding mechanism ;-)

For our next project we're to be weaving/printing textiles for casting concrete with. researchers at edinburgh uni are researching the use of textile formers for casting concrete and are interested in the different textures that the textile applies to the concrete. porosity and elasticity of the fabric are both greatly important (porosity definitely, and elasticity probably, i reckon)

i have lots of ideas, i think i'm going to enjoy this project so much that i'm going to put my private projects on the back burner until this is finished.



Meg in Nelson said...

I feel your frustration with the dobby. I've never woven on a mechanical dobby but from all the descriptions and pictures I would have never imagined the problems with the sizes of the pegs and holes! (But we have that problem with our easels in our drawing class, and it's always ones I use that collapse in the middle of a long drawing, no matter which one I use!)

I think, with 24, you could try simpler Celtic knots... In fact, I'm pretty sure you could. Do you have access to a weaving software? That could cut down on your design/conversion time to see if you can draw attractive patterns on 24.

I think undulating is LOVELY! I love it. I'm thinking I might want to do big undulating twill patterns but weave it in Summer & Winter so I can have very long floats, but I haven't gotten to it yet.

Now, textile and concrete - I read that part 3 times, but I don't understand it until you try something and show it to us.

Glad you're enjoying school again.

humblebumble said...


go to

if you use a textile structure as the encasement (form) for a concret cast, then the texture and qualities of the textile can be transferred to the surface of the concrete. it allows the creation of smooth, organic shapes quickly and cheaply and also improves the quality of the concrete due to the fact that water can escape through many textiles.

it's difficult to explain, but we had a visit from the people that are doing this in Edinburgh Uni's Architexture department and suffice to say i am VERY excited. i feel this could be a big thing in years to come. as a building technique it has so many practical advantages compared to using wooden boxes to cast conrete with, including allowing relatively unskilled workers to create really rather complex shapes from concrete.

and on top of that there's the aesthetic aspects as well, with concrete maybe finally coming into it's own as a truly beautiful and artistic building material that can connect with human creativity on an individual and democratic basis

Anonymous said...

Do you know Tien Chu's blog? She wove a design in celtic knotwork for her wedding dress and I'm pretty sure it was on a 24 shaft loom... All her wedding dress posts are here.

But I like the way your twill blocks have turned out - a simple design can be really striking, and the black & white is v effective isn't it?

humblebumble said...

alright cally, thanks for that link. that is a lovely fabric, very tasteful.

what i want to do with knotwork is actually an entirely worked panel, with a whole border and pictograph in the centre.

TBH i'm not too enamoured with the complex patterns here, they're too cluttered. there were a few others that i didn't post up as they don't photograph well and look just mucky from a distance.

we were introduced to colour and weave last monday and i've been having lots of fun doodling away making patterns that way. haven't gone beyond two colours yet, but i'll get there. i've got a set of highlighters, i was using coloured pencils last week, but these are so much easier and more fun. our tutor says she used to doodle colour and weave in boring lectures, but i've tried and i just can't concentrate on the doodling, i get distracted and i make mistakes. heyho

keep your eyes open for coming fun and giggles with concrete.

Carrie said...

Hi Andrew! Thanks for visiting my sadly neglected little blog, sorry it took so long for me to notice your comment! I should really put more of an effort into it. I've only got a couple of weeks left of work before I'm out on my arse again for the winter, so I'll have more time for the crafty side of life then.
Your weaving is fantastic, I'm afraid I'm completely lost reading about all the techniques you're using now! Sounds like you're enjoying the course a bit more this year?
I'll try and email you my new phone no and email address.
Good to hear from you!
Carrie xx