Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Spinning Straw into Gold ...

Rumpelstiltskin is the name of the antagonist in a Grimm's fairy tale who tricks a miller's daughter into trading her first-born child for a room full of straw he spins into gold for a greedy king. 

I didn't spin straw into gold, but this warp seemed to hold some fairy tale magic, and I felt a bit like Rumpelstiltskin ...weaving, rather than spinning, this combination of yarn into a shimmery copper blend. Below is a shot of the warp (rayon boucle and 20/2 cotton) over the back beam:
The weave structure is diversified plain weave from A Weaver's Book of 8-Shaft Patterns, page 170, a variation of the treadling in the upper left corner.
The weft is rayon chenille and 20/2 cotton. Hard to see here, but if you squint a bit, you can see the square motifs:
While Strickler's book states, "The structural threading and treadling units cannot be enlarged", that is true only if one uses the threading sequence provided which alternates the tie-down threads for each block on odd and even shafts. In other words, the tie-down threads being 1 and 2, Block A is threaded 2 -3-2, Block B is threaded 1-4-1, Block C is threaded 2-5-2, and so on. If threaded in this manner, it should be obvious that threading two of the same block sequentially is problematic. For example, two A Blocks would be threaded 2-3-2, 2-3-2 which places two ends on shaft 2 one next to the other. In order for the tie-down threads to work, they must alternate on shafts 1 and 2.

A solution for enlarging the units can be found in "Thick and Thin" by Interweave Press which explains the "new" diversified plain weave. This method alternates the tie-down threads on shafts 1 and 2, but each block uses one of each. Block A is threaded 1-3-2, Block B is threaded 1-4-2, Block C is threaded 1-5-2, and so on. For example, two A Blocks would be threaded 1-3-2, 1-3-2. Using this threading system it's possible to expand the threading and treadling units without limitation. Sampling provided me with the information I needed to determine the desired size of the unit I chose as well as the final combination of yarn and colors. 

In my next post I'll show some of the samples and talk about the metallic foil I used to embellish the finished garment.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sarah - what book are you referring to "Think and Thin" - I am unable to find it.

    1. The book is "Thick 'n Thin: The Best of Weaver's, ". Here is a link to it on Amazon:

  3. The machines also determine the reduction in the cross sectional area and the elongation of the test specimen when subjected to an axial force. The tensile test is generally carried out to determine the reaction of a particular material under a varying force field or to identify the weak points of a particular design before it is finalized for manufacturing. Wrap Reel