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JHW Weaver Poker Challenge

Sally Orgren's picture
Cannelé, A.Schlein, 4 shaft draft, Fabric simulation
Latest sample, Plan B
Wet-finished and pressed scarf.
Detail of wet-finished scarf.
Project Status: 
Project Date: 
Sat, 02/10/2018 - Thu, 03/15/2018
Number of Shafts: 
30.00 EPI
Width on Loom: 
9.00 in

This is for a guild challenge: Weaver's Poker. Each participant draws 5 cards, and gets to return one to the dealer if they choose.

My 5 cards: Tencel®, smooth, grey, complement, and Ms&Os. Since the guild just did Ms&Os last year, that is the card I tossed.

I always like to challenge myself to weave something that has not been published or woven before, so I started with the throught of weaving a complementary color in deflected warp against a soild ground of Tencel®, of which I have a variety in my stash. I was thinking a dark ground, with perhaps a novelty or rayon chenille accent deflected warp.

Spiderweave, from Sharon Alderman's book Mastering Weave Structures, came to mind. Another name for the structure is Cannelé. I have not seen this structure executed in the warp direction until I stumbled upon Alice Schlein's Typepad blog entry. Alice's draft was for 4-shaft, so it was already oriented in the warp direction. Sharon's Spinderweave was also for 4 shaft, but  with the deflection in the weft direction, so I needed to turn the draft, resulting in a 5-shaft pattern.

My concern with using the deflected accent in the warp direction stemmed from the fact ALL the examples were compromised of a cotton ground, which would have a lot of shrinkage. If I used lyocell as the ground and I am doing the deflection in the warp direction, I might not get the level of shrinkage and/or deflection need for the best effect.

Because I want a fabric with the warp deflection in only a select area of the cloth, I had to redraft the 4 shaft pattern from the original, and adjust the Alderman draft also, expanding to 7 shafts to create plain weave areas.

At this point, after comparing the two revised drafts, I prefer the 7-shaft draft, so I get true plain weave in the ground areas. For the 4 shaft draft, I will get staggered floats that appear as small crosses throughout the ground. (NOTE: In the simulaitions, the orange threads represent the deflected warps, but the software cannot show this deflection accurately, so I went old school, and am making mock ups with colored pencils.)

It seems sampling is in order. I am thinking to make a very small sample on a table loom. If successful, I may consider doing a scarf along with the guild samples. If unsuccessful, I may move onto to Plan B, whch does not include deflection of warp, replaced by a completely different structure.

Stay tuned!


More resources recently discovered:

SS&D issue 55, page 91 has an article compiled by Ruth Nordquist Myers about "Floats on the Surface," including 4 shaft warpwise Cannelé with a sample and draft woven by Seattle Weavers Guild member Betty Hagedorn.

• Cross Country Weavers 2007 Gold (50th anniversary) sample exchange: 4 shaft warp-wise sample woven by Norma Smayda.

• Su Butler (via WeaveTech) suggested using the rayon chenille as the ground, and something more stable for the deflected warp (due to the longer floats), which I had not considered. I am also taking a second look at the treadling when I sample, to control these floats.


It's official, I bailed on Plan A as I was winding the first inch of warp. The more I thought about it, the less excited I was to contemplate weaving off the yardage. I usually plan a project after the sampling, but in this case, I wasn't even excited about weaving the samples. I was going to do the sample in another colorway, and part of the problem is I couldn't get a small amount of the accent yarn in the color or type of novelty yarn I was envisioning. In working out my plan so carefully, I may have "virtually" wove it already, so found no reason to actually weave it.

Another sign: I jumped back into the software designing, and Plan B is already on the loom! It took less than a week. I am way more excited about weaving this one off. I put the nearly 5 yard warp on the Voyager, as I have no floor loom available with 8 shafts at the moment, and I wanted to start weaving as soon as possible. I have tried 3 different dark colored wefts, and cotton and tencel so far.

Once I finish the Plan B samples and scarf, if there is warp left, I may rethread the last little bit for my original plan and see what happens on the loom. (Who knows, it may be a cool idea after all!)


Still weaving. Sample image posted.

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