The treadling for the current warp is very simple. Even simpler than simple since I am weaving on a dobby loom which always tells me where I am! I am finally getting around to this draft which I posted a while ago:

Although, as shown below, I am not using these brightly contrasting colours. In fact the colours of the two different yarns are very similar, only differing where the silk varies from dark red into a lighter pinkier shade. This is my excuse for getting muddled; although, to be honest, there is nothing so simple that I cannot make a muddle of it.

The exact sequence is something I can make up as I go along but, as you can see in the draft, I am basically repeating twill “units” of four lifts per unit and occasionally advancing by one extra lift to move to the next unit. For a nice steady pace of advance I rather like treadling 4-4-5:

  • *I do four lifts in sequence
  • I go back three steps to the first lift and repeat all four
  • I go back three steps to the first lift and repeat all four
  • and then I do the fifth lift in the sequence.

Then I go back three steps and start again from *.

However, I find it the easiest thing in the world to lose track of the number of repeats I have done. When the yarns are very different it is reasonably straightforward to stop and count them, but these are so similar that it has really been taxing my brain.

Time for an idiot-proof counting system and so I’ve introduced the counting buttons. I have a set of plain wooden buttons and one green polymer button. Whenever I do a unit of four lifts, I move one wooden button from one end of the castle to the other. When I do the five-lift unit, I move the polymer button. My basic kit is two wooden buttons and the polymer button — that gives me the 4-4-5 described above — but I can add and remove wooden buttons as I please. The main thing is that I haven’t advanced until the polymer button moves across the castle.

In this case I am only advancing my twill forwards, but it would work just as well if I were advancing backwards (although that doesn’t sound right at all). I would still use my wooden buttons for units of four, but I would use my polymer button for a final unit of three rather than five. It might sound as though this is incredibly slow, but it is much quicker than stopping to puzzle out where I have got to! As I am using a mechanical dobby, I have to pause to wind the dobby chain back in any case: it’s trivial to add an extra little task and it is definitely saving my sanity.

I have already started on the promised tooth-gnashing, by the way, but I haven’t even got to any yarns yet. I just wanted to print out a picture, trace and enlarge a part of it and then scan it back in. Two hours later… For some reason our wifi-enabled printer is just not that enabled. It loses itself somewhere in the √¶ther and getting it to speak to a computer would try the patience of saints. Rather appropriate, really, but more on that later.

Oh, and another “by the way”: if you are looking at my website directly (as opposed to a feed reader) then you will see that I have added a couple of new widgets on the right-hand side. At the top of the column I have an “On the loom right now” picture, which I am pledging to update at least once a week (aye, right). And I have also taken the rash step of setting up a facebook page for Bonny Claith and there’s a wee link which will take you there and invite you to “like” it.

idiot-proofing” was posted by Cally on 16 Jan 2011 at

Creative Commons License

8 Responses

  1. Evelyn
    | Reply

    oh – that all seems pretty confusing to me!

  2. Meg in Nelson
    | Reply

    Buttons! I like the idea of buttons!

  3. Julie
    | Reply

    Hi Cally, sounds confusing but as long as it works for you!

  4. Cally
    | Reply

    Must be the way I tell it, because it really isn’t that hard…

  5. Kerstin
    | Reply

    Loose buttons? In a house with cats? Were it here, I’d have to tie them firmly to something massive…

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Oh it’s fine – buttons come a poor third to elastic bands and pencils!

  6. Bonnie Inouye
    | Reply

    Cally, I understand your treadling pattern! I think you must have read my article in WeaveZine. And you understood it perfectly!

    I like your latest draft. You can modify the colors on the screen so they match the yarns on the loom. Sometimes it helps to have more contrast on the screen, which I believe is the case here. It is nice to see the color blends that come with echo weave.

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Yes, I went for contrasting colours to see what shapes I’d be creating – if I had used my two reds on screen I don’t think I’d have coped!

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