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Gebrochene on the loom

Gebrochene on the loom

Last night our study group met. We were a small group—the local colleges are on spring break and many people are out of town. Those of us who came shared our current projects and the conversation turned to tying a new warp onto the previous one.

Susan said she rarely ties on. She says she is always planning the next project while she is weaving, and it is often in a different structure.

As an example, Susan brought a rainbow colored baby blanket woven in 8-shaft crackle. What a bright and cheery blanket! The blocks for her crackle pattern came from an overshot name draft that she designed. She showed us that same name draft woven in fine white and blue linen overshot. Then there were the lace towels in 10/2 cotton—again using those name draft blocks, this time in lace. That’s three different structures from one block design. She couldn’t tie each warp onto the previous one because they are different structures, but she started with the same block design for each.

Paula said she ties on whenever she can. Paula has an Ms and Os warp on right now for a baby blanket after which she will reduce the sett for a scarf, then after that, she’s spread the warp again and tie on for a rug. Paula has studied Ms and Os for years. She starts with that one weave structure and interprets it into everything from fine to heavy fabrics. She knows just what to expect from different yarns in that weave and how they will respond to the floats and interlacements. One weave structure—many ways.

I’m somewhere in between in the tying discussions. I tie on when I can, but like Susan, I’m often on to a different structure with the next project.

Gebrochene Draft

Gebrochene Draft

Currently I’m working on a gebrochene weave. That’s an old German name for a fancy Ms and Ws twill. I really love the intricate patterns created with just the classic twill line going in different directions. From this one threading, I can weave plain weave with a fancy twill border, gebrochene in a straight treadling, gebrochene in a point treadling, trompt as writ, or a combination of any of these. Using different colors and fibers and tying on to the existing warp, I can weave towels, runners, napkins, even scarves before I have to rethread.

All of us have ways to get the most out of our creative time, whether it tying on to the previous warp, or using the same draft in multiple structures, or weaving a single structure into a variety of items.

How do you get the most out of your creative time?